July 22, 2008

Retelling, remembering, rethinking.

Well I promised a few camping stories, and thankfully I have a few that were blogged already (3 years ago!) so I will make use of a few of those stories. I will regret it though, because some of those stories are full of the irritating or hard part of camping and reading them is making me more leery of going again!

Summer of 2005, somewhere in Colorado.

One day left until we get the cabin, so we drove down closer to Creede. We are staying in 30 Mile Campground, just downstream from the Rio Grande Reservoir, by a rushing stream, tumbling over rocks in a slightly downhill sort of way. (No listening to nose whistles tonight! Charles said it actually is the Rio Grande River, but the dam upstream controls the flow)

We know this because we stayed here in September of 2002, just two spaces down, right beside the river. We were so excited to get a space beside the river…love to hear it, love to play beside it. We set up our tent, fixed dinner and suddenly we realized it was quiet, very quiet. Looking over at the river, we realized it had slowed to a trickle, puddles of water trapped by rocks with 10 inch trout in them! The girls got to touch the fish, but we didn’t eat him…do you need a fishing license to take a fish out of a puddle with your hands? We asked the campground host why the river had slowed down and he told us they were doing some work this side of the reservoir and shut off the flow. I laughed and laughed about that. Never heard of turning off a river! So we slept without the nice roar of the water and next morning packed up to move. Once we were all packed, we realized they had turned the river on again. Our luck! We ended up leaving since we were all packed and we didn’t want to camp by a river we couldn’t count on.

So we arrived today to try out 30 mile campground again and washed each other’s hair with freezing cold well water. We feel much better though and won’t drive people out of public places now when we walk in! My daughter Emma held up a sock out of her duffle bag today after her scrubbing and asked me to smell it and tell her if it was clean, because she couldn’t tell. I told her no, I won’t sniff an iffy-looking sock and besides everything was starting to smell like dirty socks to me. (Did I mention that the cabin has a washer and dryer???)

This campground is much more preferable than our last. The rushing water, other families. Our first campground was a fishing lake and mainly used by retired couples and groups of men who fish. The campground host looked like the Grandfather on Heidi, right down to the Swiss-looking hat, neatly trimmed beard with no mustache, and overalls. He turns on his generator early in the morning, then again in the evening, and plays Swiss mountain music, including yodeling. It makes me want to use V’s instead of W’s and shout from the mountain top, “RICOLAAAAA!”

It also has a nicer outhouse here. I know….nice…outhouse? I am comparatively speaking. This one doesn’t smell too bad if you breathe shallowly, you can’t see the bottom (little scary here, but worth the wondering) and it has two forest service posters on the wall ….one of wild mushroom’s, one big honkin’ one in the middle with lots of little ones that look like they are dancing around it and other types around the edges….and one of wild birds that says, “Thank you for protecting our home.” Nice little birds…and scope for the imagination while ….well…nevermind. ;)

Now back to cooking camping dinners to freeze and reheat out in the wild next week.

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