Saturday, September 26, 2015

Labor Day 2015 - A Camping Adventure

This year has been insanely busy. Nuts. We've rarely been home on the weekends, didn't have a summer party, and didn't get out camping once. So we promised each other we would find a new, quiet campground for a few days over the Labor Day weekend. I did the research, and decided on The Cove Campground - it appeared to just what we were looking for.
Little did I know just how perfect...
Napier Sportz SUV Tent 84000
So we packed the Jeep with gear, cooler, food, games, and a brand new tent that connects to the tailgate. It's huge! Naturally, I waited until the last minute to order it, so it arrived the day before we left. When it was raining. Set up at the campsite would be the first time. Adventure!! 
Bella Settles In

We also had a guest for the weekend. Little Bella! I was concerned she might be unhappy with the whole camping scene, so I brought along Langley's camping kennel (which Langley refused to ever use) in hopes it would help. In no time, she had made her tiny self right at home..She's four months old and never needed to be leashed while at the site. She stayed right by us the entire time, and would come back when called if she strayed a bit too far. I may kidnap her yet...

Food -

 I think we packed when we were hungry. Bad move. We had way too much. We could have fed two other sites. We forgot basic things. It was like we had never gone camping before. On the other hand, I had wanted to try out new things. We had crescent roll wrapped hot dogs over the open fire that were pretty good. Also these:
  I scooped out the fruit from the orange peel and loaded in the dough, wrapped it all in foil, and made cinnamon rolls in the hot coals of the fire.
Meh. They were okay.

Campsite - 

We thought the site itself was perfect. Lots of room and a little out of the way. Easy access to water: one lake and one pond on either side of us. It felt so good to swim in a lake again! You could see the dirt road a little through the trees from our tent. I was hearing what I thought were 4-wheelers alot, but I couldn't ever see them. There were a lot of them.. We bought some firewood and cranked it up the first evening... It was so nice. We cleaned up after dinner and when it got dark the dogs decided they would go in the tent to bed. I pulled out the game table and tiki torches and proceeded to get my ass beat in Yahtzee. It was just the kind of camping evening I had hoped for.

Then it happened.

The first bees started dive bombing our fire and tiki torches. And not just any bees. GINORMOUS MUTANT MOUNTAIN bees that were living in the trees. Seriously, almost 2 inches long!! That's when the camping casualty occurred. One of the kamikaze killers attacked my wife. It bored a hole in her arm that immediately started swelling. Our stellar communication went something like this:
Her, hopping around shaking her arm: "ARGH!! I'm stung!! I need ice!!"
Me: "You got stung?"
Her, now staring at her arm and wincing in pain: "YES!! I'm stung!! I need ice!!"
Me: "Seriously? You got stung?"
Me:  "ok."

The next day her entire forearm was really swollen and bright red.
Me: "OMG. Should you go see a doctor? That looks painful and nasty!!"
Her: "Nah. I'll just keep an eye on it. I'm going fishing."
Me: <<blink>>

Medical people baffle me.

Offroad -  

The morning of the second day I realized there was more going on at this campsite than I realized. There were groups of offroad Jeeps heading out into the woods!! W H A T ?!?!?!?!?!?! I went back to the front office and they explained this campsite had hundreds of miles of jeep trails of every technical level used by several different groups on the weekends. In fact, the next weekend they were hosting 3000 jeeps for an annual jubilee!! Holy Divine Intervention Batman! So while Melissa sat by the pond, the puppies and I went exploring. It was so awesome that I made her come with us the next day. Man, it was a little scary taking my Jeep through some of the trail. Some of it was steep! We followed this beast up the trail to the overlook. The driver said she had bought it for herself for her 50th birthday. I had seen her husband in it earlier - looked like a lot of fun.

 I couldn't believe what these folks could do. There were boulders as big as my tires strategically placed by the shower house to square off the parking lot. HA! One guy drove his jeep up onto the rock so his right front tire was on top of the boulder and parked liked that!! I wish I would have had my camera for that one. That was awesome rebellion.

Last Straw - 

In the evenings, we had developed a routine of Mutant Killer Bee Management.  While annoying, we had figured out how to contain the disruptions to an acceptable level. Basically, Melissa would jump out of her skin at the first indication a bee was in the area. That was my cue to move the tiki torch to the ground, grab my Quadratec Catalog and roll it up into a weapon, and wait for the inevitable kamikaze to dive into the flame. Buzzing through the flame caused them to fall to the ground for a hot second, stunned but still buzzing. That's when I killed them. This dance would happen about 4 or 5 times for the evening, so not so bad.
The last night, a young guy with a spray can came by "Is someone here complaining of bees?" We had mentioned it to the office staff the day before, so maybe we were the "complainers". We pointed him to the tree. He sprayed it and left. The Ginormous Mutant Killer Bees did not die - oh no. But they DID get pissed!! It was so ugly that we ended up closing ourselves in the tent for the night. We could hear them bouncing off the tent as they tried to go for our light. ((shudder))
It was time to go home.

The next morning we tore down the site - surprisingly got that tent back in its original bag and everything! I want to go back, bees or no bees.... Well, preferably no bees.

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