Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Camping, raccoons, & wild dogs.

So this weekend, I got coaxed--I mean hoodwinked--into camping out. Now, I went camping one time in college. I went with my friend Laura to Savannah, Tennessee, with some random boys. Laura & I stayed in some tiny tent on the edge of the Tennessee River (with boys in the other, of course), and it was November. I distinctly remember never being so cold in my whole entire life. In addition, I did not get one wink of sleep plus my back was out of alignment for a month after that night on the ground. The next morning after torturing ourselves we went 4-wheeler riding in true Tennessee style. I did enjoy 4-wheeler riding in the borrowed camouflage coveralls over some hilly wooded terrain down the Tennessee River. The camping part? SUCKED. I hate camping. Laura, if you are reading this...we should have taken pictures. I don't have one picture from that weekend. Why did we subject ourselves to that?

At any rate, Mr. C & I have discussed (um, more like come to a stalemate) camping in our almost eight years together. His parents own an RV, and he always wants to go camping with them. Every summer he wants to go. Every season, we go down to visit them at a campsite and then drive back to Memphis. Maybe I should have given in years ago for the love of my husband because I have been selfish about this camping thing. But on the other hand, who are we kidding? He knew I'd never be a camper when he married me. Holiday Inn is roughing it in my book. However, I have been convicted over my blatant selfishness lately. What would mean more to him than taking his son camping? So...I gave in.

Shoulda never taken him to Chickasaw last week
. That's what started this whole long to camp thing.

In a moment of compromise this week, I reluctantly agreed to one night of camping. With a five month old. In the cold. Because for some reason it is May and in Tennessee? It was 46 degrees. What in the world?

So camping with his family we went. Complete with his parents' RV in a campground in Mississippi. The compromise was this:

1. We will not stay for 87 nights like they are. (Read: all weekend long. I can handle a night of it at first. Maybe more later on if I'm not too miserable being surrounded by wilderness for more than 24 hours.)

2. I will not in any circumstance be sleeping on the ground. (Read: I get a bed in the RV, a cot, or something elevated.)

3. I am trying this in the spirit of compromise, but no promises will be made that I will do this regularly. (Read: I really don't wanna, but I'm going to suck it up and try for our family. My exact words were, "You have a boy now, so in a few years feel free to do these boy things without me. I'll enjoy my weekend of quiet while you scamper in the woods.")
So, I'm glad that some of our compromise was made because of what happened that night. Let me refer you to point #2. I was staying in the RV with my in laws, while Mr. C decided to "do it right" in the tent with our almost five year old nephew. The next morning (after sleeping peacefully all night long except for awaking to some weird noises Micah was making in the pack-n-play), I looked out the window to see trash strewn about the ground.

How odd, I thought, as I drifted back off to sleep. A couple hours later, Mr. C comes into the RV to explain the night they had out in the tent. At some point, Mr. C had been awakened by a crazy huge raccoon who had decided to climb up to where the trash was hanging off the ground. He proceeded to rip the garbage bag to shreds, and the racket awoke C. So he comes out of the tent to chase off the raccoon as my nephew peers through the zipper at his uncle madly, frantically chasing the varmint away. I almost wish I could have seen that moment in time, however...I would have freaked out screaming in front of a small child. Probably not a good situation.

Just as Mr. C & Nephew were getting settled back to sleep in the tent, something else arouses them from their light slumber. This time a pack of stray dogs have descended upon the trash that was strewn about by the raccoon a couple hours earlier. Of course, it was so dark that Mr. C didn't really have time to completely clean the trash up, but he woke up this time to barking dogs chomping on chicken bones from the garbage.

Did I mention I slept by a window directly above this? Not sure how I missed both things happening overnight. I think if my nephew hadn't talked so much about it, I would have thought Mr. C made the whole thing up.
At any rate, I turned to Mr. C and said, "You actually call that fun? Seriously?"

He just smiled and said, "Think of the memories I have from Micah's first camping trip that can never be replaced. That is the point of camping, Mrs. C. Now you've got a good story for your blog."

That I do. That I do.

Memories do abound indeed, and it wasn't quite as awful as I envisioned from college camping flashbacks. I did thoroughly enjoy the company, the bonfire, the fall-like weather, and the s'mores. The raccoons and wild dogs? Yeah, I could live without them, but all in all, I got to come home and take a shower. I didn't see the raccoons and wild dogs so I guess I'll chalk that up to a half win. But don't think I'm getting ready to pitch a tent every weekend, either!


  1. Oh what a fun story! 46 degrees at night. For someone who loves Montana, you should know that isn't cold for camping out here! Ha! Really, really cute photos though. You can count it all as a great photo op, right? And he's right about the memories! You'll be laughing about that one for years. Maybe even when Micah brings his own bride camping.

  2. Funny. At least the trip comes in with a rating of "half win"!

    Fortunately for me and thee, memories can be made in an infinite variety of (non-camping) contexts:-P