Points in the Wild

Appraisal went well. Details to follow tomorrow.

Today…When Points Attack. Wilderness Points. The Points of No Return.

Sometimes I have a problem with making choices.

I am also making a camping trip to a totally souped-up, family-style campground complete with power and water at each site sound like “Into Thin Air.” (I am NEVER going to read that book, by the way.) But one of my charms is my flair for the dramatic.

Let’s just say.

So Friday afternoon we stuffed a ’96 Camry full past the point of all reasonable tolerances with everything we thought we might possibly need for two days roughing it surrounded by 200 other campers and with a mini-mart 150 yards from us. And we STILL forget a few key things like the big spoon, one sleeping bag and mosquito repellent.

Mosquitos like hopped up Christmas shoppers on Black Friday and we were the 50% off DVD players. I think the kids got a little over-zealous with the mosquito swatting, though. It seemed at the end like it was really just an excuse to whap someone for fun and profit.

So here’s a lovely 66-square-foot fixer-upper with excellent ventilation and a charming retro canvas floor.

Note that no matter at what angle I stood, I could get no fewer than two vehicles in the shot. It was a busy, hoppin’ campground. Also note our strict “no bloody shoes in the tent!” policy.

The view looking straight up. I love this view. I live for this view. I never. ever. get tired of this view.

Here we have Teenagers In Repose with Food:

And yes, that’s the bug spray we paid $134 for at the mini-mart at the campground. These people know a captive market when they see one.

Here is Man and Guitar in Nature:

I do believe I win the “Sexiest Husband with Miniature Guitar in the Redwoods” award that everyone is vying so desperately for. So nyah.

We also had the River Campsite #20 Blues Review make a guest appearance:

That’s Child A in the foreground playing the drum practice-pad, Himself in the background on miniature guitar killing a mosquito on his forehead, and Child B in the middle on aluminum water bottle. He also doubled on marshmallow.

Here we have Girl Overdressed at Beach.

She did break down and change eventually. It was gorgeous out.

Here looking downriver. Or maybe upriver. Possibly between river or over river. I’m a little iffy on the prepositions.

And here we have some Wildlife.

This was about as wild as it got. Polliwogs. There were also many stellar jays squawking in chorus, some bird that we never saw that sounded like a mewling kitten, and a rampaging herd of raccoons that we saw skitter down the redwood trees. Oh, and vicious, crumb-stealing squirrels.

This, of course, was one of my recreational reading selections.

Which should garner me some points, but then I am so going to pay for this:

Yes, that is a can of beans being cooked directly on the campstove because I did not want to have to deal with cleaning another pot in cold water. In my defense, please notice that I took the paper wrapper off first.

And here we have corn on the cob:

Being cooked over the amazing won’t-stay-lit-unless-you’re-looking-at-it camp fire. This was a game we played, this fire and I. I would get it  burning at a nice clip, then I would look away. I would turn back and it would be nearly out. Stoke the flame, look away, come back to dead fire. It was like a Bugs Bunny cartoon without the soundtrack.

I blame the vicious squirrels.

And here is a perfect example of Campfirus S’morsalicious:

It’s an art, people. Practice. Daily.

And finally, one shot of the fire that Himself made.

Actually, he made fires like this many times. But even he wasn’t up to besting the amazing-put-itself-out-so-you-all-can-eat-raw-corn-fire.

And now for the points!

Previous score: +21 Martha Points

  • Remembering aluminum foil and a sponge: +3 points
  • Forgetting anything with which to stir beans or eggs: -4 points
  • Forgetting one sleeping bag and one air-mattress: -5 points
  • Redistributing spare blankets and comforters: +3 points
  • Freezing my arse off when the nighttime temperature dropped to 80 below and shoving myself up so close to  himself that he fell off the air mattress: -6 points
  • Cooking eggs and bacon over a campstove: +4 points
  • Cooking beans in the can they came in: -8 points
  • Rampant mosquito death via repellent and swatting: +6 points (I think, I mean, I know it’s insect murder, but I get positive points for mosquitos, right?)

Bringing my new total to: +14 points

Hmmm…I thought I was going to come out better than that. It was that damned can. I knew it would come back and bite me in the arse.

36 comments

  1. I vote no deduction for can of beans cooking. Does Martha even have camping ideas, NO. So we must go it alone and in camping you do what you have to.
    And at least 1 point for the S’more?
    Also I have no idea if Martha has camping ideas, I made that up. It sounded good.

    1. I bet Martha has tons of camping ideas (not in the magazine I actually had with me, but that’s okay, it just would have made me feel inadequate) and I didn’t use a single one.

