Good morning Everyone!
A conversation with Kristina over at Family.Work.Life about whether camping in a trailer or motor home as opposed to a tent is “real” camping reminded me of a story from early on my married life.
When we moved back to Alabama from North Carolina in 1991, we ended up living in Alexander City, a town at the north end of Lake Martin, which is a huge man-made lake that powers three dams for the Alabama Power Company. We decided to fulfill a dream of Mark’s, and bought a brand-new boat 1989 Bayliner. Because it had been in the local boat shop’s inventory for almost three years, we managed to get quite a good deal on it.
One of the best places to enjoy Lake Martin is at Wind Creek, a state park with hundreds of camp sites, very nice boat launch facilities and just about anything else you could ever want from a state park on a lake.
Our family at that time consisted of three: Mark, me and our first dog, Shadow. Shadow loved riding in the boat. Mark and I decided one weekend in March that we would go camping at Wind Creek in the new four person tent we had bought, and bring the boat along with us.
It sounded like a great idea, but it wasn’t. Wind Creek’s name, at least in March, is not meant to be aesthetically pleasing but rather descriptive, and with the prime camping spot we rented at the tip of the point, we had no shelter at all from the apparently gale force winds.
After a great deal of difficulty, we managed to get the tent put up and myself and Shadow deposited inside it to keep it from blowing away (yes, Shadow would have been enough but there was no way that dog was going to stay inside the tent by herself in that kind of wind.). Mark then started to light the barbecue grill outside the tent while I talked to him through the door, but the wind was so strong we couldn’t keep a flame lit. He finally gave up and took off into town to bring us back a pizza.
While he was gone, I shivered in the tent and listened to the wind roar through the pine trees and pull at our tent. Once I had to slip outside to rescue various substantial camping paraphernalia that the wind had decided to play catch with, but fortunately the tent didn’t fly away too. The entire time, Shadow was by my side, looking at me with sad eyes that plainly said,” We have a perfectly good house only miles from here; why on earth are we sitting out here in the wilderness fighting the wind?” The best answer I could give her was that we were waiting for pizza.
Once Mark got back with the pizza, we ate it, sharing the obligatory portion with Shadow, who was somewhat mollified by our peace offering until the wind managed to rip out one of the tent stakes even with three of us in the tent. It tickled me so much that I started laughing non-stop. I was pretty useless from that point forward in any attempt to set the tent back to rights.
We finally conceded defeat about ten p.m., loaded everything back up into our pick-up truck and boat, and headed back into town, with a very relieved dog sitting in my lap.
I don’t remember us ever trying to camp again until we bought our first trailer. I don’t even remember myself wanting to try camping again until I had a trailer, although I’m sure I mentioned it at least once or twice.
And that, my friends, is “Mark and Nancy’s Great Camping Adventure!”
Have a great day!