Last weekend I went camping with my roommate and some other guys. It was an annual campout that my Church does in Lorton, VA. The idea is for the fathers in the Church to take their sons for some quality bonding time out in the woods. This year they decided to invite us single men even though we lack the most important aspect of a Fathers-and-sons-campout: sons. It sounded like a good time, so I made the decision to go. I was considering the idea of doing the campout or resoling my basketball sneakers with bamboo inserts, but eventually it just made more sense to strengthen my soul than my sole. I'd rather be in the woods than on the woods.
The trip was short- lasting about 15 hours, seven of which I was sleeping. But even with a little over-nighter there were a lot of experiences to be had. I knew it was going to be an entertaining trip when my chauffeur roommate told me we were stopping for snacks on the way. I reminded him that the campsite was only 20 minutes away, that all our meals were already being provided, and that at any given time on our trip we would be 10 minutes away from a grocery store. But he was pretty pumped for our roadtrip so we made a pit stop for beef jerky, sunflower seeds, sour patch kids, lemonade, and gummy rings. I had to go to the bathroom by that point of our lengthy journey so I was glad for the respite. One stoplight later we made a left turn and went from suburbia to the great outdoors.
Our campsite, A-1, reminded me of steaksauce. My friend who camped with us- Flank- reminded me of a cut of meat. Flank's brother Broccoli was also with us, but his name really brought nothing to my mind. Immediately upon arriving we put up our tents. Flank and I both had 2 person tents, so we decided to just put one up at first to save us the trouble. After five minutes of fetal position cuddling (I refuse to call it spooning when it's two dudes) we elected to put up the other tent. But then we got lonely and decided to put the doors next to each other so we could have some quality pillow talk before officially retiring. Only problem was I was really the only one who wanted the pillow talk, so Flank zipped his tent up and then put his feet by the door. This forced me to have pillow talk with his soles (as opposed to his soul) which were behind a closed door. I really got the sense that he didn't want to talk to me, but I'm not the kind of guy who gives up easily. I told his tent door all about the time my first dog died (August 2001), about the last time I sobbed (the night before), and what I hope to accomplish in life (carve a trash receptacle out of a tree stump with only a grapefruit spoon). After what I estimated to be 4 hours of a mostly one-way conversation (though he definitely contributed with some "Please, please, please, please be quiet David) he told me that I was not welcome to ride home with him in the morning. I was a little hurt at that, and had to revise my story about the last time I cried. When I did finally fall asleep it was to the circadian rhythms of cicadas (unrelated words, both probably used incorrectly). Cicadas are nasty bugs that live in the earth for 17 years before emerging en masse to harass your _____. Sorry if that was a little inappropriate. I will try not to let it happen again. Cicadas come out for a swarmageddon for two weeks a year, and I chose one of their special weekends to camp. When I arose in the morning I had 7 large, living bugs on my tent, 7 hollow cicada shells clinging for dead life, and a balloon tied to the exterior zipper of my abode. I have no explanation for the balloon, though I suspect the cicadas because it said "Welcome Home" in block letters on it.
In the morning I was feeling a little left out that I didn't have a son to play catch with. I was willing to toss a football, frisbee, baseball, or even a pinecone if I just had a little tyke to throw it back. Can men get baby hungry? I'd never heard of it before this weekend.
All in all the trip was a very relaxing time. There were no hikes to go on, no bodies of water to swim in, no kids that wanted to hang out with me, and not much to do besides eat and play Liar's Dice. So that's just what we did and it was pretty enjoyable. And a little awkward having five dudes hanging out together longingly looking at cheery fathers and sons playing catch. Oh well.