Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I guess I’m still insane

How else to explain the weekend spend marinating in bug spray, smelling like the proverbial bull got loose in a chemist’s laboratory, and with a clothing-permeating, heavy dusting of partially combusted spruce trees? 

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I know I’m not the only one that lost my marbles and went camping this Memorial Day weekend.  How do I know, you ask.  Why else the miles long processional featuring motor homes, motorbikes, and fifth-wheels, boats of all shapes and bikes strapped to every auto extremity, and absolute impossibility of fueling up at the gas station without a long wait?  It’s a fact of life, long weekends mean camping here. 

Normally, I would say long weekends mean fishing here, but the big runs of salmon haven’t quite come in yet in south-central Alaska.  Once they do, abandon all hope, ye who drive out of town on the weekends.  Your drive time will be sluggish, nearly as much so as the behemoth motor homes that could be mistaken for greyhound buses on steroids.  (Except the motor homes have tricked out interiors that resemble a Vegas casino lounge.  If I ever win the lottery, I'll be sure and buy myself one of those palaces on wheels to “camp” in, but mostly to hold traffic up by crawling at a rate of speed Fred Flintstone’s ride could beat.  Step on it, would you?!) 

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Some high points: 1. sighted 24 bald eagles fishing on the mud flats for hooligan at low tide, a first for me, 2. we were able to get one of only two spaces left at the Black Bear campground near Portage Glacier, 3. I didn’t forget the pink and white frosted animal crackers, which would have been, as a grown man put it “a crisis”, and 4. we had a seventy degree day, maybe the “best day of the summer” as another grown man put it.  Dreary thought, as summer doesn’t start officially for another three weeks.  And in Alaska, perhaps not even then.  (All together now: knock on wood!)

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Some low points: 1. the dratted barking dogs, all night long, 2. my sleeping bag was, shall we say, insufficiently warm, 3. wood smoke in my eyes for an extended period, and 4. the absolute worst Kevin Costner movie I’ve ever seen, which is saying something.  Might I suggest when one goes camping, if a movie is in order, pass by “The New Daughter”.  My eyes/brain are still cramping up from the experience.

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Still, the taste of an ooey, gooey, slightly burnt marshmallow and it’s attendant graham cracker and chocolate bar make up for a lot.  Perhaps not Kevin Costner’s movie, but close.  And the feeling of exhilaration from a bike ride literally over the river and through the woods was worth something.  It won’t build the enamel back that I ground from my teeth whilst watching the movie, alas.  I must be crazy for watching it to the end.


Seen a bad movie?  Camping tips?


Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks for the tip on Costner's latest disaster. I've found that if you mute the volume, his movies are loads more interesting. :)) I went camping, too. And, I've got the bug bites to prove it!

Tara Dillard said...

Go back to the cold bit.

94f with 276% humidity yesterday, higher today.

Even my beloved Conservatory is off limits most of the day.

Loved living your camping trip except the movie. Better you than me on that one.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Christine B. said...

@Kate/High Altitude GardeningThe mute button...why didn't I think of that? Plenty of bug bites here as well. And I noticed the biting flies are getting an early start this summer. Boo!


Christine B. said...

@Tara DillardI presume the A/C is on full blast. And is carrying a hand held fan compulsory? Anything over 75, and I'm just melting. As for Mr. C.'s debaucle, I'll take one for the team by watching it and spreading the word.


Grace said...

You keep watching because you're sure that the movie will get better in the next scene. But the next scene becomes the next scene and you're still waiting and grinding your teeth into stumps. It sounds like most of the trip was good though. Now I'm craving a smore.

Shyrlene said...

What an excellent post! (Bummer about that Kevin Costner movie, though...) said...

Not much of a camper myself, much prefer the warm cozy and soft bed, bug/critter free of course. But hard to beat that scenery. And all those eagles, I might rough it for the view.

Christine B. said...

@GraceExactly! And the sad part is, I'll never learn. As for the s'mores: food fit for the gods.


Christine B. said...

@ShyrleneThanks, excellence is rare on this blog. More often you get average or bizarre, but I thank you nonetheless.

And bummer is an understatement. Dreadful horror about captures it....


Christine B. said...

@gardenwalkgardentalk.comTake my advice and go for the casino on wheels when/if you go camping. Just promise me to drive more than 15 under the spped limit, a grand motorhome tradition.


Faith said...

Haha. Camping for me is sleeping in the greenhouse. Once we moved to the woods our desire to camp actually decreased from every weekend to once or twice a summer.

Christine B. said...

@FaithMakes perfect sense, who needs to camp if you live in the woods? But can you cook a s'more in the greenhouse?


Barbara said...

Have you ever wondered about the long-term effect of dousing oneself for years with "Backwoods Off"? I wonder if someone's done a study on that. So you're saying that even in May there are already mosquitoes? I bet you did have fun, though.

Christine B. said...

@BarbaraMy study is informal only, but the results include increased desire to own and decorate one's home/yard with blue tarps and junked out vehicles.



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