      But i remembered a sponge. THAT’S the important thing.

    1. I could say all those things and they would sound good, but the truth is: lazy.

      Lazy lazy lazy.

      Not Martha-like at all.

      Restful, but not Martha-like.

    1. For two days I can handle camping.

      Our first big trip as a young family was 4 days.

      We almost didn’t hit our first anniversary.

      We are not always bright.

  2. Are you kidding me?! I’m pretty sure the cowboys way back in the day cooked their chili in a can. Wait. They didn’t have canned chili back then? They cooked that crap from scratch? Well, no wonder there were random gunfights and general saloon ruckus. I would grant you 100 points for serving food that even had to be cooked…while camping. :)
    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

  3. great camp story! I haven’t been since I was a kid… now I want to shove hubby and our 5 kids plus me into a tent on the ground and cook some stuff in cans!! :)

    1. If you do that, I suggest hiring support staff.

      I imagine that 5 kids in your OWN HOME where you know where all your crap is and don’t risk being something out of something REALLY IMPORTANT (like, tequila, for instance) might happen too far from civilization.

      But if you do do that, I want a blog post and lots of pictures.

  4. No deduction for the can of beans!!! I would have taken food from 7-11. Obviously.

    We really are on the same wavelength with the Black Friday thing AND the breaking furniture thing. Great minds and all that. Let’s go shopping!

  5. I am so ashamed I complained about the lino in my trailer. Will you ever forgive me? You are my new hero. I would like to state that you have just won a million Martha points for partaking in this adventure. I also loved that someone can play marshmallow. As I suspected, a very talented family.
    Dana

  6. It looks like so much fun … for you! For me, it just makes me want to run and hug the toilet.

    And note how I’m not even saying ANYTHING about making your own bug spray …

  7. Oh my gosh… after that post, I’m not even going to try for Martha points anymore… you are galaxies out of my reach.. Galaxies.

    You do win the sexiest husband with a guitar in the wild…

    1. No no! Totally reachable galaxies! Honest!

      But I was right about the sexy guitar playing thing, wasn’t I?

      I won’t lord it over everyone too badly.

  8. How did you get that all in the camry? I’m picturing a kid strapped to the top National Lampoon style. What’s with the bloody shoes? Mosquito carcasses?

    1. Kids were not strapped to the roof, but a giant bag stuffed full o’ crap was.

      And we STILL managed to forget a sleeping bag.

      We are sometimes awkward with the planning.

  9. Mosquito repellent: $134

    Cooking beans in the can: -8 points

    Getting to bitchslap someone for the excuse that they had a mosquito on them: priceless.

    1. It almost turned into a sport.

      And Child B (the oldest) totally won.

      My money was on the girl child, but she didn’t quite evolve the competitive spirit fast enough.

  10. For a second, I saw the can and thought it was some sort of vase you’d brought camping to decorate with. I was actually glad you cooked your beans in it!

    1. I did think about centerpieces to coordinate with that fetching green vinyl tablecloth, but at the last minute opted out.

      Cause there was no bloody room left in the car.

  11. I’m having a day and it was nice to come and read about your camping experience. I can always count on you for a giggle. I had to laugh at making Himself fall off the air mattress. Totally something I would do. Except that this time it was the toddler in the bed causing all the raucous, not me.

    1. I am sorry you’re having a day. That’s crappy. Anything I can do besides making you laugh?

      And we have no toddlers, only teenagers. Who slept on pads on the ground. So I guess it was possible that one of us could have fallen on THEM, but fortunately for all, that didn’t happen.

  12. i thought you were drinking wine whilst camping? Where’s the photographic evidence? I think it deserves a few points for being highbrow.

    1. We did drink wine, but alas, I did not think to photograph.

      So for all anyone knows, I could be totally lying.

      Coulda been schnapps from a brown paper bag.

  13. I’m with Gigi on the wine. You need to change your points score.

    As for the pollywog? I saw it and thought it was a snake at first! Was going to give you a million points for getting so close to it!

    1. Nope, did not see a snake, although unless it rattled at me it would not have bothered me.

      No wildlife more dangerous than toe-nibbling polliwog.

    1. That thing in the picture is a polliwog – a frog (or toad) in turning from a tiny slimy bulb shaped swimming thing into a larger slimy frog-shaped hopping thing. A tadpole? You probably would have understood the word tadpole.

      Although I guess they’re not really slimy.

      According to Kermit, at any rate, and he is my Expert in all things frog.

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