I never, ever thought I would say this, but I love to go camping. I find camping one of the most relaxing things to do. No phones, no computers, nothing except you and the great outdoors. The only thing you are concerned with is shelter, fire and food. Camping was something I never did until a few years ago. My bother and his wife asked me and LP to go on a weekend camping trip with them. Neither LP nor I had a tent, but my brother said he had one we could borrow. So LP and I decided we would give it a try to see if we liked it. The trip was all planned out and we were to camp Friday night, Saturday and return home Sunday.
Friday came and after work, I packed up some food, a cooler and blankets. LP packed the rods and reels and bug spray. We loaded up LP’s car and headed down the road to our destination. It started thundering and lightening and raining so hard we could barely see the road. We had to roll up the car windows because the rain came through even the smallest crack. About half way to the campground, I started smelling this pungent, unfamiliar odor. I sniffed and I sniffed trying to figure out what this strange smell was, but I had no idea what it could be. The smell was giving me a headache, so I finally looked over and asked LP, “What is that smell!?” The smell was a gallon sprayer full of Malathion, which is a bug killer, that LP had put in trunk of the car.
As we were getting closer to the campground , the rain was still coming down pretty hard, and that damn smell was about to make me sick. Every time we thought the rain would stop, it would start raining harder. After two hours into our journey, we finally arrived at the campground. It was about seven o’clock and the downpour had turned into a drizzly. At the entrance of the campground, there was a stop sign with a sign below it that said, “All vehicles must stop”. My brother had already made reservations and he and his wife had been there for a while, so I didn’t see the need to stop so I continued on past the campground office. LP looked at me and said, “Aren’t you going to stop? It says stop.” I said, “We don’t have to stop; we’re already checked in. If they don’t like it, they can chase me with their golf cart.” So, I continued to drive through the campground until I found our campsite. My brother and his wife had already set up camp and even had our tent set up. And, I will be damn if I hadn’t just barely put the car into park, when here comes that golf cart with the campground manager driving it, and he was not very happy with me. I tried to explain my innocence. You know, that I didn’t know to stop, but we still had to return to the office and fill out all the paper work.
By the time we returned to the campsite, it had quit raining. At least long enough for us to get a fire started and light up the grill. Before we ate supper, LP grabbed the bug spray and sprayed it all around our tent and my brother’s pop-up camper. It wasn’t long after we ate that it started raining again. At this point, it wasn’t raining too hard, so we sat under the pop-up’s canopy until about ten o’clock. Then with an early morning of fishing ahead of us, we all decided it was time to go to bed. So LP and I went and got in our tent. It was pretty damn hot in that tent because we had to keep it zipped up to keep the rain out. It was a dome tent and you couldn’t stand up straight in it and I bet it was only five feet wide. LP and I fixed a bed with the blankets as best we could and off to sleep we went.
Now, I don’t know what time it was, but sometime in the middle of the night, all hell broke loose. It was thundering and lightening and the storm woke both of us up. We tried to go back to sleep, but it was difficult with the wind blowing the tent and the rain falling so hard. I was so tired and sleepy and was just about to fall asleep when I felt something wet hit my face. Damn tent was leaking. Thinking that the rain would eventually stop, I move over closer to the side of the tent. I rolled over and felt water on the floor of the tent. All the sudden water started running in the tent like a river. LP and I scrunched up the blankets to the middle of the tent floor to try to keep them from getting wet, but it was useless. I grabbed my rain jacket and the bag of clothes and ran to put them in the car to keep them from getting wet. I went back to the tent and the water was getting deeper and worse. The only choice we had was to get in the car ourselves.
We waited and waited for the rain to stop, but it never did. LP got in the back seat and I stayed in the front seat, and both of us tried to get some sleep. It was raining so hard, we couldn’t even crack the car windows without getting wet and the smell of that bug spray was still lingering. I guess I finally fell asleep, because the next thing I remember it was seeing daylight, and seeing the car windows all fogged up. I looked over the dashboard and looked out the window to see if it had stopped raining. I really couldn’t see out the front, so I looked left and out the driver’s window and saw a face with two hands clasped together pressed to with car window peaking in. I whispered loudly to LP, “Someone’s looking in the window!” I set up straight and wiped off the window to see who it was. And to my surprise, it was the campsite manager. I unlocked the car door and got out and there were at least fifteen people standing around the car. I noticed my brother and his wife standing where our tent use to be and they all seemed to be relieved that LP and I were okay. Apparently, someone in the other section of the campground had seen a tent flying across the area about daybreak and everyone in the campsite was looking for the occupants of this tent. Yep. It was our tent.
After they found out we were alright, our camping neighbors went and got our tent and put it back in its original spot. The blankets inside were soaked and there was no way they would dry by night fall. The campsite manager said there was a laundry in section C, and told us the dryers took quarters. Me and LP pulled our quarters together and we only had about seven, so all the other people standing around offered their quarters. When we had, what everybody thought would be enough, we took our blankets and put them in the dryers. It took about an hour and a half to get them dry and when we counted the money we had left over, it was almost eight dollars. We tried to return the money to the folks that had given it to us, but they all laughed and said, “Oh keep it! That’s the most excitement we’ve had around here in years.”