Momma Bears and Sleeping on the Ground


So we’re going camping this weekend.  Just me, Gary and the wilderness.  Roughin’ it, miles and miles away from civilization, using survival skills I learned from Bear Grylls, fending off bears and….Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.  We’re sleeping on a blow up mattress, near the ‘comfort station’ with water and electricity access.  We’ll be near a town with plenty of fast food choices and a zippy mart.  I will however be fending off bugs and rogue raccoons that are smart enough to open a can of mandarin oranges. 

   This isn’t my first time camping. I grew up camping for vacation.  Really roughing it.  Like taking-baths-in-a-cold-river-and-carrying-your-own-toilet-paper roughing it.  I’ve camped in the Smokey Mountains and we blazed our own trail in the Rocky Mountains.  My parents, and grandparents, were the best at camping.  I have a lot of fond memories of camping actually.  Like the time dad saw a momma bear and her cubs and swore that they were going to murder us in our sleep.  So he made us all run to the station wagon [you know the old kind with wood paneling on the side? Yeah, that one.] and nearly gave my Aunt Virginia a concussion because he was already lowing the window on the back before she was even in the car.  Then after maybe 5 minutes in the car he decided it was safe to return to the tent.  Then there was the time in Colorado when we about froze to death. In the middle of July.  It rained one night, the tent leaked and it was about 12 degrees.  However, I was nice, toasty and dry in dad’s army issue sleeping bag…on a cot.  And just for the record, do NOT wash your hair in a river that’s fed from the Rocky Mountains.  Not even in July. 

     As adventurous as those camping trips were this one will be too.  Not because of momma bears and freezing rivers but because this is the first time Gary and I have been camping together.  And the first time I’ve been camping in ages. 

     Gary is already teasing me about this trip.  You see, I grew up a tom boy.  Bugs, frogs and climbing trees were my thing.   As an adult I’m still kind of a tom boy.  I climbed a tree just a few months ago to get a geocache.  I’m the only one who’ll pick up the frogs in the garage and put them back where they belong.  And I don’t mind [most] bugs.  But thanks to all those fond childhood memories, my idea of roughing it was staying at a hotel without cable.  I do enjoy the outdoors though.  A lot.  And Gary and I have become quite the outdoorsy type.  Kayaking in the summer, hiking in the winter.  Geocaching all the time.  Although we have limited the bush-whacking-all-up-in–the-woods geocaching for the fall and winter months.  The chiggers can get out of control!  Anyway, I’m ready to give camping a try again. 

     However, I’m not that fond of the dark and I really do prefer not to sleep on the ground because spiders live there.  I’m not too girly but just girly enough to make this trip quite hilarious for Gary. 

    So I’m really looking forward to our first camping trip together.  As long as I don’t have to sleep on the ground, fend off momma bears or pee in the woods.  And we have plenty of flashlights.          


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