Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Candid Camera Camping Part 1

Two-Parter because I cannot figure out how to shorten it and keep the same amount of detail it requires.

For Christmas, the oh-so-amazing and motivated boyfriend and I decided to forgo gifts and take a camping trip for two instead.  We had both been in GO-GO-GO mode for most of the fall and wanted to unwind and unplug surrounded by nature.  So on January 2nd, we packed our bags and headed south to the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve.  Unplug?  We absolutely did.  Unwind?  I’m not so sure…

Our scheduled arrival was for 3:30 so we could bike the 2.5 miles to our primitive camp site before sundown.  It wasn’t until we were an hour out of the way lost that we contacted the park ranger who told us, “turn of the GPS—it doesn’t work”.  We finally made it to the park around 5:15 and strapped our packs to our bodies and hopped onto our bikes just in the knick of time to get to our site before sundown...or not.  After five minutes of admiring the beautiful sunset ride we were taking, we found ourselves in pitch black unfamiliar prairie land.  The next 25 minutes were spent with the oh-so-amazing and motivated boyfriend attempting to navigate the trails with a 70lb pack on his back and me screaming variations of, “I CAN’T HOLD THIS STUPID SLEEPING BAG IF WE RIDE THAT FAST!” and, “THESE GEARS CHANGE ON THEIR OWN!”  No, I don’t know how he didn’t kill me either.

Alas, we found our site and wanted nothing more than to make a fire, make some dinner, and make a place to rest.  Due to 0% chance of rain, we omitted the tent in favor of the two-person hammock.  Obviously, we forgot it’s called Kissimmee PRAIRIE Preserve—as in “good luck finding two good trees close enough together for a hammock.”  Luckily, we had a pavilion on our site and decided it was a genius idea to tie the hammock to its beams.  OSAMB hung the hammock, climbed in to test it out, and assured me it was perfect to join him.  We laid there for a minute or so, finally able to relax and thinking how nice this trip would be--CRACK!  We both hit the ground hard, stunned and confused as the hammock half-dangled above us.  Clearly, the pavilion is not made for hammocks.

Fear not, for OSAMB had stashed an air mattress in his pack!  While he began to build the fire, I laid it out in the prime spot for a night of stargazing.  I placed the pump into the mattress, flipped the switch…and it was dead.  We looked at each other in defeat.  It was at this moment I also realized we’d forgotten the alcohol.  Damn.

10 minutes later, while lying on the picnic table, a lightbulb went off in OSAMB’s brain.  He ran to his pack and pulled out none other than an 8" travel-sized bicycle pump.  For the next hour, we took turns pumping up the mattress.  Talk about one hell of an arm workout!  We celebrated our victory over bowls of hot stew and snuggled together under our sleeping bags, star gazing for all of 30 seconds before falling asleep by 9:30...

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