Tuesday, August 04, 2009

May Update #3

I am not a camper.

Since moving to AZ I have felt compelled to at least attempt to be an outdoorsy girl. I wanted to be social when people invited me to go hiking, hit the lake, go camping, etc.

Except I am not one of those people. I have tried. Hiking around here isn’t all that fun. It’s hot, it’s brown and there’s not much to look at other than rocks. I spend so much time looking at my feet, that even if there was something to see, I’d miss it.

As for camping, our Carpenter family reunions every other summer involved meeting up a campsite in the White Mountains of AZ to spend a weekend together. My family always traveled from Oklahoma to AZ, and we never wanted to haul any camping gear with us. My mom’s version of camping at the family reunion means calling the nearest Marriott property and booking a room. Worked for me then, works for me now.

Somehow I became a co-leader of a camping trip to Sedona on Memorial Day weekend. I figured I could handle one night (I could shower just before leaving and just when I got home), put up with awkward bathroom situations just once, and enjoy the scenery of beautiful Sedona, which is considerably better than the Phoenix desert.

Friday night the journey began in terrible traffic. We took side access roads as long as we could, until they ended and turned us around completely. Way to go detour….

We inched our way along Route 89 north of Sedona, looking for our reserved spot in a campground as the rain came down. As we turned left into the site, Adam realized he had overshot the entry way and had to come to a stop to reverse and pull in again. Except the oncoming traffic, not going that fast, maybe 35-40mph, didn’t acknowledge us at all and was headed straight towards me, sitting in the front passenger seat. Our car of friends behind us shielded their eyes, waiting for the collision. Thankfully, it didn’t happen. But close!

It was dark and drizzling as we unpacked the car and attempted to set up two tents. We were able to buy dry firewood from the ranger and started to build a fire. And we tried. And we tried. And we tried. And really only got some tiny flames and a whole lotta smoke. As a girl who doesn’t camp, I can tell you I’m only there for the s’mores. I didn’t even get one with a hot melty marshmallow.

The bathroom situation – probably the most disgusting I’ve seen in a long time. If only my bladder were slightly larger, I wouldn’t have had to experience that hole in the ground. Ewh. Ewh. Ewh.

Finally I called it a night, and snuggled into the down comforter I brought from my bed at home, since I am sans sleeping bag. It rained on and off all night, yet I only got cold once.

Morning came too soon; everyone made fun of me for being the last one up. My idea of enjoying nature is lying in a tent or hammock and looking outside, not necessarily going on a hike at 7am. Nevertheless, I got up and we set off on a hike. A very muddy hike. I got halfway up the hill and called it a day. The view was lovely and the only thing higher up was a whole lotta mud. I turned around and headed back to base while most of the gang continued up. Their return on investment was marginal. I always know when to end a hike, it seems.

We packed up and headed into town for some sightseeing and food (and real bathrooms). Sedona was crowded as usual, and full of over-priced weird art and vortex crystals. We grabbed lunch at a Mexican joint and got back in the car to head home just as it started to pour.

My once a year camping trip was over…and I survived.


nerak said...


I'm with you on the not-a-fan-of-camping thing. 100%.

aware said...

I still think I can convert you.

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