Monday, October 30, 2006


I hope that all of you had a weekend full of chocolate and Tivo, to make up for mine of dirt and pain.

Oh God, I'm so tired I may perish. Simons and I went camping on Saturday in the Sierras near Tahoe, and it is HUMILIATING how out of shape I am. But it was so beautiful and so amazing to me that we live close enough to such things to make a weekend trip out of it. No bears, thank God, although we dropped packs and pitched the tent so late on Saturday that neither of us noticed we were sleeping underneath a bear scratching post, raked with claw marks and dripping with sap. Heh.

Do you remember how excited you'd be to go camping when you were little, or hell, even in college? It's a little different now. First, Simons might as well have driven to Tahoe by himself, since I was nose-deep in a book the whole way up there, and practically eviscerated him when he politely asked if I'd like to pull over to go to the bathroom. (Thankfully I finished it before we started hiking, or there might have been bloodshed.) I burned the butt out of the dinner, see previous post about dissatisfying chicken pies, which were not improved overmuch by tasting of shit, carbon and stove fuel. Also, because it had been so long since we'd truly camped, we forgot all of the essentials, namely bourbon, cigarettes and cards. So after sitting there wondering at the billions and billions of stars, freezing our fannies off on a rotten log for oh, ten minutes, we gave up and went to bed. It must have been 8:30.

This getting old business is highly overrated, and I want my money back. The goddamned dog took up the whole tent, sleeping HORIZONTALLY between us, and I shivered and shook and writhed around claustrophobically ALL NIGHT and must have been sleeping with my head on a downhill slope and my back on a a pile of bowling balls, because DAMMIT it was uncomfortable. I woke up glaring crossly at Dog's wet nose, who was yawning smugly in my face, stretching and jabbing her pointy toes into my bruised and tired ribs.

Anyway, the morning was a considerable improvement, thanks to the fancy camping coffee filter I gave to Simons for Valentine's last year, which brought to mind the time I made my friend Suzy (Floozy) shoot hot grits out of her nose at a Waffle House when we were in high school. She remarked snidely on the amount of sugar I was pouring into my coffee, and without looking up I responded, "Ah laks mah coffee like I laks mah men...hawt, black and sweet." It was even funnier considering I'd only ever even frenched one person at that point, but that's a different story.

Leaving our tent behind, and good riddance, we climbed this enormous granite ridge, up above the treeline, and from there could see miles of lakes and spruce trees (i guess that's what they were, must get plant book) and no one else in sight. There were no planes, no sounds of cars or backhoes or even human voices. Just the wind and the sound of rushing water.

The last two books I've read have been a pioneer woman's journal on a wagon train to Santa Fe and into Mexico, and the other, a work of historical fiction, and no, I won't say which, because it's deliciously smutty. It was most bizarre to suddenly feel as though I'd left behind all the trappings of modern life and should suddenly take up chopping wood and hunting bear. It brought out all kind of quaint speech patterns, and Simons and I almost started calling each other "Mr." and "Mrs." He ruined my illusions though, by bringing along a, he just looks like an architect and not a bear trapper/hunter/Revolutionary soldier. Oh well. He has many other fine qualities.

Dog had a fine time on her first ever camping trip, gambolling about on the lake shores and freezing her skinny hiney off going swimming in 40-degree water. She kept plunging down the slopes, leaping around like a jackass trying to see above the shrubs, which meant she had no brakes and would just blithely careen off of various dropoffs and cliffs. She so exhausted herself that she was immune to all of the torments we inflicted on her during the ride back. She didn't even mind that we stopped for the best cheeseburgers EVER on the way home and didn't bring her ANY.

We are back in our fairly squalid apartment now, which is a little sad. Simons is at work, and I am here, looking for work as usual. Everything is dirty; clothes, dishes, tables, stove. And I'm too cold and sore to feel like cleaning. But I can't work unless my house is clean. So I'm in quite a pickle.

I have photos, but the camera is in the car, which is parked 10 blocks away. So more camping later.


Anonymous said...

Well, at least there are leftover chicken pies if you get hungry...

Jen said...

Sounds wonderful... and even more wonderful now that you're back to sleeping in a real bed. I love hiking, but I have yet to actually enjoy camping. I just don't like sleeping outside, with all the bears and witches and axe murderers and such.

Nothing But Bonfires said...

I bet you've started reading books by Grady's wife.

barbie2be said...

yeah, it's that whole "sleeping on the ground on a pile of rocks" thing that keeps me from camping very often.