Friday, October 15, 2010

Camping, Roughing it, and Inks Lake

When I was a child, I would go camping with my family.  Yes, it's true.  I camped.  In a tent.  I enjoyed it, even.  I'll give you a moment to collect yourself and put your shocked face away.

Here's what I remember from those formative years:
  • Mosquitoes will always get into the tent.  They love me more than any other human I've ever met.  Therefore, camping is itchy.
  • Air mattresses will never stay inflated.  If they do, you will slide off onto the ground anyway. 
  • No matter how smooth and perfect the ground looked before you put up the tent, there will be a collection of pointy rocks right where you want to sleep after you put up the tent
  • If I stare at my bobber attentively for 3.5 hours, it is inevitable that it will bob in the two seconds that I stop to scratch a mosquito bite.
  • Blue Gills like to bite your toes.  This is why I don't like to swim in bodies of water where I can't see all the way to my toes.  I'm sure the fact that my brother would torment me with stories of giant man-eating catfish has nothing to do with it.  Mostly. 
  • Inks Lake has more visible wildlife per square inch than any other place I've been.  One afternoon we saw deer, owls, toads, chipmunks/ground squirrels, regular squirrels, hawks, water moccasins, and something else... most of those critters tried to share our camp site.  It was exciting only because none of those things had more than 4 legs.  4 is my limit of legs for things that I like.  0-4 is good.  More than 4 is dodgy, and if you've got more than 6, I'll probably squeak in a wholly undignified way if you get within 36 feet of me.  Just so we're clear.
  • Once upon a time ago, Bisquick made these shaker things of pancakes.  You poured milk into a little yellow plastic container, shook it up and voila!  Pancakes!  That's roughin' it.  Pancakes on the Coleman stove. 
  • The things inside lanterns that create the light look like baby's socks.  They are not baby socks.  You can not take them out of the lantern and put them on your baby doll.   
  • Mummy bags are warm, and fun to hop around in, because then you don't have to expose any skin to the air that's less than 72°. 
  • A motor boat is a very expensive, though effective, hair dryer. 
  • I cannot water* ski. It is a skill possessed by all my family members... except me.  I can, however, find new and exciting places for lake water to go.  My sinuses were squeaky clean, that's for sure!
  • If there is a difference between a ground squirrel: and a chipmunk... nobody cares. Since the difference isn't as important as the one with the rhyme about the snakes where one kills you & the other is harmless, I tend not to care.  Well, Alvin & the Ground Squirrels just doesn't have the same ring to it, but both of them really like Planter's Dry Roasted Salted peanuts, so there's that.
Ground Squirrel




*Snow skiing, however, I was passably good at.  I mean, intermediate.  Blue squares didn't scare me.  Black diamonds did.  And anything with moguls.  Why would I purposely want to ski over speed bumps?

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