I've never claimed to be a writer, but it's nice to have a place to put my thoughts down once in a while.


A Camping We Will Go

I've almost always been a tent camper. Our family had a pop-up when I was a kid, but I don't remember using it very much. I don't think we had it very long either. We got a pontoon at some point and so we spent every summer on the lake. It wasn't until I was out of high school when I really got into camping.

Then I started working at a youth camp. My second or third summer season there, the director took the whole staff camping during our training. I believe it was the second or third day of training in fact. I can't say that was my most pleasant camping experience. We weren't told where we were going, only that we needed to bring what we thought we would need for an overnight trip. We were used to her (the director) playing games and using them as training tools. So none of us really expected to stay anywhere overnight. I stuck my toothbrush and toothpaste in my purse and was ready to go. A few people may have brought a pillow or possibly a blanket. Some didn't bring anything.

So we loaded up the bus and bebopped out to the nearest wilderness. There we spent the day learning to tie knots, build campfires, construct tents, and other campground basics. Imagine our surprise when we were told late in the day that we would be staying the night in the tents we just learned to put up. Needless to say, we were NOT happy campers.

I will have to admit. That experience brought the camp staff, all strangers a few days previous, into a close knit unit. A lot of those friendships that began in such extreme circumstances are still strong today.

To the best of my recollection (which isn't saying much) that was a turning point in my camping methodology. Don't judge. This is my blog. I can make up my own verbiage if I want to. (ver·biage: noun \ˈvər-bē-ij also -bij\ Definition of VERBIAGE: manner of expressing oneself in words : diction )

After that my sister and our good friends Kim Jason would go on camping trips. We would usually go on a Friday night and come home on Saturday. Eventually, we decided setting up the tent, packing bedding, food and other camping paraphernalia was not worth just one night. So we started going for the entire weekend. Over the years other friends have joined us on these little excursions. For the most part, they continue to camp with us. A few times, Jenni and I have made the biannual trip by ourselves.

As our camping experience and equipment grew, we started talking about pop-ups. Most of those conversations happened during a downpour, sitting in a cold, wet tent with puddles of water nearby. Or when we were setting up or taking down camp. We wanted to be able to set up fairly quickly so we could get to enjoying the outdoors and each other's company. Unfortunately these talks were just that. Talk. None of us could swing the cost of a pop-up.

We would watch the yearly camper special, showcasing the latest and greatest in campers. Then one year we saw one of these on the special. Jenni thought it would be perfect for us. I wasn't crazy about it. I thought it was too small. It didn't matter anyway. We couldn't afford one.
And even if we could we didn't have a vehicle to tow it. And for that matter, no dealer within a 400 mile radius sold them. So we continued our tent camping and dreamed of one day owning a pop-up.

Then, one day, the camping powers-that-be, offered a glimmer of hope. Someone just a few miles from us, actually had one for sale in their front yard. We couldn't believe it. We'd never seen one in person. So we stopped and took a look. We fell in love with it. And the price was unbelievable! So we talked with our parents about helping us buy it. A week went by. It was still there. So I called. They sold it the same day they put it out!! I was disappointed. But while I was still on the phone with the owner, he said, "But I have another one. It's just a little bigger. Would you be interested in it?" I couldn't believe my ears. This man had not one, but two of these little darlings! Of course they were asking more for it. And to be honest, it had more amenities than we really wanted or needed. So again, we discussed it. Finally, we decided that another opportunity like this would not present itself to us so we made the call again. We made arrangements to meet the owners and see the camper and ask questions. We knew we wanted to make an offer on it before we went. So we met the owners and after some discussion and just a little bit of haggling, we are proud new owners of this little baby:

We spent a week in October at our favorite campground. We met lots of new people who couldn't help themselves. They all wanted to see the camper. It is so unique and just perfect for the two of us. We absolutely love it! We haven't got all the kinks worked out. I need a new vehicle to be able to tow it. And then lessons on how to tow it. And how to level it. And how to work all the utilities. But I'm confident I will learn and fortunate to have the best dad in the world who helps with that kind of stuff.

We can't wait to take it out again in the spring.

Do you have a favorite past time? Something you did with your family or friends? Please tell me about it. I'd love to hear it.