I walked in our bedroom at about the same time my wife’s phone began to ring on the bedside table, it’s her sister, which is no surprise because we’re supposed to go kayaking and camping today in one of Florida’s various springs. Caitlin ignored the phone as she attempted to reenter the dream realm, showing no signs of urgency for planned trip. Almost immediately after her phone stopped ringing mine began, it’s Caitlin’s sister, and this is a surprise because we’re not known for our cheery disposition towards one another. I press the phone loosely to my ear before experiencing the shrill “where are you?!” from a voice that, as her own friends have defined, sounds like a witch. Come to find out we were supposed to meet both Allie and their Father at 8am and it was currently 9 o’clock and Caitlin was still nestled comfortably in the bed next to our three dogs.
Camping: the activity spending a vacation living in a camp, tent, or camper
Village Idiot: a person of very low intelligence resident and well known in a village
After gathering all of our gear and dogs, my wife and I left home and headed for her father’s house where he and Caitlin’s sister would be waiting with the kayaks and their supplies for the next day-and-a-half of camping. We weren’t bringing the dogs with us, but Cait’s mother had reluctantly agreed to watch our pups so that we could take the trip with Allie, whom usually watches our pets while we’re out of town. The two cars were repacked with our camping provisions with Caitlin riding with Allie and I riding with Scott who was pulling a trailer with the kayaks behind him. As we pulled out of the driveway a loud “kaathuuuunk” echoed through the neighborhood and as I looked in the side-view mirror I could see us pulling away from the trailer now positioned in the middle of the street.
“Dammit,” Scott mumbled, “I didn’t think that was on all the way.”
Hearing this immediately put the trip into perspective for me, it was as if I had hindsight prior to the events that would transpire, you could almost call it foresight. The second thought to cross my mind was, “we wanted your daughters to drive behind us on the highway, and you were ready to leave thinking the trailer wasn’t on… that’s kinda fucked up.” I’d also like to take this time to showcase the spider web of what looked like shoestrings and twine attaching the potential rockets, I mean kayaks, to the trailer we would be hauling down the highway at speeds no lower than sixty-five miles per hour. After reattaching the trailer, or should I say attaching the trailer as it was never actually attached before, we set off towards the campsite… but not before having Caitlin switch vehicles.
It wouldn’t be until we stopped to get gas outside the springs that hijinks would once again ensue. We decided to stop and get gas and ice right outside the spring we thought we’d be camping at. Because the camp grounds were right around the corner, Scott decided that we could just throw the three bags of ice onto the trailer, and not worry about putting them in the cooler, which wouldn’t have been an issue had the camp grounds not been completely full because no one called and reserved a spot. We reassessed the situation and turned around to find a spring a little less populated. It was determined that the closest camp site was about forty minutes away, and by this time everyone but myself had forgotten about the ice laying in the back of the trailer.
“All jokes aside, that ice isn’t going to make it”
The next sequence of events can only be compared to Chinese fire drill, as Cait and I jumped out of the car to retrieve the ice and put it in the floorboard at her feet in the passenger seat. Right about this time Allie called from the car behind us to inform us that brake-lights on the trailer were not working (a result of the wiring ripping in half when the trailer fell off hours before). We all had a good laugh about Scott’s acknowledgement and disregard for the lights; that was until we pulled up to next traffic light and felt a massive thud in the back of the car. Allie had run into the kayaks hanging off the back of Scott’s trailer. I’m not kidding about this, it was literally the next traffic light, and no more than 2 minutes had passed since Allie had called and acknowledged that the lights did not work.
Luckily there was no damage to the kayaks or Allie’s car, and the shoestrings held strong even after the impact.
Once we arrived at the campsite, we began to setup our tents. I was a clear example of technology surpassing conventional camping means as I set up our Coleman popup tent in about 5 minutes, only to see Scott attempting to figure out which poles belonged where, and why we still had two leftover. After helping assemble Scott and Allies living quarters we began to work on the rest of the site. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Caitlin and Allie packing the cooler with surviving ice, along with the food and beverages we had brought.
