Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm not dead...yet (part 2)

When we last left our group of intrepid campers they had just been informed that they would have to move their camp site.

Because Mel was so busy arguing his point about how we should still be able to camp there, I took lead position again. I took Nicholas, Felicia and Amy with me, got into my car and drive up to the designated campground. We had two things going for us. First, that it was first come first serve, so that meant we might still have a chance at getting a camping spot even though we had no reservations. The second was that it was early enough Friday that the weekend campers might not have arrived yet. Luck smiled upon us and we were able to find to suitable camp sites right next to each other. This also meant that we would have to take up a collection to pay for the camp rental.

So we pack into the car and start driving back to our original ‘camp site’ when I notice that Mel’s car is creeping up the hill, before I had left I had told the campers to go ahead and start packing up all the little stuff, the foods, clothes and like and then also take down the kitchen that we had made in the creek with all the perishables. With as many people in the camp as there were, this shouldn’t be an issue…

Mel had taken a different approach. Instead of pitching in and helping all the campers break down their stuff, he had just grabbed his own loot, tossed it in his car, grabbed his daughter S and Tanner and split. I angled my car to make him stop and pulled up next to him.

“What’s up?” Me

“Well, seems like the other kids were hungry and instead of breaking stuff down the campers decided to feed them. So nothing was getting done, I grabbed my stuff and left. I’ll meet you at the other camp.” Mel

And off he went.

So basically, for Mel, it had gone from a group campout to a free for all in the matter of twenty minutes. That also meant that his taking his vehicle before everyone was packed meant that we would have less space to work with when breaking down the rest of the camp and trying to move it. I’m frustrated.

I get back to camp and the kids are goofing off instead of helping pack. I’m already at my limit and it’s not going any better. I wrangle the kids and have them start putting stuff together and loading it onto my car and Joseph’s so that we can start taking it to the new site. We’re going to try and keep the tents up and just tie them to the tops of the cars, pray to God that they don’t get ruined.

Then the Ranger comes back. His name is Larry. I say this because he shows up in my life a few times during this little expedition.

Larry comes back to check up on us because Mel left, I’m the leader of the tribe now, it’s just the way that it is. I take responsibility for the misunderstanding about the camping spot and let him know that we’ve already found two sites up top and are just getting stuff ready for the move, with the loss of one of the vehicles it’ll just take us a little longer.

“Well, I’m here to help. How about we strap those tents to the bed of my truck one by one and get you guys where you should be?”

Can you say, Woot!? I knew that you could!

Larry makes three trips for us with our tents, making sure to drive them to the designated camp site that we had already talked about before he leaves with them. In the meantime that leaves Joseph, Nicholas and myself at the original camp site, finishing up and just watching the tents until they get moved. We loaded up Joseph’s car and sent the girls up with the kids to figure out what’s what.

This is when I get a new nugget of information that I wish I had known a lot sooner.

Mel suffers from several different aliments. I didn’t get a list and I didn’t ask honestly. I DID learn that the gentleman had on a patch. The patch carried a morphine dosage of 250mg. It seems that he has it on all the time and it impairs his vision and alertness, this would explain the weaving in the road. This would also explain why he had no clue as to what he was doing and somehow he had managed to lead this little group of wayward travelers. Again, not amused.

So as you can see, this is coming to a boil and it’s only the first day.

Now, you all know this is my SECOND camping trip. The reason I’m even GOING is because of Amy. So let me give some background.

I’ve been hanging out with Amy for the better part of a month. She’s a pretty cool chick. She’s in AA, has been for 10 years. Active in the social work part of the whole bit, a bunch of sponsees, club activities, blah blah blah. She’s very smart and a great cook. Like I said, a pretty cool chick. Thing about meeting someone new is that you try that person on like a glove. You want to know if you’d mesh in the long run. You want to learn about what they believe of life and love, religion and politics. You want to know if they’ll have a sense of humor early in the morning or if they’ll understand if you just want to sulk after a long day at work.

This camping trip, in a lot of ways, this is the final test. We’re both inquisitive so we’ve spent hours talking about nothing and everything; we’ve spent time learning the little glitches of each other, the happy points of life and the tough points that make us who we are. However, this camping trip, this is no holds barred.

So you can imagine, the fact that there’s so many other people there, really, it’s not something that I was expecting. In fact I wasn’t keen on the idea of taking anyone else but her service work took precedent, so I caved.

I don’t mind telling you that I’ve, at this point in the story, already dropped two hundred dollars on the trip. Between food, propane and gas for the car. The collection that we took up for the food and stuff for the camping trip somehow netted us a whole 20 dollars…I had to flip the rest… for the whole group. When the whole, we need to pay and additional cost for the camp sites issue came up, everyone cried they were broke…. Okay, so I take on the cost. Now we’re at 250.

This is only F R I D A Y.

The rest of the night went without issue. Already I’ve got a storm cloud over my head. I’m not a stingy man by any means of the word but I’m starting to feel a bit taken advantage of. Still, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt. After all, tomorrow’s Saturday, it’s a new day and absolutely anything is possible!

Man, I know how to put my foot in my mouth….

To be continued.

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