Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Summertime Travel

Ahhh summertime. School has let out, the weather has gotten steadily better and it's time to find out how to keep the kids occupied for the summer without driving you insane. Those that can afford it will jump on a climate controlled plane or cruise ship and enjoy the scenery.

The rest of us embark on the almighty summer ritual ............. The Road Trip!!

Here in Canada a large portion of us will climb into vehicles with air conditioning is various states of disrepair and roast like a Christmas turkey all on a voyage to summer fun. Ironically it can take a few days to recover from the trip towards summer fun, which if you've only got a few days off, means you've recovered in time to make the voyage home again.

How many of us can't remember at least one trip where we were packing too tight in a vehicle for far too long? When we were little my Dad used to get 2 weeks off from work each summer. We would pack everything we could fit into our tiny Chevette and head north for camping. The first obstacle in our journey was to get a car with three people and way too much equipment over the Skyway bridge. Dad always said if we could clear the bridge we could go camping, and some years my brother and I honestly thought we would have to get out and push to get the car the rest of the way over.

The obstacle being cleared we would schlep our way our north. In order to beat traffic, we would leave at an ungodly hour of the morning when even the sun wouldn't be up yet. My bleary eyed father would point the car north and we'd somehow make it up there alive. Although one year he had to pull over to grab a coffee before he fell asleep when the trip seemed to be longer than anticipated. Thinking we had an hour or so to go, we had breakfast and a sit down while Dad recharged, only to find the campground just over the next hill (about 3 kilometers from the diner).

Once there it was camping time. A glorious break from the social niceties where three guys could fart and fish to their heart's content. We would catch fish and eat them for dinner. We'd fight off swarms of mosquitoes and deer flies, eat meat from cans and stay up late while burning things in the firepit. Our male genetics and Neanderthal nature would be allowed to come out and shine. We'd hike trails and overindulge on berries until we had to face the unique challenge of running to the outhouse in order to beat the intestinal grand prix somehow without running and triggering an early finish. I can only imagine we'd looked like power walkers with a bad leg cramp and fused knees.

I'm going to go in the yard and lie in the hammock tonight. Maybe I'll set up a tent just for old time's sake. The last time I tried a fire though, the fire department came and informed me that we can't do that in city limits. So after a few beers and long chat with them , the firefighters and I put it out and went our separate ways.

Ahhhh summer.

All these years later I still feel the need to head north everytime the weather turns warm. This year we can't go because of the impending mini-Rainy, but rest assured, next year we will be taking the little ones camping and scarificng them to the mosquitos and other assorted bitey bugs for a good time.


Blogger Sask 1 said...

I used to love camping as a kid.
Certainly brings back some memories.The tent falling down in a storm and everything getting wet or blown away.

10:35:00 AM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

Best line:

"...after a few beers and long chat with them , the firefighters and I put it out and went our separate ways."

Nice memories...

11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

We went west several years ago in a little, old Corolla, camping almost all of the way. The next year we went east. It was great fun. When we visit the cottage in the right season, we still opt to sleep in a tent by the little river. It sure is nice to have the cottage nearby though.

11:26:00 AM  
Blogger blue2go said...

That's a full car in the photo! I went camping once as a kid, but it was fun. Great to make memories for your kids when they're little!

12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Elle said...

I could never understand the camping "mystique." I live on a lake in the woods and all my neighbors are avid campers. My response is, "Aren't we already camping?" I don't get it.

I also thought my neighbor had a cute deer lawn ornament, until he kindly informed me it was his "target." I'll never get used to this country living.

1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Martini Love said...

I want to go camping in Canada, sounds fun

2:05:00 PM  
Blogger Celti said...

Camping is awesome! No more tents, though...the last several times, it rained and EVERYTHING got soaked. Last time, we literally had a small streak running through our tents. I'm in the market for a small pull-behind. :)

2:10:00 PM  
Blogger Ms Vile File said...

Camping sounds great, except for the toilet facilities.

If they can make a tent with a fully-functioning ensuite, I'm in.

2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Sharron said...

When I was a kid we drove to Texas in a Carmengia. 5 of us.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying "hi".

2:54:00 PM  
Blogger Katya said...

i have tons of bites all over me, i am like a mosquitoe buffet...even the bug repellant was like people seasoning...


5:38:00 PM  
Blogger angela marie said...

Love the camping!

Although...your description makes me want to send my husband out with our two boys and me stay home with our two girls. Very different weekends, indeed!

7:11:00 PM  
Blogger ramblin' girl said...

I still camp as much as possible, heading up this weekend in fact. But these adult trips just can't quite beat my family of 6 piling into a '67 Bronco to head to the mountains camping. And although we had the pop-up trailer thing, we went places that I could never imaginge getting that trailer to now. Now I backpack and tent camp but still have some of the best memories of fishing with my dad years ago.
Thanks for the reminder!

7:26:00 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

You are producing more offspring? That's positively useful. Congratulations. My offspring are heading North. In the car. To Canada. You might want to notify the authorities.

10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ms Mac said...

While never camping much as a child, I certainly remember road trips. I am proud to report that we have inflicted same torture on the mini macs on may an occassion!

12:56:00 AM  
Blogger L said...

wow. that car is really packed! I didn't think that anyone could do that better than I :)

1:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rhodent said...

I have discovered that cruising can be cheaper that road trips. I do live in Florida though, so unless I'm cruising to Alaska or Hawaii or Europe, I don't have to worry about plan fare. with gas prices as they are, cruising was a real bargain for me this summer.

11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

We used to camp in a rustic cabin in PA when I was a kid. The old timers all thought it would be great for us kids to get back to nature... exactly ONE electric cord ran between the cabins offering ONE outlet in which to plug in ONE lamp, which would only reach the teeny kitchen. There was a bathroom with one of those pull-flusher toilets in a dank little room, and when you went to retire for the night, you needed to be mindful of the 842 wicks of fly-paper that dangled from the ceilings through the hallway and bedrooms. We'd stay a week and just couldn't wait to get back home to our toys and pals, but that "yayy for home" feeling would only last a week till we got bored again.
Nice post Rainy... love the packing job.

5:31:00 AM  
Blogger glomgold said...

Whoa, is that really your van?! I certainly don't picture a Chevette when I'm thinking of campers. The lack of toilet facilities is also my bugaboo when it comes to the idea of camping.

9:48:00 AM  

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