Sunday, September 14, 2008

The end of an ERA..

26 years. We bought her new. She was deluxe. State of the art...huge by 1982 tent standards.
She had rooms and a floor. It was a good floor...nice windows.... compact (for the 80's). We have camped in our canvas tent every year at least once, and several years we have camped numerous weekends, especially when the kids were young.
This weekend, we headed to Keji to spend the weekend with two very good friends and their families. Keji is one of our favorite camping destinations, filled with nature, peace and tranquility. We have hiked almost every trail, except the "over 20km" trails and the Mills Falls trail. We haven't even found that one yet!

And, like last summer, our camping adventure with Jill, Mel, Meleigha and Tyler, started off with a damp and drizzly night putting up our camp gear in the dark and then feasting on a big pot of rice jumbolaya... We added in the Griffs on this trip, to change things up... cause we wouldn't want to change the habit of camping in rain, now would we. The evening was looking like it would be cut short due to rain, but through perseverance and stubbornness, we waited it out and ended up with a lovely campfire and a late evening after all. Saturday morning was a FEAST of food for breakfast... yuuuummmmmy... eggs, ham, toast, potatoes, beans, and friends to share breakfast with! oh, and RAIN. We ate under the glow of blue tarps. the weekend had so many similarities to our trip last summer, it was uncanny. The biggest difference was that our little "beginner" campers from last summer are now EXPERTS in tarp hanging and have acquired several amazing camp props to help with life on the ground! I was totally jealous of several of the tools and gadgets. The Griffs are somewhat new to camping and certainly know how to keep the camping gadgets to a minimum. They were able to transport their entire living quarters in the back of their matrix while the rest of us caravaned down the highway toting utility trailers piled high with gear. What the Griffs lacked in "extras" for camping, they more than made up for in the size of their air mattress, hee hee. Glorious and comfy to say the least. But all the height and beautiful of a deluxe air mattress can not protect you from the MEGAPHONE snorer that slept in the campsite next to them! Even we could hear that fella, and he was two sites away from us and across the ROAD! Actually, I did hear Gilles mention, not once, but twice, that he might like to have a utility trailer!

Highlights from the weekend were first and foremost... the meals. We all took turns providing for each other, and when all you have to make is one possibly two meals the whole weekend, you sort of put your best effort forward. THEREFORE, we ate better than any royalty in England! We had Spanish Rice Jumbolaya, with brownies for dessert. We had TWO mega breakfasts including french toast, bacon and coffee with Baileys on Sunday morning. We had homemade soup, rolls and brownies for lunch and a fun and filling meal of tacos and fajitas, with three different desserts!!!! The other highlights were the wild life, the trail and the games. We had a stimulating game of RUK-SHUK before supper and of course an over the moon game of Dice. Ty Ty lost this game to Meleigha and tried all weekend to get us to play again to redeem his title but it just never happened!
So back to the start of my blog. Saturday, long after the campfire burned out, we made our way to our tent. Mollie was stiff and sore from her hike and swim in the lake. She hobbled into the tent and planned herself in her spot right in front of the door. We cleaned up our site, and got settled into the tent, and the final task is to zip up all the flaps and front door. That's when the zipper gave way... totally pulled off the track and lay ruined. We both tried to get it back on but to no avail. Our night was spent with our front door wide open, to the dampness and dark. Mollie slept in the doorway, which we covered with the porch flap, but it didn't keep the dampness and cold out. We have had to make a few repairs to the door over the years, but the zipper was definitely getting weaker, and I could feel it coming. I slept with one eye open, because I had visions of a night critter sneaking around the campsite and Mollie catching a scent and taking off out the door!

We have decided to retire the canvas tent and look at getting a new, modern tent, that we can stand up in, and is water resistant and light weight. I know we can get the zipper replaced but its time to give her up. I am sad in a way but excited to see what's out there for tents. We sure liked the look of Griff's tent and Mel/Jill did too. We may end up with matching tents.... then won't the keji patrons have something to gossip about.!


ancient one said...

Poor,poor, tent. LOL.. You really know how to tell a story.

I know you will find a wonderful new tent to have the rest of your adventures in.

Sounds like all of you had a great time.

GailM. said...

It looked like fun, even in the damp weather. The food sounds amazing...(I'm on day 8 of my minimal eating plan) What is she holding in her hand... a little frog? I love the nature part of the camping experience, but I don't think I could sleep with a tent anymore... Are there any bears in your area?

SAM said...

I love camping...nick and I had to break down and buy a new tent this old one from when I was a kid...was put up at keji last summer and had a hole in I understand how you feel about sleeping with one eye open! hahah We had a similar experience last summer at keji!!! but we upgraded this year....and even got an airmattress, we felt like we were living large when we went on our honeymoon....and had all the new camping gear!

Heather said...

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