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Monday, August 2, 2010

The camping trip from hell

Sometimes things sound like a good idea. You plan for them, you have an idea of what to expect, you've done this sort of thing should be easy.

Take camping for example. You throw your gear in the car, you pick up some food and ice, you pick a spot, you set up, you camp. Then you tear down and come home. The end. Oh...I wish.

The 1 year memorial camping trip for my late husband was set up months ago by his friends and there was to be a whole group of people going. Thirty seven parties responded, and since many of them were a good distance from where I live, the location was desigated to be about an hour and a half away from the majority of his friends - 4 hours away for me. But fine - I was up for it. I put in for the Friday off so we could have 3 days to camp, getting up there by noon at the latest if we got out at 8am.

ha ha ha ha ha

On Monday I put a list on the fridge of everything that needed to be done before we left on Friday. This included household chores, gathering things for the trip, grocery shopping, etc. I worked all week, my boyfriend had Wed and Thurs off. He tells me - don't worry, I'll get this stuff taken care of on my days off. First day off, he decides he needs to relax and he goes rollerskating. I got home from work, did laundry, mowed the lawn, did basic household chores and paid bills. His second day off, which was Thursday, I sent him an email and said I was cleared for Friday off, we needed to get everything done today. I started a camping grocery list and he would run to the store that night. In the meantime, he would get the chores done.

I get home and he's just finishing the first of the chores - mopping the kitchen and the living room. Turns out he slept in, played some cards online, visited with the neighbor and in general just fumdarted around. The kitchen and living room looked real nice though..... But nothing is packed. Fine. We spend an hour trying to figure out what we want to eat at camp. I give him the shopping list and he goes shopping while I gather the camping gear. I get the gear gathered, load all the light stuff in my car, make stir fry for dinner and to pack for lunch at camp, finish cleaning up the house, water the lawn. FIVE HOURS LATER he comes back from shopping. Drops all the stuff on the counter for me to start prepping while he washes coolers, and when I asked why it took so long I was informed that he had to go to three different stores to get everything on the list, and what had I done while he was gone?

Breathe in....breathe out.

I prep the food, stack everything on the bottom shelf to be put in the coolers in the morning and go out to see how things are coming along. He has decided that the car windows need to be Rain X-ed because he read that it might rain over the weekend. Not wishing to be indicted for murder, I go back into the house and get my shower. He says he'll make the burgers and then when I get out of my shower he'll rub my feet and we'll go to bed. Okay - we might salvage this evening. I get out of the shower and he still hasn't started the burgers. I'm ready to go to sleep. But I make the mistake of mentioning that we'll need the tarps. One of the tarps is under a stack of flooring in the garage. We didn't HAVE to take that tarp, but the other tarp is at his sisters. Now I'm in trouble for not mentioning the tarps before. So he wants to run over to his sisters RIGHT NOW and get the tarp. It's 11pm. Big ugly fight over big ugly tarp. We finally agree (disagreeably) to stop by his sisters in the morning on our way out.

He tells me to go in the house so he can rub my feet. Frankly, now it's midnight and I just want to go to bed, but he insists. So we decide to finish loading in the morning, he rubs my feet, we go to bed. THEN he asks me what time to set the alarm. I make the agregious error of saying between 6 and 7 am. WHAT?!!! Egads! how could we possibly get up that early? Why do have to leave so early?! I try to explain that it's a 4 hour drive, we still have to load up and go to his sisters and since I took the day off so we would have an extra day to camp, I'd like to get up there by noon or so. That puts us into an argument that lasts until 3am and ends with me telling him to leave and him saying fine, he'll go to his sisters.

Oddly enough, he wakes up at 7am and is in the shower before I wake up. We're still snarky with each other, but we get loaded up, hit the gas station, and go to his sisters where he grabs the tarp and decides we need firewood. We don't need firewood - we're going to the freaking forest. There's literally firewood growing on trees! So he goes and raids their wood pile and ends up getting stung on the ear by a wasp. Are you kidding me?! I mean, I feel bad, because I know that hurts like hell, but if you hadn't been dinking around in the wood pile to start with.... breathe. Breathe. Breathe. At least we are taking separate cars.

We get to Idaho City, about an hour out of Boise and I stop to grab use a restroom. For whatever reason, he gets into his trunk and discovers that he can't find the citronella oil he bought for the tiki torches he had to have. Now I have to say that I was against the tiki torches from the beginning for several reasons. Number 1, I've never found that they helped with the mosquitos. Number two, we're talking about lighting up torches underneath dry pine trees. Christmas Vacation anyone? I don't want to be the one to say, "Yes, my boyfriend started The Great Boise National Forest Fire of 2010". So now we're in the forest and he's trying to find citronella oil. We go to every grocery and hardware store in Idaho city with no luck. And he is PISSED. I'm feeling very bad for the WalMart people who forgot to give him the the bag with his oil in it right about now.

We head up the mountain and here is where he makes up for eveything he's done that has irritated me. I have been on this road before, but always as a passenger and my late husband always made me lay the seat down and put a coat over my head. I figured it was because the road was narrow and windy. I had no idea how high it was. Two lane, narrow, windy, and big cliffy drop offs with no guard rail. I made it halfway up the mountain and had to pull off the shoulder where boyfriend had to peel my fingers off the steering wheel and get me to stop hyperventilating. As far as I was concerned, we were going to have to live there now, because there was no way on Gods green earth that I was going to get back on that road. Finally, he led me up over the mountain at 25 miles an hour until we reached flat land on the other side.

At this point he was my hero.

Camping will continue on the next post.

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