I’ve never been a camper. I never quite “got” the idea of camping. Spend a day packing tons of stuff into the back of your car, drive to a bug infested forest, unpack all your stuff and set it up. Why? So you can spend your “vacation” sleeping on the ground, burning your meals on your camp stove, sitting around your campfire staring at one another, and being eaten alive by bugs, (or the equally revolting alternative of dousing yourself with bug repelling chemicals every three hours!). Oh, yeah, that sounds like fun! NOT!
My idea of “vacation” involves beds, someone else doing the cooking, and visits to interesting tourist sites. You can see why camping as I saw it did not appeal to me…
Enter Stephen. Camper deluxe. He who makes the most expert Boy Scout look like a rank amateur when it comes to camping. He has it down to a fine art. He’s been camping since boyhood, trained by his dad in outdoor lore and skills. He knows exactly what to look for in a campsite and is very particular about drainage and trees and other weird stuff. He doesn’t travel light, but every piece of equipment has a purpose – and that purpose appears to be to make the experience as pleasurable as possible.
He wanted me to go camping with him.
After I picked myself back up off the floor where I had been rolling around in hysterical laughter, I agreed to at least ‘consider’ the possibility. Then he showed me his tent trailer. Fridge, stove, furnace, running water, real mattress, completely screened to keep out bugs. This had potential. He also introduced me to bug patches, which you apply every 24 hours to keep nasty biting things away. And keep in mind that my Stephen cooks. And cooks well, I might add. So in a moment of sheer insanity, just to make my darling trucker happy, I said, yes, I would go camping with him. Within an hour he had a site at Inverhuron Provincial Park booked and paid for, a menu drawn up, grocery list prepared, and half the car packed….. This man doesn’t waste time. I couldn’t back out after that.
So, off we went, car packed, trailer towing happily along behind like an obedient puppy, and me sitting in the front seat wondering what the hell I’d signed up for.