I've already used the title "Why I Could Never be a Pierson" and it would apply here too. As a refresher, the Pierson's are a branch of my family, namely a bunch of cousins - Jon, Dan, Rob, Liz who are all VERY outdoors-types. I'll never understand. I pay my hard earned money towards a mortgage each month so that I can sleep in a BED, with a perfectly good ROOF over my head.
I can only remember one other time that I tried camping, it was probably around 1994 or so with my Kenny Rogers Roasters crew, I will now see how many names I remember in case they ever google themselves (say hi!), this will be fun - Nicole Bradley, Dawn Bradley, Amy Swisher, Michele England, Poppy Bilbra-Jacobs...somewhere I've got a picture of all of us (holy crap I found it!!!! Wow, you probably know how it is, when you see a picture of yourself from about 15 years ago? All I can say is wow) Anyways, it was in the middle of nowhere in Southwest Virginia, we rolled in in my yet-to-be-named FSU-Jew-Mobile (my dinky garnet Plymouth Horizon). We got there, setup a tent, took a picture and that's all I remember before it started DOWN POURING. So we threw everything we could in my trunk and everyone came back to my parents house and we used the basement as our campsite...complete with a functioning ROOF! Not to mention air-conditioning. I haven't had any desire to try camping again since.
My friend Rory recently graduated from, well, some kind of advanced schooling to get her PhD, sorry for not knowing all the details, I don't get paid to write this crap! For her graduation party she invited a bunch of people to go camping at Lake Allatoona (which is only about 30 miles from my perfectly good bed). But, as a good friend I agreed to come...for the day. There was an evite and everything where I made my intentions clear that I'm only going for the day and that anyone else who wasn't a camper was welcome to stay at my place. Apparently that decision was overturned and I was going camping overnight. I soon realized I wasn't getting out of this. So I sucked it up and would give it a try. Tracy came into town from Jacksonville, Kim - and her boyfriend Michael and his boat - came in from Birmingham. Tara and Jason were going (but Tara used the 7-month's pregnant excuse to get out of camping...I was jealous). So it would be fun, a lot of my friends were going.
The first mistake I made (besides agreeing to go) was to drive Tracy to the campsite. Something bad ALWAYS happens when we go places together. Off the top of my head, a few incidents - She blew out a tire on I-20 driving back from a weekend in Tuscaloosa; driving back to Jacksonville last summer, a truck spilled oil ALL OVER poor little Vickie. Tracy will happily help me name some more incidents I'm forgetting. As we're driving up to the camp-site, on (the) 75 (why are interstate's only preceded with "the" in California?), we heard a noise at one point. Looked back in my rear-view and didn't notice anything, kept driving, assuming it was nothing. A few miles later we got off the interstate and onto some windy roads when driving got a little tougher. I just figured it was because there was a ton of stuff in the trunk maybe. We pulled into the camp site visitors center to check in, then when pulling out of the spot, guess what!!!!
Of course! A flat tire! Not just a flat tire, the tire was barely even on the rim even. Now, we're on a mountain, I was parked in a spot that was on a bit of a hill, so I had some trouble getting the jack to do it's thing. It slipped off about 3-4 times and about a half hour before I finally gave up. Rory's sisters' boyfriend (did I get that right?) managed to get the car jacked up (sounds funny) and he changed the tire in less than 5 minutes. Not the first time I've been bailed out in a tire-changing situation!!!!
So after installing a poor little donut on Vickie, I let her chew on that for a while and threw all our crap into Jason & Tara's car (nice timing by the way! They showed up just as we were done!) and headed to the camp site. Things calmed down for a bit...settled in, grabbed a beer and setup a chair and just sat there. I guess thats what you do? It was cool though just sitting around...at least it wasn't too hot out, there were plenty of trees and we were right by the lake. So all was going well, I did pass on the opportunity to go on a ride on Michael's boat, especially knowing Tracy was going...something bad was bound to happen :)
The most fun was probably watching Rory's friend (and my soon to be kickball teammate) Joel's dog swimming. (To clarify Joel's dog is not eligible for kickball I believe) That dog probably swam more in the few hours we were there than I may have in the last 10 years. It was also fun watching him and Rory's dog Piper go after a frisbee in the water. Especially when they finally gave up fetching it and we got to watch the frisbee slowly but surely float away. Eventually I did get in the water for a bit, then decided I'd even go on the next boat ride. It soon became evident that someone didn't want me on that boat. Almost immediately...in came the clouds. Dark clouds. Even though the radar was clear (OH! Tracy brought her laptop, you know...like a true camper!) We all know that the weather-peoples are never right, so it became obvious that the sky was about to explode all over us. First came the clouds, then came the wind, the thunder, the lightning, the rain...and just for the hell of it...let's throw in some HAIL for good measure. Luckily we were able to make our way to a bathroom facility in the middle of the campground site. The power was out, so it was pitch black inside the bathroom. I will admit this was a better situation than 2 weekends before when I was stuck on Pensacola Beach in a lightning storm with just an umbrella protecting (or, NOT-protecting) me! But the combination of those two weekends got the best of me...I had enough, I did NOT want to be there anymore. After the storm finally passed, they managed to get a fire going and I got a hot dog out of the deal before I got the hell out of there. If I had stayed, I know I would've been miserable and probably ruined it for other people, so I took one for the team and left with Tara and Jason, who took me back to poor little donut-wearing Vickie and then followed me back, going about 45MPH on "the 75". Ughhhhhhh! So I'm officially 0 for 2 in attempts to camp. Which reminds me of my favorite Bush-ism..."There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." Well, I got fooled twice now...shame on you Rory!!!!!!
Here's all of us...I still don't understand why everyone's so happy? If you look carefully you can see some hail on the bottom left...I think