Sexy Beast is back from the body shop after taking a vicious hit to the back quarter panel from a driver backing out without looking. Very traumatic but she is now as gorgeous as ever and raring to take an adventure, so off we went to camp this weekend on the coast by the Olympic National Forest.
“This looks like the trail” my wilderness wannabe hubby boldly proclaimed as he proceeded to lead us into the dark forest as sunset approached on the very trail where cougars had been sighted earlier, a warning that folks smarter than us had heeded as we saw no one else on the trail. However as the trail abruptly ended and we pondered our next step, I suddenly had a new appreciation for those hikers I had previously labelled as “stupid” who get lost in the wilderness and need to be rescued. It can happen. Did we pack water, snacks, bear repellant, etc. when we set out for our hike? NOPE. After we decided we weren’t on the “real” trail and instead had ventured down a game trail that the deer had made, we bushwhacked out with me growing ever more hysterical that we would not make it out alive. Finally, sweat pouring off us as we jumped downed trees and scrambled out of the thick fern undergrowth, we emerged onto the road where not 20 feet away was the sign for the real trail, which I chose not to take back to our tent and instead we hiked back to our campsite by the roadway. Sure, we could get hit by a car but at least we wouldn’t have a cougar rip our throats out. Win. Who knew camping was this fun? Glad I bought that flask which I put to good use as soon as we got back to our tent.
My NYC born and bred husband has always been fascinated by the great outdoors. We even lived on a mountain for a while in Idaho (his dream) and he got to camp to his heart content, hiking up into the mountains to fly fish on a regular basis. By himself, of course. I on the other hand, a Hoosier raised in the heartland of Indiana, have never embraced the camping culture. Sure, I appreciate the great outdoors from afar but sleeping in a flimsy tent with strangers close by and animals wandering around who could select me for a tasty meal has never been attractive as a vacation alternative. Roughing it for me is a 3 star hotel. But love conquers all and Thom likes to camp so I thought we would give it a whirl. Life is short and all. So, I got a used tent from the company buy/sell site and picked up 2 sleeping bags at Goodwill, not wanting to invest a lot in what could be a one and done experience. Getting an awesome camping site is quite difficult so when a guy was selling his reservation at work that he couldn’t use, I paid the $56 for 2 nights and considered it fate. Time to camp!
Come to find out, that dirt forest floor is damn hard. We had taken yoga mats to put under the sleeping bags (city folk) and no pillows as we had little space for supplies since we were driving Sexy Beast. There would be no stove to cook food or make coffee. Thank God we are not foodies as sandwiches were on our menu for the next two days. Yes, people in the Salt Creek Campground on the Olympic coast were walking by our campsite staring at our teeny tiny car and wondering who would camp in such a vehicle, most of them driving the more sensible option of a Subaru or truck. Not us!
The first night was rough needless to say ending in the morning with my pronouncement that we would either go pick up air mattresses and pillows in town or leave immediately. Off to Wal-Mart we went to the monster big box, which I hate to patronize but desperate times call for desperate shopping. Inflated and filling up the entire tiny tent, we slept so much better the second and final night-my max camping experience is limited to 2 nights. One can only eat so many s’mores and take woodland hikes of terror. Yes, it was mighty beautiful and we had a great time but I do appreciate my view apartment with indoor plumbing and our memory foam mattress even more now.
On the way home, we stopped at a lovely lavender field near Sequim and blared the Black Keys as we drove with the top down and enjoyed the sunshine. Heaven! One odd sight while we were still driving in the heavily forested area was the preponderance of Elk Crossing signs. Now, I’ve seen lots of deer leaping signs but not many elk ones and after we saw a few, we actually came upon one that was flashing warning lights. WTF! Do the elk hit a magical forest button when they are approaching the highway so motorists will stop for them as they cross? Is there a Kinect hooked up that scans their body type and sets off the alarm? Really, I want to know what/who activates those flashing lights for the elk??? I will have to investigate and find out the story behind those flashing lights. Someone has to know the woodland creature warning back story.
Now we are home and enjoying having James back from Madrid and the start of the Dem Convention. Go Hillary!