Friday, July 10, 2009

Wild & Wonderful Camping

I'll be right up front—I don't "do" camping.

But it's not for lack of trying. We had a camper when I was a kid and we stayed in every KOA campground on the east coast, all the way up to Nova Scotia. But whenever it came time to have our meals at a picnic table, I'd opt to sit in our pop-top VW to eat. After all, a bug might drop out of a tree and onto my sandwich. And I wasn't willing to hazard that kind of risk.

And camping is just so....uncomfortable.

So when my partner, a true nature-lover, suggested we go tent camping 10 years ago, I figured I'd give it the ol' college try.

She set up the entire site—built a fire, pitched the tent—while I swatted flies. I did, however, bring matching dinner plates and napkins.

When it was time to turn in for the night, I took one look at her miniscule dome tent—not big enough to cover an ant hill—and thought I might hyperventilate. But I never let on how much I was suffering.

The next time she suggested we go camping, I offered to buy a new tent. Okay, she said. So I bought a 3-room tent, complete with parlor and ballroom. It was sweet. She was not happy, though, as it took a long time to set up.

A few years ago, we planned a trip to the mountains of North Carolina. Hey, I said, instead of camping, how 'bout I spring for a cabin for us. Sure, she said. So I made reservations at a lovely log cabin complete with vaulted ceiling, jacuzzi, and bidet.

Next week, we're attending her family reunion at Lake Sherwood in Wild & Wonderful West Virginia. Her family will pitch tents, cook over campfires, and sleep on the ground.

And we'll be staying at a nearby hotel.

This camping thing just gets better and better!

So what's all this have to do with woodworking? Well, I'm taking along my carving knives and will attempt to make a kuksa, while sitting on a log, fireside. At least maybe I'll give the impression that I'm an outdoorsy gal.