Friday, July 15, 2011

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Capsizes

Now anyone who knows me knows I’m more of the hotel type of girl.  I mean, its not that I don’t love a good campfire, some toasted wieners and s’mores, or seeing a billion stars at night, but that is all followed up by sleeping in a tent in the middle of the nothingness with no toilet, no shower and no mattress when you’re camping. 

Not to mention, I thought bears were scary?  Out here they have snakes and scorpions.  And you may wave me off but we saw and heard both of those creatures in the course of the weekend. 

We got in by way of the “Road of Insanity”, as I pegged it before even driving it but after riding on it, aptly so.  There was a sheer cliff on one side and it was a single lane with turns so tight it looked like we were going to careen off the side of the mountain.  Oh yeah and it’s a two lane road.  Thankfully we didn’t have to back up to let trucks hauling boats pass us because we would have been screwed.

Everyone else had pretty much shown up Thursday night so most set up was done already.  All that was left to do was crack a beer, look around, hug my sister who I hadn’t seen in what felt like eons and blow up our air mattress.

So here’s another side note…when you go to Target to get a camping lantern and turn around to see the rechargeable air mattress pump with the nozzle you think will work in your air mattress, the one you’re taking with you to the middle of nowhere with no electricity, don’t walk by it saying ‘oh but Wendy said someone will have a pump.’

Buy the damn thing because if you don’t you’ll be left stealing electricity from the Coke machine plug at midnight then walking back through the unfamiliar landscape carrying an inflated air mattress after the camera just got your face recorded for all of posterity.

But they didn’t come and kick us out so we were safe.  And we weren’t the only members of the group who had to use it so at least that was slightly comforting.  That night I peed in the desert because the walk to the crusty bathrooms was too far and I couldn’t find it anyway.  I tried to sleep but everyone was up until all hours chatting and laughing and the temperature in Wendy’s tent was so hot I tossed more than snored.

Woke up about in the morning and got coffee.  Matt and I picked up a Box o’ Joe from Dunkin Donuts (one of 2 we’ve already discovered out here hooray!).  I actually texted my aunt during that experience because we went in to buy it and that thing holds about 3 pots of coffee.  The girl poured a half a pot in and said ‘I’m gonna have to brew more.’

You know you’ve left Boston when Dunkin donuts actually runs out of coffee!  It took all my physical body not to drop my jaw in amazement at the statement.

Saturday afternoon all but 3 of us went out on the boat, I was starting to feel like the lack of shade might be a problem even with the 70spf sunscreen.  And it was a good thing we all hung back.  A couple 12 year old girls in a foot paddle boat went right over in front of our little patch of beach.  The friend of ours who was there had not even gotten the words ‘should we throw them a line’ out of his mouth before we saw the thing start to flip over. 

They were okay and everyone got back to shore but before they put the boat back in we all noticed it was kind of missing the plug for the front.  After dumping the overflowing hull we watched & shook our heads as they paddled back out, right into oncoming waves.  There’s something to be said for logic.  Sadly they didn’t really seem to have any but once they turned the corner of the jetty back toward their own campsite that was pretty much no longer our problem.

By the end of the day on Saturday the heat, sun and beers got the best of me and while literally everyone else (about 10 of our group) tried the high pressure sales pitch to go back out on the boat, I pled peer pressure and plunked my butt down in a seat unmoving.  I was happy to be alone for as long as they were gone, I was cranky and whiny and no one needed me bringing down their good time.  The breeze picked up a little and I was able to nap.  Everyone got back and we cooked dinner on the portable propane grill then we all sat around in the dark yakking for the second night in a row -- absolutely no campfires were allowed because it had been so dry.

We watched as a pretty lightning intense thunderstorm rolled through and the rain actually cooled it off significantly.  I still felt crappy so with a nice stiff breeze and lightning in the distance I dragged my Debbie Downer ass to bed at like .  Matt followed shortly after and I woke up the next morning totally refreshed.  We had breakfast hot dogs and noted that almost all food and beer was consumed.  A successful weekend was had by all!

