This past weekend, Dale and I went camping at our favorite place in the North Georgia Mountains.
We wanted to go a few times over the summer, but with all of the rain that we had, we cancelled our plans each time.
Then, the Weather Channel finally predicted a dry weekend, so we planned and prepared to go.
It seems that each time I have ever been camping, something completely funny has happened.
The first funny memory I have is when I went camping with my parents and Aunt and cousins when I was a little girl. We were all in bed sleeping, when we heard a loud racket. My father looked out the window of the camper and saw raccoons feeding on the cake that we had accidentally left out on the picnic table. From then on, it became known throughout our family as the “coon cake” story.
When I was in college, my sister and I went camping with her fiancé and his friend. We knew they were going to play tricks on us – plastic spiders, plastic snakes, etc. So we decided to “one up” them. Years before, our parents had gotten an album of “The Mating Call of the Wolves” as a gag gift. This was, of course, back when we had cassette tapes. We decided to fast forward a blank tape three-quarters of the way through, and then we recorded the wolves howling.
When we crawled in the tent that night, I pushed “play” on the tape player and we got in our sleeping bags to go to sleep. Thirty minutes later, the first “wolf” started howling.
We all sat up. “What the heck was that?” my sister asked. I had to stifle my giggle by burying my face in my pillow so as not to spoil the trick.
“Sounds like wild dogs.” The guys started looking out the zippered windows of the tent. (We had made the guys sleep on the outside edge of the tent because we figured if something attacked the tent, it would get them first.)
“Do you,” I gasped, “think they,” I gasped again, “can get,” gasp, “in the tent???” My sister and I were in tears because we were laughing so hard, but they guys totally missed it. They thought we were crying because we were scared.
“Sounds like they are on the other side of the creek,“ they said. “Maybe we can make a run for the car,” not understanding that the whining and barking was coming from RIGHT INSIDE THE TENT.
After ten more minutes of the guys trying to figure out how to get us to safety, they caught on. Their response? No escorted middle-of–the-night trips to the bathroom. Cathy and I were on our own.
Fast forward to 2008. I took my son, Matthew and several of his hockey buddies camping – two of whom had never been camping before. Besides the typical gross boy stories, my favorite part of the weekend was when they climbed in the creek below the hiking trail. Matthew had gotten an electronic device that played sounds of wild animals, and they would play barks and growls of fox and bears as people would walk above them on the hiking trail. I sat by the campfire watching and laughing hysterically as people would frantically look around trying to see if an animal was nearby.
Then, that leads me to this weekend’s camping trip with my sweet husband. It was our anniversary, so we looked forward to sitting around the fire sipping on wine, and just enjoying the quiet. The entire trip was so peaceful…until about 3 A.M. when an owl started hooting right outside our tent and woke me up. I could have easily gone back to sleep, until I noticed that our normally two-foot high air mattress was now so deflated that I could feel the rocks and sticks underneath the tent, stabbing me in my hip.
Besides the fact that Dale and I were so squished together that it seemed we had eaten magnets for dinner, we probably looked like two hotdogs in a bun. I started giggling and woke Dale up, who then proceeded to turn over and as his body weight adjusted the air in the mattress, I was catapulted off the other side.
So even though we both woke up each with a wickedly sore back and bags under our eyes from lack of sleep, I can’t wait until our next camping excursion.
Just to see what funny thing happens.