Return of the Dirt People

Camping has one ultimate purpose: it lowers expectations. I am profoundly grateful for the possibility of hot water in the shower.

My gratitude list:

  • I can find the bathroom. Night vision goggles not required. There’s no slithery hopping in the dark, trapped in a mummy bag, hunting for a bar of soap to rub on the kazillion jammed zippers between me and relief.
  • There is no daily orientation to my neighborhood. Houses do not arrive late, under cover of darkness, and spring fully formed into existence, to mess with your internal ability to find the bathroom at 2 am.
  • I realized I have an amazing capacity for love. Shaun asked me what I was doing: my arms were wrapped around the fridge, shoulders heaving. (Separation Anxiety.) I was whispering softly, “Ice will never replace you.  Never“.
  • When I shift in the bed, there’s no ricochet: Shaun doesn’t instantly crash to the floor.
  • Nail. Polish.
  • No music wars. I don’t have to pretend I can’t hear booming hip-hop/rap music full of F-bombs, B-words, rage, and general misogyny.  I heart Rancheria music. I am one with the Ooohm Pah Pah.
  • Nothing feels difficult.  Noth. Thing. My life is ridiculously, sublimely, easy.

Forget the micro-dermabrasion. Camp at the beach, slather on the sunscreen, cover self head to toe, and face into the wind. Sure, some particles will permanently embed.  But they’ll look like cute freckles on flawless skin.

I can report:

  • My Skunk Karma appears to have been downgraded to Gopher Karma.
  • I got to experience Vulture World, the theme park.
  • Beans are good.
  • Doritos are better. Combine them  in a bowl, and even Bobby Flay would die from taste bud explosion. (My camping experts, Daisy’s niece and nephew, suggested crushed Cheeto sandwiches. Being Cheeto-less, we used their invention as a springboard: gastronomic genius.)
  • Our dog is brilliant. He can unzip the vertical tent zipper AND the horizontal tent zipper.  He had nothing better to do at 2 am.
  • Tent material has little sound proofing ability.  Other tent campers do not appreciate dog food being rattled in a tin bowl  at 2:05 am, by a crazy woman shout-whispering “CHRISTMAS, COME!”
  • Camping with party tents has an upside: they’re all passed out, making it easier to find a black dog in the dark. (The splashing sound helped too. Creek: 3 feet behind tent.)
  • Sleeping in the car with a wet dog isn’t as bad as you’d think.

It was GORGEOUS.  No fog.  Not one day. If it weren’t for the total lack of smog, dangerous surf and jaggedy stuff, I would have guessed Southern California.

This was written on the sand when we woke up, a small prayer of thanksgiving to a big world.

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to be continued…(trust me, there was so much I took notes.)

5 thoughts on “Return of the Dirt People

  1. I’m glad you had fun… but mostly, I’m glad that you’re back (for totally selfish reasons!). I have to admit, I sullenly clicked away from TLH on Monday after realizing that it wasn’t going to be a Murphy Monday…. Can’t wait to hear about the Gopher Mafia!

  2. See, I’m telling you, if you like camping you’ll love endurance! All the modern conveniences of life are so overwhelmingly wonderful when you finally limp back home. I also have an amazing capacity for love for my shower!

    I went camping last weekend too – I need to write it up, thanks for the reminder 🙂

    1. Shaun asked me, while we were camping, “If you could do anything at all, what do I want to do when we retire?” I wasn’t sure what she meant. She made it specific: “What thing would you try, if you could, when you retire?”

      Instant answer: endurance. 😉

      Not Tevis endurance, logging miles with friends endurance!

      It wasn’t exactly the right answer. I think the right answer contained Hawaii and lolling. It was difficult for her to imagine wanting to actively endure after retirement.

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