Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Labor Day Weekend Camping Trip
What kind of fun can you have camping at the cabin in Eastern Oregon with your husband and 10 kids ranging in ages from 18 to 23? The excitement never ends!
Neither does the frustration.
Hubby forgot to leave me the keys to the gate at the cabin, and since I'm leaving earlier than everyone else, he had to drive home on his lunch break to drop them off.
Did I say I was leaving early?
I had grand plans of leaving home by 4:30 so I could get up there early enough to unpack what I had, get camp organized, and start dinner for the 12 of us before everyone else rolled in.
At 4:45pm the youngest's girlfriend informs me that she has forgotten her backpack at a friends house, and hasn't even packed yet because she's dying of a hangover, and been lying half comatose on the couch all afternoon.
I don't know why we need this particular backpack, whats wrong with a paper sack? We're going camping, not to the Hilton. (And a hangover is no excuse...I know these things because I have them on a regular basis. Hmph.)
SooOoo, I have to wait for her and one of the boys she conned into driving her to get back. 5:00pm rolls around. 5:10pm passes. 5:15pm and I'm getting a tad irritated. At this rate the husband will be home before we ever leave. All the other kids are foot stomping and frothing at the mouth when she finally shows back up. Pack already!
We're out of here 3 minutes before the hubby shows up. We're off to great start.
The two kids driving in front of me blast out of here like they are on fire, and the two behind me don't know the way up so I'm their guide. (The other kids are following the hubby)
We get up to Jasper Road, and it's completely blocked. WTF? The new extension road is apparently open now (thanks for telling me Oregon Highway Department) and I have to whip an illegal U-turn and drive a couple miles back to the new road. The kids that were in front of me ring up my cellphone about then to tell me the road is closed. I kinda figured that one out on my own, but thanks.
Everything is going smoothly for the next 45 miles ...we're headed up the Willamette Pass at a good clip, with hardly any traffic. yay! (it's an 80 mile drive)
I keep checking the rear view mirror to make sure the newbie boys are still behind me.
And then they aren't. Slooooooow down to 35 miles per hour. Still not there. Find a place that's wide enough to pull over and wait.
20 minutes go by. We're in the dead zone for cell service. What the hell happened back there? I'm getting all paranoid about them wrecking, a flat tire, the car blew up, what?
A State Trooper pulls in behind me to see if we're broke down. "Nope, but did you happen to see a little red ford back there broke down?" Of course not, he has his head up his butt, and off he goes.
Then I see a red Ford pickup flying past us. It's my husband and youngest son barreling by. I wave them down, but by then they can't stop. Shit.
Wait a little longer. Okay, we're going to have to go up a little higher on the pass and try to get some cell service. After going around a particularly hairy corner I see that the husband is pulled to the side of the road (Where Mr. State Trooper happened to have perched with his radar gun after being so helpful) but they are pulling away! StOp StOP STOP! No luck.
I followed them for another 5 miles before we're all at the top of the pass and there's a place to pull over. (And WHOOOOSH..there goes another truck full of our kids, but not the one's I'm looking for!)
After much consulting, I'm to continue up to the cabin, while he turns around to find out what the hell happened. Good plan.
We stopped at Crescent Lake Junction to get some ice at The Odell Sportsman, and walk around the parking lot looking for a cell signal to let the kids that were in front of us know we're going to be late late late, but we're on our way. (I knew I should of given them the gate keys)
They had stopped in Oakridge, about 20 miles back, and were actually behind us! They saw my missing kids pulled over with a State Trooper when they blew by, and were about 5 minutes from where we are. I waited for them to see what happened. Apparently the radiator was overheating, so they had to get coolant from the store, drive back down the mountain, and get the beast running again. I tried calling the hubby to let him know the kids were driving back down, so he could turn around, but of course they are still in the dead zone. FINE. You guys all do what you have to do, I HAVE GOT to get to the cabin before my bladder explodes. (public restrooms? probably, but I have a paranoia about such things)
Needless to say, when everyone finally made it to the cabin, it was pitch black, and we had to set up camp and cook by the light of a small lantern. (We have no running water or electricity up here. Very primitive.) After everyone got settled down, and the beer was flowing, the rest of the evening was pretty damned nice.
Except for the cold. I've never been camping on Labor Day weekend when it's only 34 degree's at night. And me, with no long underwear.
Mother Nature, you are my hero.
No, wait..beer is my hero.
The rest of the weekend you ask? Let's just say that we're going again this Friday, and it better be nicer than this camp trip was.