Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

06 May 2014

there're only _ things in life that make it worth living

Ain't nobody feeling no pain.

Getting back to the basics of love can be handled any number of ways. We find bikes to be a access point. In keeping with our imaginary non-binding pledge to try to attempt a campout once a week, the boys and I headed out Sunday night for a stealthy schoolnight bike campout. Make an anachronysm out of that, why don't you?

In the interest of speed, we pared the load all the way down close to the bone. Sleeping stuff only. A take-out sandwich for dinner and the plan to get up and at it coffeeless and early for breakfast. Bold choices are required in certain circumstances.

We took the long way up the hill (it's dirtier) and wandered some on some trails until coming to the spot along my commute at which I'd hidden some beers last week

...because it's pretty much always a good idea to have some options. D_____ self IDs as a skater (he's all about that Skate Life), so pretty quickly the romance was over and I offered to take his pack in an attempt to maximize the enjoyment for him (he's 14). What the heck, it's fun for me regardless. I got a big dumb bike, pile it on. I tried to get J______ to give me his pack (he's 9), and he got offended and told me "NO. I'm not trying to add to your weight." Now, he is a pleaser, and given to the gratuitous ass-kissing, but the fact that he looked at it in those terms made my Grinchy heart swell. Later, when he was hot and red, he agreed to dump his pack on the Big Dummy.

Part of the choice for this week's location was showing the boys what is available to them, from their door, in terms of self-powered adventure. They don't need me to guide them on these trails. It's close enough, with safe enough traffic on the access, that it is wide open for kids.

And so this whole weekly campout scenario is a fine idea however you approach it, but not least on account of my skills are so rusty that I plain forgot to set up the new Crazy Creek Big Tarp* (used to good effect by C___ the machine on the Condor Tour and available thru QBP at your local bike shop!). I just popped a top and got to the twig and small branch gathering. We set up the fire on a trash-can lid that has been out there since I stumbled across this fine beer-drinking break spot.

aside: the forest floor in these parts is composed of duff, which makes for magic carpet trails and it creates a nice springy sleeping surface, but is also flammable as hell. This duff is inches thick.  A fire that catches this subsurface fuel can smoulder and spread a surprising amount. We are extremely cautious with our small, contained, and controllable twig fire. Hence the trash can lid in the middle of a bare, scraped-out circle of actual soil (dug down several inches to reach). In the morning, we used 3litres of water to out the fire, stirred the ashes in the mud, and re-sodded the whole area. You cannot tell we were ever there.

Sitting in the woods at night is a balm to your aches, whatever they may be. I balmed it up with some 1/4 full crescent moon through the pines and a 1/2 full beer in hand. Repeat 8 times. Moments like that is what it's about. Tell yourself whatever you like.

D_____ opted to sleep in the hammock. J______ and I took the forest floor.

I slept poorly. The tarp wasn't tied down at all corners, so there was an excess of tarp on tarp noise in the mild breezes we got. And I neglected to set up a pillow until pretty late into it. And it is some edge of suburbia type hoboing (one of the best kinds!) which lends itself to raccoons and skunks, neither of whom is afraid of your candy-ass and both of whom enjoy the people food hanging in a tree. But, I did wake up painless. The bed at home is too soft. My pine duff and Zrest (indestructible! cannot go wrong! what price, flawless performance? bulk. worth it?  you sleep on a flat/popped inflatable pad and tell me.)

The boys? I had to shake them awake at 5:56AM.

I was proud when J got up, out of his bag, and without being asked just began stuffing it. We boogied to break camp and begin the downhill to breakfast and school. An hour after waking up, we were sitting down to bagel sandwiches.

Everbody got to school on time. When (if) asked "where did you camp?" The proper response is, "I don't know."

*I cannot say enough good things about using a tarp for shelter. Light and compact. Useful in a variety of configurations. Weather? Pfft. Talk to me about the all night hailstorm during which my only complaint was being a little too warm. What else? If the bugs are so bad that you need a tent, it's likely a shitty time every time you stop anyhow and that's not my idea of fun. You do what you want, I'm using a tarp.

1 comment:

Buzz said...

You are one sneaky, stealthy and probably stinky, professional anachronist! I have to say I have come to love your *way*.

Good on you !