Thursday, August 10, 2006

Some words about our camping trip

in random order

  • Getting ready to leave, I put our precious "border ID" (birth certificates, my citizenship card) on the stairs leading to the front door so we would not forget to take them. Then Alex and I ran to the bank. When we returned 30 minutes later, the the id and the bag that held it were spread all over the floor at the bottom of the stairs, with a hole chewed in the bag. I counted the birth certificates and could not find Andy's. OH NO! The dog ate Andy's birth certificate! Now how will we go camping? How will we cross the border to go to California on holiday in a couple of weeks? I even checked the dog's mouth - Is part of the birth certificate still in there, intact? Then I found it in another place. It was never on the stairs. I will remember that our birth certificates are considered edible by the dog.
  • Driving down to the campground, I recalled I had not said goodbye to the cat. I wasn't concerned that the cat's feelings were hurt, just that she might be trapped in a closet or worse the attic, after the getting-of-the-camping-gear. Using my cell phone from the border lineup, I phoned our neighbour who let herself into the house and could not find the cat. Now I'm worried. Eventually the cat turned up but only after several stupidly panicked cell-phone calls to neighbours and our daughter, who was roamed the house calling for 10 minutes before the cat sauntered into view. "You were looking for me?"
  • It was cold on Whidbey Island. It always is, so I came prepared with lots of layers. After supper I got into multiples of pants, shirts and jackets and Andy and Alex made a huge fire. Luckily we have very warm sleeping bags, although our dog was chilly one night, so I put my fleece jacket on her and she was very cozy. Good thing we wear the same size.
  • There's a naval air base on the island. Every so often a fighter plane or planes will zoom overhead. The town of Oak Harbour is a patriotic place, with lots of navy guys and their families at the grocery and banners welcoming them home. A few years ago, there was a big sign at the entry road to the base. I remember it said, "Pardon our noise. It is the sound of FREEDOM." Now it's unmarked. You'd never know it was there.
  • The sun is like a big orange lollipop when it sets over Vancouver Island in the distance. And you can see the back side (well, a different angle from what we're used to) of gorgeous Mt. Baker from the ferry to Port Townsend.
  • Dogs who walk onto the ferry for a day-trip to Port Townsend stay on the car deck, which might be called the poop deck, but all of the dogs were well-behaved. We rode one way into thick fog with 3 dogs all nose into the wind like they were looking for something. On the way home it was bright and sunny. Andy and I took turns with Soleil down on the dog deck.
  • There is community theatre - The Oak Harbour Players are presenting Alladin through August. In Port Townsend, you can see The Taming of the Shrew.
  • There's a movie theatre in Oak Harbour showing Talladega Nights, Miami Vice and Pirates of the Caribbean 2. We did not go. The campfire is much more interesting.
  • Alex drove all over the island with his learner's license, and Andy and me taking turns co-piloting. He drove 55mph (about 80k) for the first time. He liked that just fine.
  • We drank a $3.50 bottle of wine from the grocery store in Oak Harbour. It tasted okay. But that was at the campfire. It was a fine accompaniment to s'mores.
  • Only at campfire can you eat peanuts at 10:30 at night and throw the shells into the fire. Only at campfire can you stick raw marshmallows inside your glasses and do a Stevie Wonder impression. Only at campfire can you make really bad jokes about lighting farts on fire and everyone will laugh. (Nobody did any actual lighting)
  • We did not sea any walruses or seals or woodpeckers or bears. We did see squirrels and bunnies and a few dead possums on the road. I wished I at least saw a woodpecker.
  • There were hot showers for free at the campground. That was nice.
  • The State Park attendants were comedians working at their day job, I am so sure. Either that or they are very smart and bored so they wisecrack all day.
  • Port Townsend is one part coffee shops, 2 parts new age bookstores and the rest galleries and ice cream parlours. I did find a Mary Oliver book of poetry at a used bookstore.
  • We all forgot our pillows.
  • Wind up flashlights aren't as good as battery flashlights.
  • My mini-maglight is the best flashlight in the world. I wear it on a lanyard around my neck so I'll have it handy. When I bend down to pet the dog I clonk her on the head with my maglight - every time.
  • The dog still loves me, but probably because I feed her peanuts and let her wear my fleece.
Question: do you camp?

mompoet - it was a good trip


J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I haven't been camping for years. It would be a group of my friends going to Oklahoma and make it an outside bar. Got older, I guess.
Looks like you had a good time, though. :)

Kristene said...

I am all about camping baby! I have friends who don't camp anymore and friends who've never camped. Not sure which is worse.

Camping in Baja, Mexico is where it's at. Always dry, usually warm, and lots of cool, free spots right on the ocean!

Loved the camping pics!