We made it down the mountain, although Anthony picked up a rock in his windshield, which he was amazingly calm about. Out of gratitude for his patience and understanding, I did not complain when he insisted on going to every store in Stanley looking for Citronella oil, which he finally located and paid 20.00 for a gallon. But he was happy. While in Stanley I had to use a gas station restroom which I actually took pictures of because it was resplendent in its awesomeness. I have never before used a bathroom with plywood walls where the the toilet seat is held together with duct tape.
We headed out to the lake, and I very nearly got my first deer. Fortunately, I saw her waiting on the side of the road planning to commit suicide in front of my car and was able to thwart her plans with my ingenious brake slamming and car swerving. My car and I were both pleased.
When we arrived at camp we discovered that of the 37 groups of people who had RSVP'd for this trip, only 3 had come. And that included my group. The person who had arranged this trip didn't even make it. Nor did a single person from the town we had planned it closest to, for their sake. While disappointed, I wasn't really angry. However, other members at the site were extremely angry, and so we did get to enjoy a rousing display of poor sportsmanship and poor friendship, for that matter.
So, we set up camp. Away from the main camp of angry people. Anthony made a valid attempt at helping me set up the tent, and did a good job. We managed to get through set up without a single arguement. And it was a good thing we brought the tarp, as I haven't waterproofed my tent, and sure enough we got to enjoy an evening of thunderstorms. Once the lighting started getting close, I opted to sit it out in the car, since I had set the tent up under a nice tall pine tree right next to a big empty field. (Remember Science 101? Me and electricity.) The tarp held up well and other than running back and forth for cover throughout the evening as storms sprang up, it was rather pleasant.
Slept in a bit on Saturday. I was the first one up at 830am. And the only one not hungover. I got a fire started, made coffee and breakfast over the campfire, which I even served to Anthony in bed. I was ready to go fishing! I had a one day license. Oh, but wait. Anthony refuses to use a toilet that doesn't flush, and our ice has already melted, so they are going into town. Fine. It's 18 miles up the road. I should be able to go fishing in an hour. They come back 3 hours later and when I ask if we're going to go fish, the response is, "Well, it's too late now. Fish won't be biting until the evening." So everyone starts drinking. yay.....
Have some lunch. Sit around and watch people drink. About 6pm they decide they are ready to fish. But instead of going to the lake we're staying at, "we" (being everyone but me) want to go to a different lake. Up an unmaintained road. Five miles an hour over a five mile trail makes 1 hour to get up there. No fish in this lake. Lake is not, I repeat NOT, stocked with fish. And it's so shallow you can walk a quarter way out to the middle. So we practiced casting and fighting off mosquitos for an hour.
When the children got tired and the adults processed the alcohol in their systems and required refills, they decided to head back. Anthony took me to Pettit Lake where I figured I could at least throw out a couple of times before the sun went down. So I threw out a couple of times while he stood behind me and told me how I was doing it wrong. Then he tells me that I need to weight my line. Again...very shallow. But I let him put a weight on my line. Next cast out I get snagged on a log. I didn't care for the lure and would have been happy to just cut the line, but being "responsible" I figured I'd better try my best to recover it. It looked shallow enough to walk out to the snag, and it was - until about 2 feet in front of the log, where I fell in up to my waist. Recovered the lure though. Nothing on under my shorts and soaking wet, I ended up having to strip on the side of the road, and ride bare assed back to camp, and then get out of the car and walk to the tent with no pants on. I was, however able to find a sweatshirt to hold over my shame while I marched to my tent. No need to scar the children for life.
After a fairly wasted day, I didn't want dinner. I decided I wanted a Smore for dinner. I'm a grown up, I can eat what I want. Guess what happens to marshmallows if you leave them in a car all day? Just like putting them in a microwave. I was still having one. Imagine taking a jar of Marshmallow fluff, scooping it up with your fingers and trying to stick it on a metal pole. Now imagine that you succeeded at that and are now holding the melted marshmallow fluff over a fire, trying to turn it golden brown. Good luck. However, you CAN catch it on fire, blow it out, and scrape it off the pole with your graham cracker, creating something that is as close to being a Smore as you're going to get.
Unable to take in any more drunken merrymaking from the rest of the party, I retired early figuring I could get an early start on packing up camp in the morning. My mattress was surprisingly half full. No matter. I just refilled it, nice and firm. I woke up at 3am being informed by Anthony that he was cold. Well, he had gotten under the sleeping back on top of the airmattress, which is the barrier between the sleeping person and the cold ground. He wants me to get under there, too. I try to explain to him that he would be warmer if he got on top of the sleeping bag. No go. At this point, I realize that my mattress is completely flat. He wants my side of the bed, because it's warm. Fine. His mattess wasn't flat. So I traded. Apparently warmth is more important than not having a rock in your back.
So I got up early, started loading everything up and fully intended on being on the road by 8am. Anthony didn't get up until 9am. I considered tearing the tent down around him, but figured that would start a fight. I needn't have worried. The day could not have been worse even if I had wrapped him up in the tent and thrown him in my trunk. Actually, it might have turned out better. We didn't leave camp until 11am. By the time we got to the nearest town it was 1130am. Small town, one restaraunt, and they were done serving breakfast. And he was NOT happy. I drove through town while he gassed up and found no other options for breakfast. In the meantime, he somehow lost his gas cap. Long story short, between no breakfast and a lost gas cap, he was not a pleasant being. I'm so glad we took separate cars.
I love camping. But I have never been so happy to be home in all my life. Next time, I'm going alone and I'm keeping the marshmallows in the cooler.
Isn't Anthony cute? All tuckered out when we got home.