Monday, July 26, 2010


I immediately hopped out of the Camping Truck with my camera, laughing.  I had spent about three days trying to fly to Albuquerque for this camping trip, had driven about 80 miles up the side of a mountain, prepared to help raise the Vacation Lodge mega tent, pee in a field, gather wood, and as my reward, lay in my sleeping bag and look at the stars in that huge sky with no light pollution.  Susan, on the other hand, was in shock, staring out the window at the STOP sign, sputtering a few unintelligible words.

Time to regroup.  And we did.  I said, "I saw another campground a few miles back, want to try that?"  And not having fully recovered yet, she said, "Yeah."  So we backtracked to the next place, found the gate open, and drove in.  It was pretty but crowded, and eagle-eyed Susan immediately knew there was no water.  We had to have water, there were no two ways about that.  We stopped and talked to a couple on bikes who confirmed there was no water, but told us about the campground at Lake Vernon State Park, if we were willing to really make a drive and go over "unimproved mountain roads" to get there.  We were willing.  We had a gigantic tent to put up, a tent that had never been out of the box, the box in fact still factory sealed, and the sun was starting to drop pretty quickly.

Once we saw the signs to the lake, and drove for about three miles on a washboard dirt road, at about five miles per hour to keep from ruining the suspension on the Camping Truck, soon realizing this could not be right, we found a nice woman walking out there in the middle of nowhere, I decided she must have been an angel, and she directed us back the direction from which we had come, and about thirty minutes later, we actually found the campground.  

Lake Vernon, well worth the few hours it took to find.   

 After several laps around the campground, pretty large, really, considering we had no idea it was there, but thankfully fairly empty, too, we settled on our wilderness home for the next few days...near enough to an outhouse to use that, but out in the middle of a meadow of wildflowers and near a stream that was gorgeous.  

We set about removing said Vacation Lodge from the box and began laughing as we laid out the tarps and took a look at the directions for raising the tent.  On the box it said, "Five easy steps."  Of course if Susan had seen the directions INSIDE the box first, she would never have made the purchase, which, in my way of thinking, was sort of trickery.

At one point, we picked up the tarps and began trying to figure  out how to make a lean-to for the night, because no way were two small girls going to be able to reach the dome of that tent to put it up.  As we were contemplating our dilemma in our shorts and our smiles, a second Camping Truck pulled around the curve and we heard, "You girls need some help?"

Were we going to say "No?"  Now this guy was like a knight in shining armor to us.  We cracked open a few Bud Lights, and the three of us went to work on that tent.  I would hammer in a stake, say, "Sip break!"  And we would all take a sip, or a gulp (it was getting hot out there).  Someone would push a pole into the right flap and say, "Beer break."  But eventually, our house was constructed of bricks, we found out when a mountain wind storm blew through about an hour later taking everything with it except, what do you think?  Our tent!  There she stood, so proud.  

Before the knight left us, we did introductions, and I swear to God this is true...his name was Roland.  From near Denver.  So if Roland somehow reads this blog, THANK YOU AGAIN!

The weather we were starting to worry about before Roland showed up.
And that's it for this chapter.  As you can see, the tent was awesome.  We were quite proud of it...

And later, the adventure begins...


Tracy said...

For God's sakes that tent is huge!

Magpie said...

OMG! I am so jealous! Look at that scenery and knights and everything. Awesome. You're brave though...I'm thinking bears. Don't leave us waiting long...keep telling your story. :)