At this point Caitlin had tried to break apart the ice chunk with her hands, when Allie decided to stomp the ice… with the eggs and everything else inside. Even as we pulled the broken egg out Allie attempted to defend herself as we contemplated how to clean the container… which also had to be taken from her because she was going to try and dump the slime out while hold the eggs in with the lid. Needless to say my foresight came in handy again, and we were able to convince her to stop before we completely lost tomorrow’s breakfast.
Have you ever watched someone try and back a trailer out? Have you ever watched a stubborn person try and back a trailer out? It’s like watched a mentally challenged worm try to finagle its way out of a hole. Back-and-forth the car and trailer went as we screamed directions to what felt like deaf ears.
At certain point the car and trailer were finally dislodged and we were able to make our way down to the launch site as dark ominous clouds gathered overhead. We walked down the spring to rinse the sweat from our bodies as a storm rolled in. Had it not been for the lightning we probably would have stayed, but the “lifeguard” on duty forced everyone out into the downpour so we opted to head back to the camp site and wait out the weather there.
I walked back to the site while Cait, Allie and Scott drove the car back with the kayaks. As I approached the camp site I could see Allie closing the door to Scott’s car, she was attempting to back the trailer in, and for some unbeknownst reason everyone seemed to be onboard with it.
Have you ever watched someone try and back a trailer out after just watching someone else struggle at it? Have you ever watched a stubborn person try and back a trailer out after just watching someone else struggle at it? It’s like watched a mentally challenged worm try to finagle its way out of a hole. Back-and-forth the car and trailer went as we screamed directions to what felt like deaf ears, again.
After getting the car and trailer out of the road in what could technically be called a parking, we reentered the campsite and I cooked under the pitter-patter of rain drops on the tree canopy around us. After eating we took brief refuge in Allie’s car where, like any person would have done, she rolled down the windows allowing heat to escape the car. There was only one problem, the window motor in Allie’s passenger-side door doesn’t really “work”, so for the next hour and a half Allie would attempt to roll the window up by pressing up and down and up and down and up and down and up and up and down and up and down and down and up and up and up and up and down and up again and again.
It was time to go to sleep, and Scott and Allie had been drinking Cape Codders all night. Although we didn’t share a tent, they could be heard bickering all night. That coupled with the humidity caused by the previous rain made sleeping less than easy. I assume it was fairly similar to trying to sleep in a Turkish bath house, which doesn’t sound very fun either.
The following day would be fairly enjoyable as Caitlin, Scott and I kayaked up and down the feeding out of the spring. The original plan was for me to pull Allie on an inner tube behind me, but due to a small sign about alligators, Allie freaked out and demanded to be brought back to shore. Watching her panic as submerged foliage brushed against her backside was priceless though.
After kayaking we headed back to the campsite to changed and finished packing up. I followed behind Scott who was a few paces ahead of me as we moved towards the communal bathrooms. As I breached the first doorway I learned a very valuable lesson; Scott has reached that old man age where he doesn’t care who sees what. It’s something that most men encounter in a gym locker room, as most of the men-of-a-certain-age have little problem flaunting what gravity has pulled on over their lifespans. I’m talking about their dick and balls. So out of the corner of my eye I can see Scott standing in front of the sinks buck-ass nude, and I just keep walking, because no more than ten feet from where he stands for the world to judge, is a series of showers and changing stations located directly across from a series of stalls.
After returning back from that ordeal, we all jump into our respected vehicles just in time to watch Allie back into and destroy the small wooden fence at the end of our campsite. That poor little fence didn’t stand a chance. This felt like a pretty good bookend for the trip, but on our way back home we ran into another batch of thunderstorms, nothing to bad… that is unless of course you’re Allie, who rolled down her passenger-side window again… and couldn’t get it to roll back up… again.
Camp Idiot: a person of very low intelligence spending a vacation living in a camp, tent, or camper