Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back from vacation:
Reentering the atmosphere

It's hard, you know? We've been on the road, our little unit of three, and it's been tough to give up our vacation routine for our everyday home one. I love to sleep in a tent (and sometimes under the stars), cook on my Coleman stove, go to bed early and wake with the sun, and spend days hiking and teaching my daughter about the outdoors.

Thank goodness I had Husband to engineer such a disastrous last night that I was thankful for a roof over my head and my own bed. I was going to write a post titled something like "My husband is an idiot: Parts 1 and 2," but I'll try to be gracious and spin this in a positive way. After I finish describing the horror. Since Part 2 happened most recently, we'll start there.

We were on the last night of our two and a half day run home from Montana and stopped where we had spent our first night, at a wild hot spring outside Wells, Nevada. The springs are about 10 miles out of town, and the rancher who owns the land is pretty generous about allowing access to and camping on his land. In spite of the fact that this is one of the best wild hot springs I've ever been to (no sulfur stink, clean, uncrowded), I was dubious given that we had been driving through thunder storms much of the afternoon, and the sky over the canyon were we were headed looked ominous. Sure enough, we had barely driven in and picked our site before the rain began. Figuring we might as well keep warm and not worry about whether we were dry, we headed up the canyon on foot to wait out the storm soaking in the spring. So far, fine. The water felt great, and it was fun to be out in driving rain, watching the lightening and counting until the thunder boomed through the rocky canyon.

But here's where the problem began. Husband insisted "This is a thunderstorm! It will blow through! And maybe rain just a little bit more." I countered with "These are not thunderheads. Do you notice that the sky is black in three of four directions? It will stop, but then it will continue to storm." Guess who was right?

The rain did stop, and we took advantage of the break to make dinner. I mean I took advantage the break to make dinner, the wind blowing up my skirt with every gust (be glad I'm not showing you a picture of that!).

It did not get any better. Do I look happy?

Husband at least had the sense to place that beer in my hands. 

As usual, at least someone had a good time. The water in the creek that ran past our campsite was heated from the spring, and the current provided endless amusement for Sophie.

By the time we finished dinner, Husband and I were polarized. I preferred the idea of getting a room in town, reasoning that we could always put sleeping bags on the bed if the rooms were not up to snuff. At the least, we should get the tent up before the next downpour began. Husband insisted on staying in the canyon, refusing to put up the tent because he is an asshole he thought it would not hold in the wind (yes, we had stakes and line). He said he had an idea, which was to stake down overlapping tarps over our bags. In a moment of genius, I insisted he blow up the air mattress, not for comfort but to keep us off the ground and perhaps drier. I was pretty pissed, and he knew he had to give me at least this. 

I have to admit, his timing was good. Not a minute after we staked the tarps and squirmed in the thunder exploded and the rain hammered down on us. All night long. Not amusing. I don't consider myself claustrophobic, but having a tarp two inches from my face and pinned down on all sides had me on the brink of a panic attack half the night, especially when a hot flash struck. The only thing remotely amusing was the the one person who got wet when Husband's little system failed was Husband himself. Ha! At about three in the morning he announced "We're leaving! When the rain breaks next, we're out of here!" I pointed out that Sophie and I were at least dry, that we were not going to try to drive out of the canyon in the dark, and that we were not going anywhere. We stayed.

And in spite of how crappy I felt from an almost completely sleepless night, I couldn't argue with the beauty of the next morning.

Pictures of the spring itself in a later post because Part 1 of Husband's idiocy takes place remarkably at the same place. 

Did I say I was going to spin this in a positive way? I did. We were happy to arrive home, the horrible night dulling the pain of reentry into our home life. And Sophie was the first to spot this welcome sign:


More vacation blathering later, featuring the Tetons, Yellowstone, and Montana and including wild flowers, various wildlife, and a very proud national park Junior Ranger.


KK said...

That picture of you is priceless. You are the fourth person I know who vacationed in Montana and the Tetons this July. Weird?! :)

Mrs.Preppy said...

Sounds like you had quite an adventure!

Tracey said...

This sounds remarkably similar to a camping "incident" I had with my husband last year! Except there was snow involved. Aren't men fabulous?!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

Sounds like it was a harrowing night -- but at least you got a good blog post out of it! : )

BTW, I made your blondies for the first time on July 4, and have since made them four more times for my family and friends. They're incredible! Thanks so much for sharing!

Brianne said...

Welcome back! In spite of the incident on the last night, it sounds like you had a good time.

Belle in Bloom said...

Hysterical. Welcome back! I LOVE the pic with you and the beer. priceless. I also love that you came home to figs. Love it! Can't wait to hear more about the trip. :)

The Preppy Peach said...

Glad you're back, I've missed your posts!

I can't believe the camping disaster. I'm not much of a camper (my ideas of roughing it is a hotel w/o room service). The one and only time I've truly camped (crica 1996), I blew a fuse at the campground with my blowdrier, lighted makeup mirror, and hot rollers!

Mom on the Run said...

Well, after three or four camping trips just like that (seriously, if we needed rain when I was a kid, the townsfolk would send my family camping), our tent poles twisted from the wind, my dad three sheets to the wind, watching my mom work her @ss off cooking and trying to keep us "clean" (because my dad was three sheets to the wind and is a clean freak), I really don't have much desire to sleep under the stars. Ever. Seriously.

But I'm happy for people who do it and I wish I had that kind of fortitude to go for it (my J2 camped for a month in N. Minn and Canada dragging a canoe).

We went to the Tetons and Yellowstone in June. We slept at the Four Seasons.

Angelina said...

What an adventure! I'm not very outdoorsy but I would love to swim in the spring and I do like campfires.

What a happy sight to come home to.

The Mrs. said...

I am not one to camp but re-entering after a vacation is tough!!! Glad you're back though!

Jackie said...

The Figs are back! I love the outdoor roughing it stories as I myself couldn't last a day :)