~~~if you follow my blog at all you would have seen earlier today that I accidentally deleted this post. And if you all know me well you know I kinda have a tendency to fly by the seat of my pants often and sometimes regret that about myself. example at the first of july I deleted over 350 photos off my phone by mistake. Some kids think that if you delete something that no one will ever see it again...WRONG!! I have proven twice in the last couple of months that just because you hit delete it isn't always gone forever. I got all my photos back. Well more like over 2500 photos that I had taken and deleted on purpose and today after a bit of searching recovered the wonderfully awesome story of Nikki and I's camping experience. while there are not any pictures with the recovered version I can add them back in at a later time. and I will. Just not today. I need my own laptop for that. Thanks for hanging out with me on this crazy ride I call life. I love you all~~~ tc
Back in April I was browsing a popular social network and came across Nikki's statement that she wanted to take the boat and go camping on the island at the lake. Well as crazy as I am sometimes I replied to her post with "if you wait until Sunday evening I will go with you" Of course I wasn't thinking she would say yes. No one ever agrees to do something that works with my work schedule so I was sure she would say no that she was busy. That was not the case. She thought that was a great idea and happily agreed. She talked to uncle Mike and he agreed to let us use his boat and and text me to let me know that all we needed now was a tent. "What? we're in luck...We have a tent." And so would begin the best adventure I have had so far this summer and it wasn't even summer just yet. After work on Sunday I rushed home to throw all my camping gear and my clothes into the truck to head out for some fun. I am sure that Stephen was thinking I would never make it all night in the woods at the lake by my self. People I work with were asking if I was crazy because well most of the people I work with don't seem to know how to have any fun. Work is all anyone there thinks of. The only reason I think of work is because I need some way to provide funding for all the crazy things I think up. Maybe some think I need to grow up because life isn't all fun and games but really it should be. You can't go through life worrying all the time. And if this is what you do you need to take a step back and ask yourself: Why? Worrying sucks the life out of you. People get so wound up worrying about making a living they forget to live. Well not this girl. I want my girls to grow up and look back and say "remember all the crazy things mom did with us when everyone else was working." like this past Monday, we just jumped in the truck and took off to find some geocaches in the middle of no where.
Anyway...man I get sidetracked so easy.
Our camping trip. After work I got my stuff stopped at the store to grab some stuff for hot dogs and s'mores. Who goes camping with out s'mores? Right...NO ONE and if they do they're not enjoying camping to it's fullest. I got to the lake about 7:30 and we load our things in the boat (tons of stuff for one night) as we were about to leave to put the boat in the water Nanny said "you all want the lighter fluid for starting your fire?" Nikki replied "what we don't need no lighter fluid. We'll use leaves" a mistake...I mean really this is Nanny Fern. I was around in the "old days" when my entire family went camping ya know way back there before anyone of them had grown up enough to afford all the fancy campers and travel trailers they have now. This woman knows how to camp. She married a Hilton for crying out loud. That's what they do. Camp! (and buy lighter fluid in the biggest bottles offered at the store). So we get to the little island (which with the low water level of the lake was more a peninsula than an island) to camp and the water is so shallow that we can't get close enough to land so we can get out without getting wet as the water in the lake still feels like ice burgs are floating in it. So we head for a nicer looking spot down the way and we cant get close enough to that spot either so we head to the other side. Surely there is someplace to pull close enough right? We get to the other side and where the water use to be is nice and flat for a tent and the water seems deep enough to get the boat close enough to get out with out getting wet so we pull up and just under the water is this nice bed of little pebbles and mud. It looks as if we are close enough to the bank to get out but we're not. Just a few more feet so Nikki puts the boat in reverse and it refuses to move(aiming to back up and try again to get closer). We can see through the water near the prop and there is plenty of room it isn't stuck in the mud but we're still not moving because the front of the boat seems stuck. Nikki gets out (remember ice burgs could survive in this water) with toes freezing tries to push the boat off the bit of mud it's stuck on without any luck. So in an effort to help her out I kick my socks and shoes off roll up my pants a bit and get out into the freezing cold water to help push. I have a big ol' butt so well...the boat would be lighter....no it didn't help.We decide that since we are running out of daylight and we don't have a fire built or a tent put up that I should go ahead and build a fire while she gets the boat unstuck. I'm walking up and down the bank collecting perfect little dry tree limbs (twigs really) that seem just the right size for kindling and we are laughing. Not just a little laugh here and there but laughing and asking our selves "what in the hell were we thinking?" "we