I went camping with my children this weekend, which I thought might provide me with some time to come up with a "novel idea"  (har har) for the upcoming NaNoWriMo, while I communed with nature. But that's not what happened. Instead, we staked our claim on hornet/fly heaven and spent an entire day battling the flying freaks and juggling hot dogs, exploding s'mores and sriracha-flavored potato chips.

Before I continue, you should be aware that I am by no means a stranger to camping. I grew up camping, my children grew up camping and I'm not afraid of getting a little dirt under my fingernails. I can set up a tent, build a fire, and I can shoo a fly. But these guys were coming at us with the fury and persistence of a small, winged tornado. It's harder to shoo a tornado.

Side note: Flies eat poop. And then they land on your face.

Still, I thought, even if I didn't get a chance to write while I was camping, maybe I could take something write-worthy from the experience. Maybe I could write something about:
  • Buying four times the food but only half the water we actually needed
    • Meh, we can eat potato salad all week now
    • Nobody died
  • Purchasing a camp chair and leaving it at the check-out stand
    • Fly swarm
      Fly swarm of doom
    • Realizing the cooler worked just as well
  • The aforementioned flurry of flying things
    • Making the best of a bad situation
    • It's only terrible if you can't use it to your advantage somehow
  • The squirrel that screamed at me for five minutes in the morning as I was trying to find a snake-free place to pee
    • He/she was probably telling me to stay away from his/her babies, but I feel like there was a deeper level of communication there
      • In retrospect, a warning that hornets can sting you through a tent
  • The porcupine that waddled into our camp and stared us down with a "tha hell are you doing in hornet/fly heaven?" look on its face
    • Floating water bottle lantern
      Floating water bottle lantern
    • It only left after it felt we were sufficiently awed by its complete lack of fear
  • The bow hunters who clomped through our camp at 5 am
    • Whom I was convinced in my abruptly-awoken-in-a-strange-place delirium were gangsters intent on machine-gunning us through the tents in our sleep
      • Side note: I've been watching a lot of Breaking Bad lately
    • Whom I probably scared the hell out of as I leaped out of my tent and mean-mugged as they walked by
      • S'mores gone wrong
        S'mores gone wrong
      • Side note: According to my children, I have the meanest mean-mug ever
  • The floating water bottle lantern my son crafted
    • Side note: Water refracts light better than Dr. Pepper
  • The way-too-puffy marshmallows that engulfed our s'mores before we could eat them, despite my newly-purchased s'mores cooker
    • Side note: :(
  • If you move the tent right before bed but forget to re-stake it down, it ends up rolling down the hill with people still inside it
  • Getting stung by a hornet through the rented tent as we were folding it up
    • Subsequently, spastically chucking the tent into the fire
    • Tent stake fail
      Tent stake fail
    • Sub-subsequently, purchasing a tent with a big hole in it
Maybe there's something write-worthy there--maybe there isn't, but there are other important things I will take from the trip--like the disdain from daughter's boyfriend when I asked if he had a camp stove we could use to cook breakfast in the morning.

Side note: Dutch oven breakfast is delicious.
Kate Moss
What I thought I looked like camping

What I really looked like camping

Blog off.
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