Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Camping We Will Go...

First the story, then the photos. The story:

Forever, when I go camping, I've complained about this: When I'm at home and conveniently located directly next to my bathroom, I never have to get up in the night to pee. Yet, when I'm camping, and the bathroom is 100 yards away over a darkened obstacle course of twisted roots and sharp boulders, I find myself having to pee three or four times in the night.

See, getting up to go pee while in a tent is a major ordeal. One must first put on ones shoes, but carefully, so that no dirt gets into the tent. If one is bashful, one must put on more than the boxer shorts he's wearing. (I just go in the boxers.) And one must freeze to death in the wild rush from tent to bathroom.

The last time I went camping, when it was 40 degrees outside, I had to pee three times, and I swore I wouldn't do it again. As crude as it sounds, I would get myself a bottle and save it all up inside the tent. Then, in the morning, I could discretely toss my "Lemon-lime" Gatorade in the trash.

So, last night, I was ready. I had my Gatorade bottle tucked in safely by my sleeping bag, and I was prepared never to leave the tent before the break of dawn. So, I settled myself down and into a deep slumber.

Then, sometime around 4am, I had the urge, and had to get up. Remembering my trusty Gatorade bottle, I reached for it, but couldn't find it. I started patting around all over the tent, trying not to wake the boys, when I finally had to give up and grab a flashlight.

"Aha! There it is!" It must have gotten shoved to the bottom of the tent. No matter, here I go.

Opening the bottle, I realized my first mistake. I had the one of the smaller 10 or 12 ounce bottles, whose neck is only slightly larger than a quarter. Now, lest this blog descend into a different kind of blog with much lower standards, let it suffice to say that I had to be fairly delicate and careful to keep my business "in the bottle" so to speak. And remember, you've got to leave an air hole unless you want compressed vaporized urine shooting out of the bottle upon completion.

Problem number two was that my main goal of accomplishing this all while staying in a half slumber was ruined. There was so much dexterity and thinking involved, that I was now fully awake.

Good thing too, because problem number three came in when I realized that I had a rapidly filling Gatorade bottle, and yet my bladder wasn't even close to empty. Who knew I had so much pee? Really? It seemed liked quite a lot already, and I wasn't done yet!

So, that brought me to problem number four. It is not actually very easy, while holding a brimming to the top full bottle of urine in one hand, and "one's business" in the other hand, to actually "pinch it off" mid-stream. It's actually quite difficult, and takes enormous amounts of concentration. I certainly didn't want to let go with either hand, lest I drop the bottle and spill 10 ounces of urine on all of our sleeping bags, or worse, drop my business, letting loose a fire hose of urine, flapping around the tent like crazy.

These were all the concerns going in my head, when I finally decided to leave the tent, bottle in one hand, abdominal muscles tightened, business dangling free, as Nature intended it.

Ignoring shoes, I headed for the nearest rock, praying nobody was listening, and finished my work. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.... finally. Relief.

I placed the bottle on the cooler. (I simply had to show the boys my "Lemon-lime" Gatorade the next morning. I mean, I am a twelve year old at heart!)

Next time, I'm getting a bigger bottle. Maybe a gallon jug.

Now for the photos:

This first one is a cool 15 second exposure of the kids twirling their glow-sticks.

  1. Here we are just as camp is set up.
  2. The kids wasted no time in finding a bunch of cool rocks to play on.
  3. Here's our tent, nice and cozy.
  4. I did have time for a nice ice cream cone, courtesy of the camp store. (It was my free day, after all!)
  5. I love this picture of Eddie. The kids were all singing, and he was having so much fun!
  6. Evil!

  1. Tiffany had some crafts for all the kids: rock necklaces that they could make themselves.
  2. Meanwhile, Luke, Aiden and Liam were busy churning their own orange sherbet.
  3. Ed and the boys take the first sample. It really was quite delicious.
  4. Later that day, I found Luke keeping Ed some company. Ed told me that Luke is quite a connoisseur of French bread. Luke was waxing poetic about the crust, the proper consistency of the inside, and keeping Ed quite entertained.

  1. Here is our dinner cooking--hobo dinners: Foil wrapped packets of hamburger, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and onions, seasoned and with a pat of butter.
  2. We cooked them for about 40 minutes and they came out perfect! Both boys (even Luke!) ate quite a bit of the dinner.
  3. After dinner, we did marshmallows and s'mores.

  1. Luke had excellent technique on his marshmallow roasting. Just look at that form!
  2. Meanwhile, Eddie preferred the simple squat-n-roast.

As if marshmallows weren't enough, after those, we cooked up a batch of Jiffy Pop. It looks lovely, but it's really disgusting! Well, the kids like it, but with the 3 grams of fully hydrogenated trans-fat per serving, I could only eat two or three handfuls. Good thing it was a free day.

  1. As it got later, we settled down around the campfire.
  2. I had a few "rainbow sticks" that changed the fire color dramatically.
  3. And then, the next morning, Pam and I skipped the camp breakfast and hit the Mountain Gate Restaurant for a disgusting mega-buffet. It's no wonder Americans are so obese: Donuts, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, three types of meat, waffles, french toast, and much more. The only fruit on the whole buffet was canned peaches. But the kids sure did like it. And after that, we were homeward bound!

An interesting footnote on this trip: I was of course wifeless while camping, and Pam was left alone as well because Phil had to work. So when we showed up at the restaurant together, with our five kids in tow, we looked a bit like one of those large Mormon or Catholic families. "Table for seven, please!"

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