don't camp" "we are spoiled we camp in big double slide camp trailers with all the luxuries not tents with no electric or water" "what were we thinking" I can not even tell you how many times one of us asked that question while trying to build a fire. I had collected lots of little pieces of wood for our fire and Nikki built us our own little fire ring while I got the tent out of its box. Stephen and I keep our tent in a good sized Rubbermaid box. Its a good thing too because the spot we picked as our camp site seemed to be in the windiest spot on the entire lake. I just keep laughing while fighting the tent and the wind and I keep checking to see how the fire is going...it isn't going. We laugh and laugh and laugh and when I say we I guess it must have just been me because it was around this time when Nikki asks "why do you keep laughing like that?" My answer is "because the sun is all but gone it is completely dark out here and we still don't have a fire or a place to sleep." I got to learn something new about myself...I laugh when I'm nervous & scared. I laugh a lot! I guess its because if I don't laugh I'll cry. who knows. But for a girl that won't even walk outside of the light circle of the porch light this was a HUGE step for me. I abandon my tent responsibility to help with the fire because what good is the tent if we have no fire, we can't eat, we cant see...we need fire! this is the funniest thing ever, Nikki and I huddled up around the little fire ring and pile of sticks with two of the littlest lighters in the world trying to block the wind enough to get a stick to catch fire. Yes a stick because this spot we picked out to camp has no leaves. Did you read that last part. NO LEAVES! how are we suppose to start a fire with out something to burn long enough to catch the sticks on fire. So here we are all bend down trying to block wind with our bodies and the lid off the box that holds the tent and the only thing getting burnt is our fingers from these tiny little lighters. we go over to the side of the hill beside us to try to block wind and light this stick on fire. who knows how we would have kept it lit as we walked it back to the fire ring in the wind but we weren't thinking about that. when i glance up and see all this dried grass at the edge of the rocks. DRY GRASS WOHOO!!
We start gathering up dry grass and and go back to the fire ring tucking it into our tiny stick tee pee we made and again attempt to light this fire. It worked finally we finally got the grass to burn long enough to catch the little sticks and then the bigger sticks. It was a very small fire but it was a fire. i don't know why we were so relieved to have the fire done but we did it without help and with out lighter fluid (we will take that next time though) So we go to set up out tent. Turns out the tent is pretty easy one might say idiot proof. We got it up put our things inside and got out our food to make some dinner. It was so nice just sitting there talking, slapping bugs off each other and roasting hot dogs on a fire we made ourselves. it was the best tasting hot dog ever. (just saying...THE BEST)
About 2 bites into our dinner we hear a noise. it is coming from the woods on the hill to the south of us. we can't see anything. I mean complete darkness is what we see when we look to where the noise is coming from. it sounded like footsteps and bushes rustling something was up there. I was thinking deer maybe, it sounded like lots of footsteps but it really was more than likely a raccoon or armadillo or opossum. who knows but when I heard the noise I gave my hot dog to Nikki an told her i would be right back. I took a gun with us just in case. I know how to shoot, Stephen has always been very good at making sure his girls know how to handle a gun. But in the hustle to build a fire and set up the tent I had forgotten about the gun until I heard noise. It was that moment I felt the magazine full of bullets in my front pants pocket. Awesome, a little relief except...the gun was back inside the tent in my duffel bag. So yes I handed the hot dog to Nikki and told her I would be right back. I stepped into the tent dug into my bag found the gun and as I was standing back up and slapping the magazine into the handle of the gun I am turning around and OMG! NIKKI DON'T SNEAK UP ON ME LIKE THAT! I HAVE A GUN IN MY HANDS! Ok maybe I didn't yell (maybe I did) all that but those words did in fact come out of my mouth. I didn't even know she had gotten up and came into the tent with me until that second. I never heard her. Her answer was "you left me out there with that noise" We then start laughing again...guess we were nervous or scared(or both is more like it) We went back to the fire and sat down finished our dinner and started roasting the marshmallows and made s'mores. As long as we kept talking we seemed ok. the gun was sitting near just in case. But while eating our s'mores Nikki says "can we finish this inside?" because whatever was making that noise was still out there. We had left the big flashlight in the boat and now it was too dark and with the noise out there neither of us was willing to walk to the boat to get it. We had 2 tiny flashlights and the flashlight on my phone we kept shining them in the direction of the noise but could not see a thing. I mean nothing.
This is a picture outside our tent with our lights off. NOTHING BUT NOISES!! no way in the world for us to see what was really out there. So I look at Nikki and ask "you want me to shoot in the direction of the noise? I have 7 bullets. There are no people or houses out here, maybe it will get scared and run away" She replies with "NO save the bullets in case we really need them" and again with the laughing.
