My Friday was horribly busy. I left home at 6am to head to the airport. I couldn’t sleep on the plane, because I’d ended up in a not-so-great seat; it was the last one available on the flight when I booked. (The very zealous wankers have decided that they don’t need to give their out-of-town OEMs a reasonable amount of notice for travel…thus, I’ve ended up with relatively crappy flight arrangements for the past few trips.) I read HP: OotP in prep for the movie instead. Then, I headed over for a meeting, which lasted right up to the point that I needed to leave to make my flight home. Having been through this same procedure last week, the silver lining of the cloud was that I wasn’t panicked.
On Thursday night, I’d packed my car with all the things I needed for camping. Scott was being picked up at home on Friday afternoon by our friends, and he was bringing the tent and his stuff. So, once I was settled into my (much better than the morning) seat, I called him from the plane to get the best directions possible to the campsite (as he’d just gone to it). He said our tent was a breeze to set up, but that it’s a little small. I reminded him that I’d initially bought it to just be for me, for the Girls’ Camping Trip, and I hadn’t planned it to really be for two people. Anyways, he gave me directions. I finished OotP before we took off, as we were sitting on the runway for 45 minutes waiting for our turn in the usual Friday night EWR line-up. Having no further entertainment, I happily took the nudging of fate to take a nap. I put on my sleepy mask, and the next thing I remember is feeling my ears pop. At that point, I woke up enough to realize both that I’d drooled on the headrest and that we were beginning to descend. Bleary-eyed, I sudoku-ed myself into alertness while we landed.
I bought a large soda from the airport, knowing once I got on the road I wouldn’t want to stop. The parking shuttle bus was blissfully fast as well as populated by several social folks. One guy had just gotten home from a business trip to Myrtle Beach. He had been stuck in Charlotte for a few hours due to weather, so he was thrilled to be home. There were also a group of retirees on their way home from Lake Tahoe. I heard from them that the fires there are mostly under control now, and that it’s not so bad. They were bemoaning their Tahoe timeshare, though. They are up on a ridge, and they said they can’t take the climbing anymore. It was fun to chat with friendly folks.
After a quick pit stop at Ace parking, I started my long drive. Scott informed me that the group had taken wagers as to when I’d arrive. The ETAs ranged from 10:55pm until midnight. The drive to the Ottawa Lake campground in Eagle, WI was pretty uneventful. I had some trouble with the directions Scott had given, although only because I called him at one point and he corrected something in a way that confused me. Also, there was an emergency at the camp, so I ended up kind of trapped between an ambulance and firetruck going into the site, and I eventually had to back up and go around the long way. This is hard to visualize without knowing the campground, but point being, a few things happened that made the trip take a little longer than it should have.
When I got in (Mrs. Two won the betting pool with my 11:37pm arrival time), most folks were drunk/tired, although an India Rails game was in progress. The campers in our group were the Twos, the Moos, and another couple. We’ll call the third couple the Tweets. Anyways, the Tweets were already asleep when I got in. The Tweets and the Twos were sharing a campsite, and we were sharing a campsite with the Moos. The Moos had set up a gaming table (where India Rails was in progress) inside a screenroom, and our tents were both set up as well. After unloading my car, I was ready for bed mostly. I changed into PJs, realizing in the process that our tent was mostly see-through. 🙂 Scott told me that Mr. Moo had convinced him to to put the rainflap on our tent, which was pretty much fine because we are all friendly enough to just yell “don’t look this way” before doing something like changing. The Twos crashed not long after that. Mr. Moo offered me some whiskey, and I took him up on it. I was wired from the drive, and I knew the whiskey would help get me to sleep. Sure enough, after a few sips, I was ready to call it a night. Our friends regaled me with the news of their day so far. Mr. Moo had forgotten to bring their tent, so they’d made a last minute run to CostCo on the way to the campsite to buy a tent (as that was closer and easier than going back home for them). Scott had forgotten to bring our eggs (but had stopped at a store to pick some up), and he later realized he’d also forgotten his toiletries. The most annoying toiletry for Scott to forget is his shaver, as he really doesn’t like to shave with a non-motorized razor, and he gets crazy itchy if he doesn’t shave twice a day. Pretty much everything else he can borrow from me.
We slept pretty well for being in sleeping bags. The Twos had lent us their spare sleeping pads, which were comfy enough, but I began to understand why everyone else had brought an air mattress. I really don’t relish the idea of having to haul an air mattress and pump with me to a campsite though, and Scott is not at all fond of air mattresses. I’ll have to figure something out there, but I’m not sure what the solution will be. I could go with my parents’ eggcrate foam solution, but that’s super-bulky, and the camping stuff for this weekend nearly filled up my car as is. Anyways, we slept well enough. We woke up around 5:30am, both needing to use the facilities. Scott walked with me down to the bathrooms, which were a 3-4 minute walk away. We would have just made use of the woods (as there was a convenient path into the woods that led away from our campsite), but I needed to know where the bathrooms were anyways, so we took a walk. After relieving ourselves, Scott decided to go for a jog around the campground, and I went back to sleep. I slept for another 4 hours…basically until the waking noises of the Moos convinced me to get out of bed. Using Mr. Moo’s propane stove, I made omelettes for Scott, Mr. Moo, and myself. I’d brought pre-chopped peppers, “real bacon” chopped bacon, and shredded cheese expressly for this purpose. Then, we played India Rails for a bit longer until Mrs. Two came over to see if we were up.
