Friday, September 23, 2011

outward bound

Against what I consider to be one of my better instincts (and I would classify most of such instincts to be related to maintaining integrity of the integumentary system and related parts), Joe and I decided that we're going to take the kids on a camping trip this weekend.  I have nothing against wholesome family fun per se, and despite my bookish and wan appearance have even been on a camping trip or two in my own youth, but here, in no particular order, is a list of some things I hate, and which make spending a night in the woods a bit of a hard sell:
  • Being dirty.
  • Being cold.
  • Bugs.
  • Not being able to take a shower.  
  • Sleeping on the floor.

(Is hate too strong a word?  Maybe.  And've seen bugs, right?)

Anyway, I dislike many of the elements of camping, but be that as it may, we're going camping this weekend because it seems nutritious and cleansing somehow, the spiritual equivalent of a high-fiber cereal, and besides the kids have been begging us to go camping for almost a year now.  Who am I to cruelly deny them the simple pleasures of getting a billion bug bites and then tracking dirt clods and sweat into the sleeping bag, where I will spend a fitful night tossing and turning, maintaining a state of cat-like readiness in the event of bear attack or chainsaw massacre?  Only their mother who loves them, THAT'S WHO.

(Did I also mention that there's no Wi-Fi in the woods?)

Anyway, I exaggerate my low tolerance for All Things Nature, but to be fair, I like looking at fall leaves and verdant vistas just as much as any of my other vaguely geriatric pastimes, so we're all actually pretty excited about our camping trip.  So excited that, in the spirit of the proceedings, I even made four servings of "hobo stew" to bring with us and bury in the coals for dinner.

(If you are guessing that I was mainly swayed by the appending of the descriptor "hobo" to anything, you are correct, but our hobo stew contains chicken herb sausage with garlic and shallots garnished with a not insignificant amount of butter, therefore promising to be, if not tasty, then at least filling.)

We're leaving tomorrow morning.  Real-time Twitter updates for your fish-out-of-water amusement as iPhone connectivity allows, otherwise have a good weekend and we'll catch up when (and if) we return.


  1. Anonymous8:02 PM

    Dirty and not being able to take a shower (nor really decently brush my teeth) is why I will NEVER EVER go camping. My idea of camping comes equipped with a decent trailer and no bugs.

  2. Anonymous9:27 PM

    Ummm...this how I go camping: rent the campsite right next to the flushing toilets and showers that have running water, use the accessory port in the car to power the pump that blows up the air mattress....use the camp fire to make chilidogs and smores. And when things get too rustic run to the nearest starbucks and bring back a morning paper and latte. Hike around, sing, play boardgames, tell stories, play charades, hang with my friends...HEAVEN! :)

  3. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Addendum, make that showers with running, HOT water...

  4. Anonymous10:12 PM

    Not to be overly critical or anything...but...well, I guess I am - I think you folded your hobo dinner wrong - check out this link:

    I used their "technique" and was very pleased.

    Happy Camping!

  5. Anonymous11:35 PM

    Hmmm, wondering just where you are going at that they don't have showers. I have camped off and on for over 40 years and have always had showers while there. What I hate the most though, is if you wake up in the middle of the night and need to use the restroom. That can be a long trek, with only a flashlight at 3am, unless you are right beside the bathrooms. Im not camping anywhere ever where there are not showers.

  6. Anonymous7:41 AM

    camping?? does that involve pooping in woods???

  7. The hobo stew looks great. Have a fun time camping!

  8. Allison6:26 PM

    ya'll are crazy. camping/backpacking are great fun.... the dirt and grime are just part of the experience. i was lucky to be exposed at a young age... miss it terribly since I've been injured for a bit now.

  9. new yorker9:23 PM

    When my kids were young, we used to satisfy their camping urge by going to the camp ground for the day. Set up the tent, make a camp fire, grill some hot dogs, sweat potatoes, go finishing. At dusk, just pack up and go home without having to spend the night. That makes them happy enough.

  10. What's the recipe for that "hobo stew"? :P lol

  11. Can I get the recipe for the hobo stew? I have an old recipe I use, but yours looks better. Did you fire roast the corn in advance?

  12. Our hobo stew was:

    Precooked chicken sausage (cut up so it would heat through better)
    Potatoes (cut into thin slices)
    Roasted corn (can get frozen from Trader Joe's)
    Sliced peppers
    Onions and garlic
    Salt and pepper

    Some people espouse the "Cream of Mushroom" route for moisturizing a hobo stew, but I figure with the juices from the veggies and the butter in there, it's juicy enough.

  13. It seems to me that hate may be too weak a word. :-) I'm late to this party but couldn't resist. My idea of roughing it is to have to stay at the Holiday Inn without an electric blanket.

    Also, I'll have to admit that I read your later post telling all the good things about your little trip and I'm glad it worked well for you.

    Today is the first time I had seen your blog and I'm so glad I did. I love the way you write and will, of course, be back.

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