Posts tagged: float trip

Camping

I took last Friday off as a vacation day and got up before dawn.  4:15am to be exact.  I showered and packed the cooler and my toothbrush and blearily drove to my buddy’s house to load everything in his car.  We were going camping.

After some amazement at the amount of stuff we were going to have to pack into his Accord and the thought that we still had to pick up another guy and his gear, we headed out and eventually got everything and everyone settled.  The sun was up by then.  I was hungry.

We drove and drove and drove some more.  Stopped at Jack in the Box for some food that we would later regret and drove some more.  Once we reached the middle of nowhere we made a right and headed straight for Ozark Country.  The Accord deftly zipped around horse trailers and logging trucks.  I was too tired to care much.

We had to wait almost two hours for a group to show up and then boarded the bus for a very noisy ride many miles away.  Cubs fans were made fun of.  Laughter ensued.  We loaded up the canoes and floated about eight miles to the campsite where some more friends were already setup and waiting for us.  They had kayaked down the day before to make sure they got the spot they wanted.  Crazy bastards.

It was a beautiful weekend where I derided anyone for checking their watches.  I caught a few fish and generally relaxed.  I was bored now and then and I couldn’t nap when I wanted to because my tent was like an oven.  The water was ice cold so there was no recreational swimming.  But it was still nice.

By dinner on Saturday night I was taking two Immodium because I didn’t want to experience again the horror that happened after lunch earlier that day.  Dig a hole and cover it up.  Hah! Tell that to the rehydrated Chili Mac that was coming out one way or the other.  No more pooping in the woods for me thankyouverymuch.  I’d rather be medicinally constipated.

It took three tries to get my tent back in the small bag it came out of on Sunday morning.  We sat around till lunch and shot the shit and packed up the canoes and kayaks after eating.  It took a few hours and some serious paddling and we were back at the pull out site.  We were tired, smelly and I wanted to get home and see my family.

We packed up the Accord once more with slightly less than we had arrived with.  We left Ozark Country with fresh clothes on our backs but still in need of a serious scrubbing.  We made a left at the middle of nowhere and headed home once more.

Shopping list

I’m taking a vacation day on Friday to go on a float/camping trip with some friends this weekend.  I have to be at my friend’s house at 5:30am in order to pick up another guy and make it to the middle of nowhere by 8:30am to catch our ride.  It’s not exactly peak season right now for floats so we were given the impression that we really REALLY need to be at the rental office by 8:30am.  I don’t think there will be any other trips out that day.

So I’ve been shopping a bit.  When your stuff has been in storage for a couple of years you start to forget what you did and did not keep.  Important stuff – like a tent.  Yeah I used to have a nice tent but it no longer exists.  It had gotten a few holes in it from over-acheiving bonfire builders a few years previously so I have the vague recolection that maybe we sold it at the garage sale.  Either way – we were tentless.  So that went on the list.

I bought some travel toilet paper because that went missing from my supplies and that is a serious must have.  Sure I could have just taken a whole roll of TP, but the kind made for camping is much smaller and has it’s own little carrying case.  Now if only I could find a camp chair with no bottom for me to sit on.  How am I supposed to hold myself up, poop and read in the middle of the woods?  The idea of taking care of things in the woods is not completely alien to me but this is the first time I have had to “plan” for pooping in the woods.

No I need to go to the store and pick up some bottled water, beer, snacks, something to burn for Friday night’s dinner and some breakfast-y type stuff.  And get my fishing license.  Can’t forget that otherwise I may as well not even take my fishing pole.  License enforcement happens all the time.  Some other stuff too I think.  I better make a new list.

Four posts in four days

So I said on Monday that I would be getting back to writing and promised that I would be posting at least once a week.  Now it is Thursday and I’ve posted four times in four days.  Well, what can I say.  I guess I’m just an overachiever.

Stop laughing.

A buddy of mine invited me to go with him and some other old friends of mine on a camping float trip next month.  I got permission from the boss and in a few short weeks I will be making myself miserable in the middle of nowhere.  On purpose.  Sometimes we humans just don’t seem very bright do we?

I mean seriously, a camping float trip?  I mean, sure, it sounds fun… but in reality?  The first day and night will be fine because we can have real food.  Meat and other niceties will last in a cooler for a day no problem.  However on the second night I am assuming that I will be eating a rehydrated meal consisting of meat flakes and unidentifiable vegetable concentrate.  And a Rice Krispy Treat.  Because we have boxes of those from Sam’s.

Normally on a float I would consume an obscene amount of alcohol (at least in my younger days… maybe not now) but on this trip I will not be waking up the next day in the comfort of my own home.  No, I will be waking up to a sore back from sleeping on a thousand pointy rocks.  We’re in Missouri, there is no soil.  Just rocks.  Look it up.  If I get hungover, I will spend the entire day miserable and stranded on a rock outcropping in the middle of nowhere with no fresh food or water and no Internet.  What does Internet have to do with hangovers?  Nothing, but it’s all part of the misery.

So, I don’t even think I’ll be taking any alcohol.  Maybe a few beers for the initial float to the camp site but nothing else.  I may be able to drink soda warm but warm domestic beer is just not worth it.

Oh and since we are camping half way through the float that means that everything has to fit in our canoe.  Cooler, tent, sleeping bag, clothes, towel, toilet paper, sun screen, insect repellent, food, snacks, drinks, teddy bear, axe, rope, fishing pole and gear and whatever else I can think of.  Canoes are not large especially when you are sharing one with another guy roughly the same size as myself.  And I’m not terribly small.  I’m just saying.

So what have I gotten myself into?  Am I nuts?  Yeah, probably.  Am I still going?  Yeah.  Why?  Well, I’ve never done a float like this before.  I’ve been on tons of float trips but never one where you had to bring everything with you and camp on the river.  If nothing else, I want the experience.  I’m hoping to reach level 8 by the time I finish the trip. (If you didn’t get that joke, you are probably better off…)

I’m meeting with a few of the guys tonight to go over what extra stuff they might have that me and my buddy can borrow instead of buying.  Going to need a couple of dry sacks at least.  I haven’t seen my tent since we moved in either.  We lost a lot of stuff that was in storage with Graebel that we was never returned.  That’s a whole ‘nother story.  Suffice it to say that I don’t think we have all the gear that we used to have.  And that sucks.

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