We had planned to try out kayaking with the Twos on the lake, so we chatted with Mrs. Two about when to go. We ended up deciding to go later that afternoon, such that I basically ended up just changing into my swimsuit from my pajamas. I gave my hair a once over, but basically, I was still as I was in bed. I sunblocked up (for the second time that day, actually…I use a moisturizing lotion with sunblock in it in the mornings these days…so that was my first dose of sunblock), and Mr. Two gave me a few lessons on how to get in and out of the kayak, how to paddle, and some warning of what it would feel like. Then, we got in the water. I tried to do the real method of getting in and out of a kayak (in which you kind of slide in while balancing the kayak using your paddle), but my arms weren’t strong enough to manage that trick, so I ended up just crawling in while Mr. Two and Scott balanced the kayak. Then, I waited while Mr. Two got into his kayak (I was in Mrs. Two’s kayak). It took me a little while to get used to the tilty feeling, but once adjusted to how it would feel, I got very confident. I was soon stroking away, happily gliding along the lake looking at reeds, turtles, dragonflies, fish, and geese. I did have some trouble on the way back in, because the wind started blowing and thus it became harder to steer the kayak. (The Twos’ kayaks have rudders, but they warned us that most kayaks don’t and so they weren’t going to show us how to use them. We used the pedals for footrests but not for turning. The idea being that we needed to learn how to steer in kayaks that didn’t have rudders. Mrs. Two got spoiled to a rudder early on and she says that she has a very hard time in non-rudder kayaks now.)
Once I got back into shore, I played with the Tweets’ dog for a bit, and then Mr. Two and I went over to the swimming beach to swim while Mrs. Two and Scott went out for his kayaking lesson. 🙂 I swam and talked shop with Mr. Two for awhile…then we came back onto the beach and found Scott waiting for us, ready to take us back to camp in the car. Mrs. Two and Mrs. Tweet had already headed back in the car with the kayaks strapped up top and with the dog in the back.
Now, I do feel that it’s important to note that I re-applied sunblock after getting out of the kayak, before heading to the swimming beach. Nonetheless, it became apparent throughout the day that I had managed to miss some spots on the edges of my back, near my armpit kinda. I’m nicely red on both sides of my back, basically near the normal bra strap line area, but a good bit wider than that.
When we got back to camp, we grabbed our lunch things and went over to the Two/Tweet campsite to have lunch with them. The Moos had gone into town to get a fishing license and then to go fish in the lake. Scott & I took a shower, and after the Moos got back, we all decided to take a group trip to this trail that the Twos often visit that lead to theParadise Springs. The trail has a self-guided tour that you can do which tells you about the history of the site, so that was pretty cool. There’s also lots of places to climb around and explore.
The springs are fast-flowing and come out of the ground at 40 degrees year round. Mr. Two always goes to the springs when they camp up in this area and bottles and drinks some of the mineral water. 🙂 It’s a short and pretty trail to the spring house, which is a ruin from a hotel and bottling plant from the 19th century. There’s also a stocked trout lake there for fishing, and the Moos brought their gear to try to catch some trout. (All of this fishing was catch-and-release, by the way.) We also got to see this pool that used to be a wading pool long ago but now is a hatchery for frogs! And, there like a million little fingernail-sized frogs in the pool. They were floating in the water, clinging to the edge, and stacked four and five high on a floating log.
As dusk started falling and the bugs started crawling, the majority of us headed back while the Moos stayed to fish. Scott & I brought our dinner stuff and camp chairs over to the Two/Tweet site where we were all going to cook dinner and hang out for the evening. I cooked a sweet potato for me, and I made a zucchini packet with seasoning and butter for Scott. We also had brought two racks of pre-cooked ribs to heat up over the fire for our main meal component. I had quite a few s’mores in the evening while we sat around chatting and playing verbal games at the campfire. One of the games we played was “I went to a porn shoot, and I brought…” which was silly and fun. We got all the way through without forgetting anything, of course…although I won’t like that we helped each other out here and there. Let’s see if I can remember the list of things: ascot, banana, carrot, dildo, estrogenometer, finger, grease gun, helium, ice cubes, jack (like a car jack), k…, love (awww…), mammary glands, nerds, orgasmatron, pork tenderloin, Quagmire (giggity goo), r…, syrup, t…, upside down sex swing, vulva, women, xenophobic midgets, y…, and a z… Hmm…so yeah, I can’t remember that much. 🙂
We headed back to our campsite tired and happy. I slept in the next morning until ten. When I woke up, Scott was gone and our campsite looked empty. I needed to do the morning ritual, and it looked like everyone had headed over to the other camp for breakfast, so I threw on a t-shirt and headed down the trail. It was the second time I’d made use of the woods during the trip. Both times, I was smart enough to pee downhill. 🙂 But, this was the only time that I went in mostly bare, and I must admit, it was tons easier without pants around my ankles. Then, I returned to my tent and got dressed, joining the group for breakfast.
After that, we pretty much just packed up gradually and came home. We did make a quick stop at Woodman’s for some of the things that we can only get there (varieties of rice cake chips for me and nifty sugar free ice cream bars for Scott).
And now, I have some work I need to finish up (yeah, I know) before tomorrow morning, so I must bring this long and rambly post to a close. 🙂 I will eventually have some pictures of our campsite, but as I took them with someone else’s camera, it will have to wait until I see that person again. 🙂