We were in the "safe confines" of our tent (without the rain top on because we couldn't see to put it on) with the stars shining down on us, talking having a great time just visiting. Then we hear something else moving around. Only this time it was closer, we can hear the rocks right out side our tent moving. Something was just on the other side of the tent with us. I am whispering to Nikki and she is whispering to me..."you look, no you look. I'm not looking you look" this goes on for a moment and we decide that if we just keep talking we wont notice it. but whatever, every time there is a pause in conversation (even short pauses for breathing) we hear noise. Well we keep hearing noise because we are in the woods. Again, what were we thinking? We kept getting that feeling you know the one. The one that feels like someone or something is watching you. Yea that one. We then decide that we need to be brave enough to turn our little lantern on bright and put the rain top on the tent. Not because it will rain but because we don't want any animals watching us sleep. Yes, crazy I know. But at the beginning of this story I told you I was crazy and Nikki that poor baby got every bit the crazy I did from this family of ours. I don't think crazy is like twins...it doesn't skip generations. (in this family anyway)
With the top in place we head back inside to lay down and try to go to sleep. We talk about tons of stuff. I love that about her and I. Just like sisters. So were just talking and talking and soon I begin to realize I seem to be the only one talking. So i stop mid sentence and ask her "Nikki are you sleeping?" well of course she didn't answer because yes she is asleep. Well great, who is going to talk me to sleep now? I reach out above my head and remind myself that the gun is right where I can reach it. And I start counting...with the covers pulled over my head and trying not to think about the fact that I am the only one awake in the woods with the animals...well just great. I finally did fall asleep I guess I was sleeping pretty good. At some point in the night I did wake up, I don't know why maybe my body wanted to get up and go to the bathroom but after remembering I was in the woods it decided I didn't need to pee after all or maybe it was the moon which happened to be nearly full and it was shining right in the crack between the tent bottom and the top we put on. I mean I am not going out in the dark in the middle of the night with the animals to pee, so laying there trying to fall asleep again I hear birds and frogs and lots of noise. It is never really quite out there like that if you stop long enough to hear what is around you. and I am not saying I believe in all the stories of Bigfoot or anything. I have never been one to believe that stuff although I love watching those shows on tv. You know the ones where they gear up with cameras and infrared equipment...yeah those I love to watch that mess. And in those shows they always tell you that the Bigfoots (bigfeet? Who knows how to make that word plural) anyway they tell you how they hit logs on trees to communicate or hit large rocks together and such. Well i was laying there in the dark listening to the sounds of nature when all of it seemed to stop...I'm sleepy, and in the dark alone with my imagination (and i have a great imagination) I heard all the noise stop and I heard rocks knock together.(STOP LAUGHING AT ME I said I have a great imagination and that I watch TOO MUCH TV) at that point I pulled the covers over my head again and just shut my eyes. I didn't want to hear another thing. Next thing I know its morning because the sun is coming up and it is bright and shiny inside the tent. Knowing that Nikki has to get up and go to work we get up and around pack everything up back to the boat and back to Nanny and Mikey's camp (the real camp with power, running water and a nice noise proof travel trailer) :) We made it. We stayed a whole entire night at the lake on an island in the woods with only God knows what is really in those woods...just sayin'. But we did it. There may have been a moment of weakness where we thought we needed to go back...after all Nikki said we just had to make it until dad (uncle mike) went to work because mum (nanny) wouldn't tell anyone we came back early. Well I know how everyone likes to pick at us and I know how none of them thought we could make it out there so we chose to prove them all wrong. You wanna know the most crazy part (yes even more crazy than some make believe monster knocking rocks together) the crazy part is we both are ready to do it again. We had such a great time we want to go when we can stay longer and actually get to enjoy more daylight hours and fish and hike and have fun. We will. We just have to find a few days where we are both off work at the same time. And we are working to fix that.
Now that you have had a super amazing laugh pick yourself up off the floor remember get out and try something no one else thinks you have the balls to try. Prove them wrong! And have a great time doing it for when you're sitting around a camp fire with the rest of them (yes the same them that didn't think you could do it) you will have one hell of a story to tell and you will enjoy telling it again and again and when you have grand kids you will be able to tell them about all the fun you've had. (probably you should leave out the part about Bigfoot, they might think you are nuts, it's ok if they think that though because you had a blast right?) :)
I love you all thanks for reading.
Have a great Saturday