Disclaimer: This post will be wildly dramatic, sarcastic and hyperbolic.
It is a widely known fact that I am what some would call a “girlie girl.” I wear dresses or skirts every chance I get. I love painting my nails, wearing cute headbands, shopping, twirling. I have tiaras on my desk as decoration (and I occasionally wear them–no judgement). I am what you would consider an “indoor” type of girl as well. I love staying a posh hotels with ornate furniture and architecture. I love the look of crisp white sheets under a fluffy duvet. I love having afternoon tea in the hotel lounge and people watch the people out on the streets. So it is pretty safe to say that I am not what one would consider a camper.
I mean really, the idea of sleeping on the ground, outside, in the middle of nowhere with the slight chance of there being toilets is completely ridiculous. I feel like the comedian Jim Gaffigan says it best:
This weekend, I was not a happy camper. Literally. I slept in a sleeping bag, in a tent, outside, in the middle of Southeastern Missouri. The closest toilets were a good walk away, in the woods, where you couldn’t see the camp by the time you reached them. I went with my fellow RUFfians, which, had it not been for them, I would have been miserable and who knows what might have happened.
I was slightly subdued by the gift of Reese’s s’mores (use a peanut butter cup instead of Hershey’s–SO MUCH YUMMIER), and with a sugar coma approaching, I went to bed Friday evening with the hopes of sleeping well. Wishful thinking. Why? Have you ever felt the ground? It’s not soft. It’s also never really flat. There are always slight bumps in the land, and no matter how flat it looks, there’s always some sort of slope. Plus (and my mother can attest to this) I have never enjoyed being swaddled, so being stuck in a bag without the freedom to stretch my legs and arms as I please is far too constricting and obnoxious. Not to mention, I have never met a sleeping bag that didn’t make me sweat. We were not sleeping in the arctic, I do not need that much warmth. It was still in the 70s that night.
The next morning, after a tumultuous and unrestful sleep, I awoke with the sun beaming into the tent. That’s another thing: I am not a morning person. I am a night owl. I stay up late and sleep late. Early mornings are never a good time for me. But when you camp, it’s impossible to sleep in. Nature won’t allow you. And I don’t think that’s fair. I need my sleep, especially if I’m up late the night before (sugar rush, remember?).
Saturday we were to take a day long canoe ride along the Current River. I had never canoed before. My idea of boating is a cruise to the Caribbean, not a wobbly metal boat known for tipping. But, as I had mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to be more involved in RUF this year. So I clambered into the darn canoe and set off. Soon I would realize that I was, in the most realistic sense, up the river without a paddle.
Within five minutes of setting off, we crashed into the bank, tipped the canoe and I was sent off down the river like a pinball bumping into every rock and log along the way. Fears were even more increased when I looked down and saw minnows swimming around me, just waiting for me to slip back into the water, where they were sure to devour me, as all fish are just wishing they could do.
After a heated fight with my equally scared and frustrated friend, we managed to get back into the boat and back on the river. Tempers cooled and we soon hit our stride, beating every other canoe to our stopping point. Score one for the underdogs.
Still though, Pocahontas should have prepared me for the perils of white water canoeing (There were rapids. They were little, but they were there. Don’t argue). At least Flit the hummingbird should have chirped a warning at some point in the movie. I guess we can’t all be super awesome Native American Princesses, can we?
In all seriousness though, I did have a good trip. No, it was not the best conditions. My friendship with one of my best friends was seriously tested. I almost died. I have bruises and cuts all over myself. But once I got the hang of everything I actually was able to enjoy myself. I was able to spend time with awesome people, in beautiful scenery. And knowing that I wouldn’t have to camp or canoe again for a long time didn’t hurt either.