Jason.

Yes my love.

Let's go camping this summer.

Fuck. Here we go again. The joy that is camping.

The adventure begins a few days before hand with the planning of the meals, the purchasing of the essential hot dogs, steaks, chicken, bread, paper plates, forks, spoons, knives, eggs, sausage, bacon, cereal, milk, potatoes, chips, soda, graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, battery's, propane, fishing line, fishing lure's, bait (live and not live), fishing license, sunscreen, toilet paper, paper towels, ice, ice, ice, booze, beer, and bug repellent.

$200 later you get home and stuff all of that shit into a refrigerator that is already full of other shit, giving you no room to put any of this shit. You stay up way too late the night before, packing too many clothes, medicines, tools, tents, tackle boxes, fishing poles, tarps, tables, chairs, grills, stoves, blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights, pots, pans, water, water containers, towels, brooms, rope, and coolers.

The big day arrives at Oh God Thirty. You get up, do a last minute pack of all your toiletries, remove all of the food from your over-stuffed refrigerator to the awaiting coolers and pack them with ice that you bought too much of the day before.

The vehicle is packed, you lock the doors and begin the long journey to the gas station up the street to fill up on gas and coffee. From there you hit a fast food joint for breakfast, ignoring the $200 worth of food you have sitting 3 feet behind you.

As the journey begins from the fast food joint towards the mountains for a weekend of joy, you remember that you forgot to bring along some random item that is imperative to the survival of a suburbanite in the woods. So the inevitable last minute Walmart run occurs whilst driving towards the mountains.

At this point you have driven a total of 10 miles are an hour into your trip.

You drive and drive and listen to your favorite radio station fade away as they move further and further out of range. You don't want to talk to your kids or wife, so you pop in a CD which contains music they all hate, which soon gets replaced with one that you hate because you are overuled.

A few hours later, you arrive to the campsite.

You don't want to "rough it" too much, so you opt for a paid site. You shell out cash to some creepy guy living in a trailer for the privilege of renting a small piece of dirt and a circle of rocks for 3 days.

5 hours after packing all of that shit into the vehicle, it is now time to unpack all of it. The ice has already seriously melted in the coolers, so you drain it out in order to prevent your cold cuts from becoming water logged. All this does is create a patch of mud for your kids to get into.

Because it is now mid afternoon, it is time for a beautiful mountain rain. At this point you have two options:

1. Get back into the same car you just spent 5 hours in

2. Suck it up and pitch the tent with a sense of urgency.

You opt to stay in the car. 15 minutes later, the rain passes, the sun comes out, and you begin the age old tradition of pitching a tent - in the newly formed mud.

You unravel the tent, break 2 plastic stakes while securing it to the ground, and argue with your spouse about how the tent poles are supposed to be used to bring the tent to life. You argue because you threw away the directions last time. Fuck it, you did it once you could do it again from memory. You are a man.

30 minutes later the tent is up because you listened to your wife's advice about how it supposed to work. You unload the truck with all of the bedding and start putting it into the tent when you realize that you did a shitty job sweeping all of the dirt out from last time you used it.

You get the broom and sweep. You lay out all of the bedding and put your bags of clothes in the corner you claim for yourself - careful not to touch the sides of the tent as to prevent leaking.

It's now past time for lunch. The family is hungry and you didn't think ahead to just make sandwiches rather than purchase the ingredients for them. You unpack the food make the sandwiches feed the kids and send them away.

Just away.

You finish personalizing the campsite with hanging tarps, towels, and water containers while setting up chairs and supplying the fire pit with wet wood you gather from the nearby forest because you didn't think enough to just purchase some at Walmart. You also forgot the lighter fluid - and you were never a boyscout so now you're really fucked.

The campsite is now customized and early evening has arrived. You managed to finally get a fire going but you can't enjoy it because you have to now make dinner. You fumble through bags and coolers and boxes to obtain all of the necessary items to make a dinner. Once dinner is made and consumed with a large amount of dirt, you must clean it all up. You are getting low on your water supply so you take your water container and fill it up 1/4 mile away from your site and endure the smell of the outhouse as it slowly fills. You decide to go to the bathroom while your there, and well...I'll just leave the horrible details that involves to your imagination.

You lug the fucking water container back to the campsite and encounter a family in need of smores. So, you start digging into the bags and boxes again to withdraw the necessary ingredients for this ritual. You get the graham cracker and load it up with a cold piece of hard chocolate. You take the marshmallow and toast it up as you describe for the 1 millionth time about how the best way to make a toasted marshmallow is to use the coals of the fire, not the flame. You are man of legendary proportions.

You accidentally catch the fucking thing on fire, blow it out, and stick it onto the chocolate covered graham cracker. MMMMMM....cold, hard chocolate with charred marshmallow between graham cracker crust, eaten with filthy hands. Some traditions just need to die.

You finish this ritual and send the kids to bed, chocolate covered and sticky. They fight - you eventually win. FINALLY you have some time to sit by the fire and enjoy a nice drink or a cigar or both.

Quiet time. THIS part is why you decide to camp. THIS is what it has all led up to. Peaceful, popping sounds of the fire, wind flowing through the trees, stars in the sky. Ahhhhh....

15 minutes later you get bored and tired because you have been so conditioned to relax in front of a TV or computer. You put the fire you spent a half hour trying to build out because Smokey the Bear will murder your ass in the night if you don't.

Off to bed. You try to settle in with a flashlight whizzing about in the tent. You take off your disgusting clothes while bent over trying not to step on your kids sleeping face. You take your contacts out with filthy hands and place them nearby. You lay down, get under the blankets and realize there is a big fucking rock right under your kidney. You strategically maneuever your way around the rock by sticking your ass into your spouse. Right about the time you finally begin to drift off...

"Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom"

......The next morning you wake up to the intense blinding light of the sun coming through the top of your now wet tent. The clothes you are going to wear are wet because you had them sitting agains the "wall" all night. You manage to get up, get dressed, put your contacts back in, open the tent, and step outside.

Time for breakfast.

Essentially the days to come repeat themselves, but with the added pleasure of not catching any fish and 17 runs to the overpriced camping store for overpriced ice. So much for that $100 you spent on a fishing license that no ranger checked you for as you systematically failed at angling.

On the last day you pack all of your shit back up, in the rain, and drive back home. You stop for gas and feel like a transient as you walk into the store covered in dirt, worm guts, smoke, and rain. You finally get home after another 5 hour drive with everyone in the car sleeping but you. Lucky bastards.

Time to unpack all of your shit. It is right about then that you realize that you spent about $300 to work your ass off, not take a shower, and NOT catch any fish.

Princess, I have givin it some thought. You can kiss my prissy American ass. We are NOT camping this summer.

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Comment by Jason M. on April 12, 2010 at 7:46pm
You see! Camping is just wrong! Mud, Rain, and dirty f'ing hippies! LOL
Comment by Jason M. on April 10, 2010 at 9:18pm
I'm glad you enjoyed that :) We used to go up to Black Canyon Lake outside of Payson before it burned down. Since then we usually go in and around the Payson area along the rim.

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