August 07, 2012

Camping: From beach to backyard.

The weatherman and I are about to have some serious go time. Seriously.

I dressed for the predicted 29°. It's 19°. I should have worn pants.

Let's forget weatherman related animosity for the moment and think about the good things in life. To give you one small example, those good things involve long weekends, sleeping in, pancakes, and games of Dominion. Oh yes. I have a deep, burning affection for long weekends. I was very disappointed when I realized that my days off were coming to an end last night. I did not want to head back to work this morning. No way, no how. The weekend was that good.

As you may be aware, we had plans to go camping in the great outdoors Friday and Saturday night. We were going to go a couple hours down the road for a little fishing (Karl) and relaxation (me and everyone else). It was going to be glorious. We were meeting some friends up there that had been there for the past week. The plan was to meet up with the lovely Tim, Larissa, and baby Calvin at McDonalds for a romantic double dinner date (Calvin watched) and then head out in separate cars to our destination because, for little people, babies take up too much space to make carpooling very easy. Our dinner date was magical and many chicken nuggets were consumed in the process. Ah, friendship.

Everything went rather smoothly on the way up to the campsite except for one minor detour Karl and I made. And, naturally, by detour I mean getting kind of lost for ten minutes. Once we were found and had met up with Tim and Larissa things started to go wrong. Campsite 36, where we were meant to meet our friends, was inhabited by other people. Non friend people. Sure they were friendly enough, but they didn't seem to be too eager to house us for the next two nights. Or feed us. We only had smores and beer with us.

Long story short, we scoured that campsite and the nearby marina where we knew our friends would be the next night to no avail. And, naturally, we were out in the middle of fishing port nowhere so our phones were beyond useless. Just kidding, they still told time so we knew when it was that, at 10pm, in the dark, an hour after arriving, we finally tracked down a pay phone to call friends back home to get phone numbers to call people who might know where our friends were hiding. No contact with missing friends was made. I did use a pay phone for the first time in years, though, and it smelled like beer. Authentic.

It was getting late, it was dark, we had lost two people, had no real food to speak of, and it was a long weekend. Any thoughts of camping there were totally futile. We weren't even really prepared to look after ourselves, having only brought the necessities and camping snacks along. Man shall not live on beer and smores alone.

So we went home. Well, we went to Tim and Larissa's home. Tim had the brilliant idea of not giving up on our fabulously anticipated long weekend camping trip and setting up in their backyard instead. If we couldn't find our friends and have our fantastic good time with them well heck, why not try to make the best of it?

Like children, upon our midnight return to civilization, we set up tents in the backyard and stayed up way past our bedtimes. Glorious. I felt like a teenager again. The nice thing about backyard camping was that it was actually quieter in their neighbourhood than it would have been at any campsite. That and the nearby flushy toilet. Okay, and the backyard Dominion game we played after a pancake breakfast.

I decided, after my unfruitful payphone calling, that since we were going to be home Saturday night so unexpectedly then by golly we were going to have a BBQ. So we did. And it was good.

Sunday morning we got a phone call around nine from our missing friends. Without feeling bad about it, and having made it to the campsite after every office that could have instructed us otherwise was closed, it turns out that they were, in fact, at campsite 36. The other campsite 36 one minute down the road. The other campsite 36 one minute down the road whose turn off we must have passed in the dark without knowing it led to another campsite 36. 

Yes, that's right. Two campsites numbered 36. Two of them. Close but not so close to each other. Someone doing the numbering must be on crack. If it had been a number we couldn't find we would have sought help. But we found it. And that man, although he, too, sported a mustache, was not the mustached man we were looking for.


Our weekend was lovely, even though it involved a serious last minute change of plans. We still enjoyed ourselves and I can only hope our lost (but now found, thankfully) friends did as well. It was too bad we didn't get to spend Saturday sitting on the beach, being lazy as two out of three menfolk (Calvin not included)  braved the high seas and did some fishing.

It is definitely one of those head slapping moments, realizing we were so close to achieving our camping goals and that a little more sleuthing would have led to victory. It also makes me hope that we get to have another long weekend fishing camping trip in the future, despite our poor secret agent skills. At campsite 36 the second.

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