When I was 12 years old, in an attempt to unite our stepfamily, my mother and my stepfather packed up my stepfather's camper, loaded us into my mother's station wagon and took us up to the Adirondacks for a week.
My mother, my brother and I had never been camping. We didn't really "get it." And on the shores of Lewey Lake, quite a few memorable moments occurred:
1. Continual rain. So much that we wore rain slickers. Somewhere, there's a picture of me looking like a miserable duck.
2. My stepfather bet my brother a dollar that he couldn't finish an entire pot of weirdly starchy spaghetti. (I think there wasn't enough water or a pot big enough or something to do with the camping stove.) My brother, not wanting to lose a bet, ate every bit and then puked everywhere.
3. My stepbrother chased a bear cub up a tree. Thank god mama bear didn't kill him.
4. Someone got a hold of fireworks, set them off and we were almost kicked out of the park. I may be revising what really happened, but I think there was a bribe involved.
5. I got 67 mosquito bites. (An actual number - not just a guess.)
Clearly, my parents weren't experts at uniting a stepfamily. But the point is that my first camping experience didn't exactly evoke a love for it.
Nonetheless, I'm going camping this weekend. I've gone a few times since the Step People incident and it's been fun and thankfully uneventful. I'm heading up to Big Bear with N and a bunch of his friends. Last year we went camping at the beach and had a blast, so I'm expecting more good times with this crew in the mountains.
How do you feel about camping? And why?
8 months ago