The Monkey Is In.

So be prepared. Bring a banana.

I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Mother Nature, Exploding Fire Pits, and Killer Mustard

I have finally fulfilled the promise I made to my husband to go camping with him for the weekend. He purchased an RV last year but I’ve always seemed to be able to excuse myself from trying it out. Either he needed a weekend away from all the stress of work and people in general (myself included - he never said he needed to get away from me but I know I can be a pain in the ass) or I just didn’t want to.

I have tried camping on two other occasions. The first time was in a little pop-up trailer (I have not and will never tent camp, thanksanyway) but we didn’t turn the heat on before the 50 degree temps hit and I got the worst summer cold of my life. Since I didn’t want that single experience to color my entire view of camping I went one more time and everything went swimmingly and I came to the same conclusion: I just don’t really GET the whole camping thing. Seems like a lot of trouble and work.

However, I do like to do ‘camping things’. I can go up for the day and spend time with Robert, either hiking or sitting around a campfire. But it’s always better for me to go home to my own bed and my own shower. With this new trailer, though, it has a full bathroom and the bedroom is pretty cozy so I said I would give it a shot this summer.

Though I went in with a preconceived notion of ‘this is soooo going to suck’, I have to say I enjoyed myself. It’s still seems like a shit ton of work to get everything set up and I didn’t know what what to do most of the time so I just stood around being useless. Aside from walking too much of the disc course with insufficient food in my system to fuel the exercise while the hubs played golf (I should have only walked the first 24 holes with him, not 48), it’s actually been kinda cool.

Got to see some really cute wildlife while walking the disc golf course. A teeny tiny frog, which I only saw because I scared it when I fell off a log I was trying to walk across; a field mouse munching on whatever they eat; a cool little inchworm struggled across the vast dusty ground where we set up lunch so I helped him over to a plant at the bottom of a tree; the cutest little dog grabbed Robert’s disc and ALMOST ran off with it. Once back to the RV, a big yellow fuzzy caterpillar was almost squashed by Robert’s canoes so I transported it over to some scrub on the edge of the woods.

I left the golf course before everyone else, transporting the cooler along with me. When I got back to the trailer, since I couldn’t lift up the whole cooler, I thought I should put the meats and condiments in the fridge at least. And since no good deed goes unpunished, the mustard bottle jumped out of my hands on what I can only assume was a kamikaze mission to bounce off my shin and crash to the ground. I didn’t notice I was bleeding until after I got inside, which is probably good because if I had seen it sooner, I would have cried in public and that’s never a good idea.

The fireflies were out in full force the first night and we were parked along the edge of a wooded area where those little glowing butts like to hang out. It was like a mystical fairy land. The super moon was super bright and just super awesome. When you can navigate by moonlight, that’s pretty damn sweet. The fire was nice except for the pieces of wood that had hidden pockets of water. I’m surprised we didn’t all go up in flames as each one superheated and exploded burning embers at our faces, clothes, chairs, and absolutely everything else.

Aside from the woodland creatures and plethora of birds I’ve seen because woods (the Scarlet Tanager being my favorite), as I typed this, I saw quite a different land mammal - some big fat bastard in the driver’s seat of a van in a camping spot across the road. Christ, dude, put on a fucking shirt. Now I understand what land whale means. From behind he looks like the last character to join with Grant’s behemoth alien blob form in Slither. *shudder*

The second fire night was a little harder. The smoke was all up in my face and I think that’s when the mosquitos decided my left hand would make a tasty treat. But did you know that throwing copper wire into a fire will make the flames burn neat-o colors? Not sure how the guys discovered that but when you have an extension cord that is no longer working, naturally you burn it.

Sunday was a great day of doing nothing. Lounging in the sun with the fresh air breeze was brilliant. Other campers went off and hiked while I took it easy. I’m telling you. The disc golf course kicked my ass the day before. I didn’t want to risk injury. Yeah, that’s the reason…

Packing up and putting the trailer back together was a bit easier and I felt a lot more useful as I repeated tasks or learned new ones. Still not sure all that set up/tear down is worth it but I might get the hang of it eventually and end up wondering why I wasn’t on the camping bandwagon sooner.