With one last boat trip planned I got myself into a seat and enjoyed the breeze, the water and the insanely cool scenery, which pictures and words just couldn’t begin to describe.  Everyone swam but me.  I like to ease in and diving off the side of the boat was not in my future (like I said, indoor girl).  We headed back and finished packing up the campsite (This is where I got photos of the baby scorpion hiding out on the side of Wendy’s tent bag.  Yikes.).

As we went to go we started the caravan out the back way which I dubbed “Road of Moderate Insanity” since it wasn’t much better than the way in but admittedly a bit wider most of the way down.  Wendy and friends were in 2 off-road appropriate vehicles which got them down the mountain pretty quick.  We lost sight of them and as we were on our own ambled slowly to the bottom.  Chalk up another reason to get a truck!

But as we got to the huge “Man” Damn at the end of Roosevelt Lake we saw that our super cool friends had pulled off to wait and make sure we made it down safely.  Yea for super cool friends! 

Going that way took some extra time getting home but it was just the final extension of the end of a three week road trip for Matt and I and we couldn’t have been happier to get the chance to see all kinds of new scenery from the car.  With the little red ant population traveling back with us in the trunk, and potential for scorpion sightings, we dropped our stuff on the balcony and started up the washing machine right away.

As we put away the leftover food and plunked down on the sofa with a smile on our faces from such a fun weekend full of laughs and good times, finally ready to actually start settling into our new home, I thought ‘I think I’m gonna like it here…’


Megan said...

So I was trying to figure out where you were with the "Road of Insanity", then when you finally mentioned Lake Roosevelt...I totally got it. I hate going out that way, thanks simply to the roads, which are so twisty they make me sick every time. Glad you had a great time, free of scorpion stings and snake bites! And I'm more amazed that you found more than one DD out there. Why didn't you just hit Starbucks like a normal person does for coffee? Oh, right, you're still a Bostonian ;)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Well we did hit S-bucks on our first morning here because its right next door to our complex so it was easy but when we drove around trying to find other stuff we saw the DD's...and on the way back from the MVD the other day we found a 3rd haha. Yes, take the girl out of Boston but...well, you know :-)

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Sounds like a "fun" weekend - must have been great to have time with Wendy!

I've driven that road from one end to the other; it is downright frightening! Glad you made it through there safely.

Love, hugs, and kisses, Mum

Anonymous said...

Yay for your last thought! :)
I doooo wish we had Dunkin Donuts here in Sacramento!

draagonfly said...

**JEALOUS**!!! I totally forgot Phoenix has DD!! I love me some 5-Bucks, but I seriously miss DD. The closest one is LA or Vegas. :(

Please I beg you to be careful with the overheating thing (drinking alcohol in the desert when you're not adjusted yet - not a good idea). Drink even more water than you think you need to until you adjust. When I moved there I was aware of all that stuff, drank so much water I thought I was going to float away, and I STILL got totally dehydrated and so sick my grandparents had to come get Katy & I because I couldn't get out of bed. I think that was about a month after I moved there. They say Phoenix is more humid now than 15 years ago when I was there, but we're talking about starting out from humidity in the negative numbers, I swear. It's hot, and you dont sweat per se because the air sucks all sweat right off you, and you don't realize how it's actually pulling it out of your body before you can even sweat it! Just saying be really careful. That whole thing with my dehydration there is the sickest I've ever been. No fun at all. I don't want to see either one you go through that. I nag because I care. :) <3

Almost Precious said...

It's been ages since I've been out camping. It's fun when you're young and your bones can take sleeping on an air mattress on the ground. Also the camaraderie of friends roughing it together is unmistakable.
As for hot and miserable I do recall one camping weekend when the temperature reached 116 out on the lake. This was in California. On the trip home we passed more overheated vehicles parked on the side of the freeway than I can ever remember seeing before. We were towing a ski boat and had to stop and fill the car radiator about 3 times before finally making it up the Grapevine and over the pass.

Rosebud Collection said...

What a great time you are having..I have to admit..I can camp with the best of them, but in a Motor tents for me. Hate the thought of something crawling around..They say, if you put a rope around your tent, no snakes will cross it..Course, that is only what I heard..
I know you are going to like it there..xoxoCarolyn