Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

15 October 2009

I'm here to tell you

We just (just) got the power turned back on. There was a big storm Monday past, and the peninsula is subject to outages pretty regular due to the trees round here being real tall and shallowly rooted. Take that how you will.

Some of you may recall Monday as the day I said we were going camping. Even as the day I said it would not rain on us, irregardless of the weather forecast. I was right and I was wrong. We (the children and myself) did go camping, and though the rain held off until late at night to lure us into complacency, it was a hard rain.

N fought me every step of the way. She tried everything she could think of to weasel out of it- the storm, the lameness of it all, the boringness of it all, the unfairness of it all, etc. She even cried. Disgusting. I don't know about you, but "teenage" (at 12) girls are the sourest of grapes. Once she finally accepted that she really was going to have to accompany us, she was fine. The histrionics up to that point were impressive.

The boys just packed their bags and got on with it.

I really don't know why this is surprising to me, but I packed the Big Dummy heavier than ever before. Seems like ever time we go I say it. As I was unloading the food bags, I pulled out a 5lb bag of flour. WTF? TF is that I had planned on making bread in the bush in the (yep) cast iron Dutch Oven, which I also packed and about which's weight I can only shudder to think. It seemed only marginally heavier than the propane stove and tank, but that is probably a wider margin than I think. We had the 5man tent and the pads and the bags and the everthing else for a 4 day (planned) family expedition. I had brownie mix and chocolate chips for ____'s sake. If I had them, I'd probably have packed the crystal, oriental carpet and white dinner jackets.

Well, I was trying to make it fun.

It was, for the evening.

The rain started in earnest sometime in the wee hours. I awoke to the pitter patter, and awoke again to the downpour. I knew then what was in store for the morning.
We'd be leaving.
I'd planned on cooking over the fire. I'd planned on swimming. I'd planned being dry.

It was raining.

I left the kids in the tent while I humped the bags up the hill.

They were too heavy to push the entire loaded barge up the trail to the fireroad. It took 2 trips, then I broke the tent down

and packed it on the bike and rolled the whole thing up. There were 2 separate downed oaks in the trail that required extensive brush clearing, and then bike lifting. I was doubly glad I'd had the good sense to make sure the oak under which we'd made camp had no rotten branches to fall on us... When we reached the road, I loaded the bags onto the Big Dummy. I couldn't even make coffee, so I drank 2 beers and called that breakfast. The kids were unbelievably good spirited about the whole thing.

N in particular surprised me; she kept saying it was "the best campout ever!" and laughing and laughing in spite of the to-bone-soaking we were being handed. We laughed about how great it all was, and how we should turn around since it looked like it would stop pouring any minute.

I have never experienced any riding like riding the heavily laden Big Dummy in the pouring rain on a sandy (muddy) fireroad. 2wheeled drifting wiggle like the frame was broken. Bizarre. On the steep uphill from the swimming hole I had to get off and push. I have never been so worked. I thought at one point that I would have to unload the rig and push it up separately from the bags. I gasped and rested a lot.

Back at the lot (~4miles or so), the kids got undressed underneath the overhanging rear door, and into the race van in shifts. I stayed out in it to unload the Big Dummy and stow the wet gear in the back. Then we blasted the heater and drove home in our underwear.

We left all the stuff in the van for 2 days on account of the power outage and continued drenching.

In retrospect, I'd make the same choices again. Maybe lighten the load some, but really- you have to be willing to risk it turning out completely rotten to seize the possible Goodness.

Oh, and my gear was still where I'd left it, ungnawed.


placid casual said...

at least you got out - in the uk we couldn't even dare to plan such a trip as that weather would be guaranteed.

karma dictates that you get a great trip next time

Robert H said...


I love the first picture with your daughter. That pose says it all.