The weather had cooled since my first dismal camping debacle, and I was not looking forward to freezing my ass off all night while my husband and cats sat snugly under our copious couch blankets and watched an embarrassing amount of Dr. Who episodes. I kinda moped around all afternoon, being vague and wishy-washy, waiting until the very last moment to take off.
It was evening by the time we rounded the last curve of that windy road to Coe. As we turned into the one way road that circled through the campsites, I instantly saw that I had, yet again, made an error in judgement. The campsites were so small, and designed so poorly that they were practically stacked on top of each other. Aaron pulled into my spot and it was so close to the next site that I was convinced we were in the wrong place. But it was getting dark and Aaron had a long ride home, so I jumped out of the car to make the best of things. The only spot in my campsite that even remotely looked liked a tent had been there before ended up being about 15 feet from my neighbors fire pit. There was a woman and two girls tending fire and preparing for dinner and we all avoided each others eyes as I quickly set my tent up.
Aaron left and there wasn’t much to do. I was grumpy and didn’t feel like exploring. Plus, even though there was a shrub separating my picnic table from their fire pit, I still felt like an interloper. I crawled into my tent and began the arduous task of inflating my pad and bundling up in the cheater clothes I brought. (Cheater clothes: clothes I obviously won’t be taking on the trail, i.e. a snow parka, a leopard neck wrap, 3 long underwear and one pair of sweater booties.)
When I was finally situated, there wasn’t really anything to do except play CrossMe on my phone and listen to the people next door. By this time the menfolk had come back from fishing at Frog Lake, and dinner was being served. They were having burritos. I knew this because the guy who sounded like the father of the family kept going, ” Mmmmm…..burritos……mmmmmmmm……..mmmmmmmmm….this is goooooood burritos…..mmmmmmm.” He then waxed nostalgic about his many years of not liking avocados, until one day in his thirties, he had an Avocado Epiphany, and was now enjoying an Avocado Renaissance. He had a lot of opinions about food. Later in the evening I would hear him proclaim, ” Oh yuck, I ate an onion! What a disappointing thing to do!”
The campsites were all full and I could hear people standing around their respective fires and telling tales. I fell asleep to two teen-age boys near-by whispering with bravado about their ‘weenises’ as they pissed into the shrubbery.
My neighbors this camping trip had been loud, but not at all like that other family. For one, they all seemed to like each other and enjoyed camping. And I felt a silly pride for surviving the “critter attack” in the middle of the night. But I still was kicking myself for not taking a bigger chance and ditching the car camping shenanigans for some real wilderness.
- Camping Alone Part One (PCT 2013) (gottahike.wordpress.com)