As the rain falls, a hero emerges
If you love to get out in the wild, get some piece and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle and get back in touch with the nature, then don’t come camping with us. If you want to eat a lot of food, have fresh coffee every morning, enjoy the rain and the noise of kids running wild, and still have access to the internet, then you want to camp with us.
Every year we try to get out and rough it at least once a summer. We find a nice cozy campground with water and a bathroom, a latte stand within driving distance, cell signal and preferably a river or lake nearby, and then head out for a night or two of miserable sleep, lots of bug, wet clothes and great company. This year it was us, the Daniels, the Davis’s and some Katzenbergers. So by my math that is 7 adults and 18 kids, or what you may call sheer paradise.
One thing you must know about camping with us, expect rain. Don’t think “it might rain” don’t be fooled by cloudless 70 degree days, don’t even bother looking at the weather, it will rain. If we camped in the middle of the Sahara Desert during the dry season, it would rain. When the Godfrey’s camp, it rains. As long as it is warm, we deal with it. By warm I mean above 50 degrees during the daylight hours.
One huge advantage to camping with us is that you don’t usually have to worry about bears. You see the trick is to let all the kids out to run wild all over the campground, screaming, running, throwing things, screaming, crying, screaming and not only would any bear in its right mind stay as far away as possible, so do all other campers. Hence, we usually have the campgrounds to ourself.
During this camping trip I found a true hero. Now hero is a word that is thrown around loosely, but here I witnessed a true one. I believe we established that is going to rain, so I came prepared. This time I brought a tarp, not any tarp, a tarp that could serve as a runway in small village. The only people motivated enough to use the tarp were me and Ryan, so we got to work. As the rain fell we came with a master plan to cover the whole camp with the tarp. Things were going smoothly, the running lines were holding, the trees were well placed, the architectural plan was sound and we just needed everyone to get involved for one final pull to cover the rest of the camp. Unfortunately there was a minor flaw. You see, we already had the fire going. In fact, when we started putting the tarp up, Angie, Tra, Amber and the kids were cooking smores and enjoying the show.
Fortunately, the kids were excited to play with the earth darkening tarp, and dropped their marshmallow sticks and grabbed hold. Shoot, even Jason and Tra grabbed a corner. This is where it went all wrong. Our plan was to have a lean-to style covering to allow the smoke to escape. But instead, as everyone began to pull, we ended with more of like a giant teepee, with Ryan holding it up where the hole should be. Within seconds we realized this was not a good plan. Immediately we lost our sight due to the density of the smoke, seconds later we could not breathe. I tried to scream for the kids to let go, but I could barely breathe. Then Ryan, standing on a picnic table, holding up the center of the tarp screamed ” EVERYONE OUT” ! As he stayed firm holding up the tarp buried in deadly smoke, allowing all others to escape. This was paramount to shouting “SAVE YOURSELF!!!!!” The words of a true hero. As I ran out, to grab the edge of the tarp mind you, I saw out of the corner of my eye that Angie was still standing by the fire, marshmallow stick in her left hand, finishing the last bite of smore not looking a bit concerned. I would put a picture of this, but she has threatened to kill me if I post one more picture of her eating. Everyone else was coughing, scattering and screaming…. with laughter. Finally I was able to move the tarp, hoping beyond hope that Ryan was still alive, for my CPR had expired a year ago, and to my great relief he emerged, my new hero, with an ashen covered face. He had sacrificed himself for the good of the camp.
Needless to say, we did not give up and eventually the tarp did rise, with a new architectural plan. And much like the tarp, a new hero emerged in my eyes. As I sat chilled, near the crisp fire under the tarp listening to the rain mercilessly beating down, I reflected on what another great camping adventure we had just experienced, then I pulled out my iphone, went to craigslist and started pricing travel trailers.