|This picture was not taken by me.|
At the beginning of this week Skoora and I headed down to Moscow to visit some friends before gathering said friends up for a small camping trip. Our destination was a place in Lewiston but no one in my car seemed to know or remember the name of the place.
The drive was nice except for a little patch of road just before you get to Lewiston. You have to drive through a bit of mountains and while the road wasn't bad, the strong gusts of wind were enough to put me on edge.
At first we went the wrong way, because whoever designed the streets had to have been drunk or high, but we figured it out and got on the right track again and finally arrived at the camp ground. When I saw the signs I couldn't help but think 'Hell's Gate, well that's an uplifting name'. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much since the mountains surrounding the camp were brown and grassy, with an absence of trees. Everything around, city and Snake River aside, looked kind of barren. The further we got into the park things changed. Lush, green grass blanked the ground. Tall trees stood, providing shade. There were small cabins, a nice place to use the bathroom and shower. Plenty of camping spots with fire pits and picnic tables, even electric hookups. Really, this park has a lot to offer but I couldn't help but feel like this was a planted park. A place where people came in and planted the trees and grass to create a space. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just don't know if I feel exactly cheated or not. I can't explain it to myself so I have no hope of explaining it to you.
After we pulled into our spot we set up camp. There were two runs made to the Clarkston Wal-Mart, the first of which I had gone on. I opted out of the second one since my back was killing me and I wanted to keep a fellow camper company. I feel bad because I don't really know him and ended up rambling while everyone else was gone. I have been assured that was okay and I'm glad because honestly that hour and half would have crawled on if we'd spent it in an awkward-I-don't-know-you-so-I'm-not-going-to-talk-to-you kind of silence.
I did get a couple of pictures before it started to rain. They aren't very good but it's a new camera and I'm still trying to get used to it.
Speaking of the rain, once it started it didn't really stop. Everything was soaked and I think everyone's tent leaked in some fashion. Everything we left out on the picnic table was soaked and where there is darkness and moisture there are earwigs. I actually went to bed early half because I was in so much pain I couldn't stand it anymore, and also because earwigs were dropping down on me from the tree I was sitting under. EWW! Worse, when I was laying down in the tent trying to sleep, I could see them crawling on the outside of my tent in the firelight. Also, someone let their dog take a crap outside our tent during the night. I don't know who but it wasn't a pleasant thing to wake up to.
We left early the next morning. We'd had enough of the rain and someone of my fellow campers had to get back to town so they could shower and go to work. It's been a couple of days and I am still recovering from the trip physically. I didn't play and bounce around like my friends, in fact I took it easy but somehow, the chair I was sitting in, the drive, already being in pain, and getting in and out of the tent just really fouled me up. Still, aside from the bugs and back pain it was a good trip. I just wish my parents had been there with all of their camping stuff. My Mom and Dad would have cooked us a fantastic meal in real camping fashion. My Dad has all sorts of stories from when he worked on the Dude Ranch in Colorado he could have told, plus my Dad has a banjo. Sure, none of my friends would have really enjoyed a bluegrass element but I sure would have.
Actually one of my fondest memories was when I was little and there was a night full of severe weather. There is a support beam and pole that runs through the middle of the basement and my Dad put me (and my favorite stuffed animals) next to it on a pallet and stood a mattress set up, the box springs on one side of me and the mattress on the other. Mom lit candles and sat somewhere, I'm not sure where because I couldn't see her, and Dad set up a spot for himself in front of me. He took out his banjo and played and sang for us until I fell asleep. It was awesome!