Monday, September 24, 2012

Oh Shenandoah

This summer as my one concession to Mr. Awesome's dream that we become "outdoorsy" we spent the night at Shenandoah National Park or, as he liked to call it: camping.

If it were up to him we'd drive a Subaru and buy all our clothes from L.L. Bean. Alas, we drive a Hyundai and own not one article of L.L. Bean finery. The poor man had his hopes mercilessly dashed when, on looking through our closet one day, he found my obviously well-used hiking backpack and jumped around in expectant joy only to be told that "Oh that was from India, and the months I spent there pretty much met my quota of "outdoorsy" living, we will not be walking the Adirondack any time soon." His desperate pleas of "But look, I have one too!" and "Check out this tent, though, look we already have a tent!" and "But maybe the Northface stuff is on sale?" went unheeded. Puppy dogs eyes and long sighs notwithstanding, I can be pretty heartless when questions of peeing on trees and smelling like a campfire for days come into play.

And then, one day, for some reason not even I truly remember, I caved. I would allow one night in the outdoors. One. We would go someplace pretty with a legitimate campsite (with modern toilets!) and I would consent to sleep there ONE night. Then we would come home and I would fumigate us both to within an inch of our lives. Before I knew it we were getting daily packages from Amazon with random camping equipment that he was absolutely sure we would need. Matching mess kits, thermal sleeping bags, cooking gear, knife sets, fire-starter kits. Eventually I had to forcibly remind him that we are going to a campsite for an overnight, NOT scaling Mt. Everest.

The camping itself went just as you would expect it to go. In fact, the following conversation pretty much sums up the first day of our stay:

Me (standing in the middle of the campsite, trying not to touch any plants at all and staring at the "Beware of Bears" guidelines in horror): WHY are we here? What is it about this camping crap you like, again?

Him (artistically stacking the fire wood in the pit): I don't know, I guess I just like...roughing it.

Me: Roughing it? ROUGHING IT? We are ten feet from our car with a bag full of hotdogs and marshmallows and there are flush toilets within easy walking distance. This is not roughing it. This is the equivalent of staying in a cheep hotel where the other guests pee on the walls before leaving!

Him: So...lunch then?

But anyway, some photos:
This deer was equally unimpressed with the accommodations. And then he started chewing on them. Also, why was he so close to our campsite? Does he not understand common rules of privacy? Rude.

This trail looks innocent and such, but then it's all "Here, let me give you a giant snake right were you were about to put your foot. You're welcome." Rude.

See Mr. Awesome. See Mr. Awesome roughing it. Rough it, Mr. Awesome. Rough it.

Did you know, if you stand in front of a waterfall and close your eyes and focus really hard, you can almost imagine yourself at home taking a hot shower? True story.

Later I climbed up the rocks next to this waterfall and sat there pondering the cruelties of life that had brought me to this dirty, damp, probably tick infested point in my life.

Would you believe me if I told you I also climbed this waterfall? No? Rude.

In all honesty, it was kind of gorgeous and peaceful and heavenly and not at all as horrible as I'm making it out to be.


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