Thursday, September 1, 2011

Illegal Wood and Tarantula Stabbings

I really need to discipline myself to write these things when it is fresh in my chaotic and forgetful mind.  Anyway, this hellish summer of intolerable heat and filth was nicely broken up by a weekend of camping up north near Flagstaff.  I'm slowly learning that the term 'camping' in places aside from Montana and the very tops of mountains means "pay a fee to pitch your tent 10 feet from this other person right off this lovely blacktop that we laid through what used to be a beautiful forest.  But don't worry we left as many trees as we could without losing profitable space so we could take pictures of them for marketing purposes."  I'm slowly accepting that this is what camping will be like when I am not back home.  Its ok.  As long as the air is clean and I am surrounded by greenery and trees, then I am happy.  It was pouring rain as we arrived at our site, and there were only two other people camped in the area.  The rain was welcomed, as was the privacy.  We set up our sweet nylon abode and kitchen area, complete with a tarp foyer.  The dogs were pissed that we were making them hang out in the rain, but once they realized that there was cool dirt to lay in, joy ensued. 
Its rad, we know.
After we crawled in our delicious tent, Barnum and Bailey's 3-Ring Circus rolled in and we woke up to tents, pop-up campers, BMWs and various other things that don't really do well in the forest surrounding us on all sides.  Bye bye privacy... but what to expect in an urban campground?  :) 
Interesting points of the weekend included...
Seeing one of these trying to crawl into our tent: Don't worry we stabbed it repeatedly with a large stick while squealing.
No joke.
Camp host dude rolling up on his golf cart after we returned from fishing to tell us that the size of our wood was illegal.  I could make several jokes here, but his ridiculousness took care of itself.  "I just saved you two from a $5,000 fine and the Forest Service taking you STRAIGHT to jail!  I told you to read the sign on the bulletin board!"  (He never said any such thing about a bulletin board.)  When I went to look at it, there was a handwritten note thumbtacked to it saying that wood had to be under 24" in length and 5" in diameter.  In other words, you had to buy his wood for $15 a bundle rather than bringing/chopping your own.  Sorry buddy, we're not yuppies, nor are we stupid. 

The dude in the BMW came and asked us to borrow a lighter, way past dark, because he was trying to start a fire with his car lighter.  We also had to tell him how to start the fire. And he was scared of our dogs.
See how scary...

The nearest lake to our campground on the map was Mormon Lake, so we went looking for it.  Turns out it was a very large field, with a lovely little seasonal village on the edge.  Apparently the lake dried up.  Luckily there were other lakes in the area and we were able to give the doggies their first 'swimming' experience.  Oh the hilarity. I wish my camera was waterproof.

This weekend away in happier climate and environment was very much needed, as I was ready to punch Phoenix repeatedly in the face.  I still could, but I feel much more detached from it now and am doing my very best to not let it affect me.  Nothing earthly lasts forever, the weather will become more tolerable, and at some point we will move somewhere that is actually enjoyable to look at and breathe in again.

Next endeavor? Getting my teaching certification, with a specialization in Fine Arts. Eff. Yes.