Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Night in the Woods

I had forgotten how much I love camping. 

The past couple of summers, I haven't gone on a road trip with the dogs and a tent.  I didn't realize how much I missed that experience of falling asleep to moonlight and tree frogs and the wind whispering through tall oak trees stretching above you...

Of course, this time, we were crammed into a Scamp.  For those who don't know what the heck that is, this is a Scamp:

courtesy of
Well, those are a collection of Scamps.  The teeny one in the front is roughly what we were using, with more of a retro-late 1980s look to it.

The "we" I keep referring to was my best girlfriend Amy and her two kids, who had never been camping before and who were over the moon excited about it.  They got to sleep on the little bunk beds at the front of the camper, and Amy and I slept head-to-foot in the spacious (ha ha) double bed that in the morning converted back to a breakfast nook.  The dogs slept in the truck, as they wouldn't fit in with all of us.  I can't say that we got a heck of a lot of sleep, between kids crashing to the floor randomly throughout the night and swishy sleeping bags making hissing noises that got louder and louder as it got later and later, and the dogs barking at nocturnal squirrels.  (At least I hope they were squirrels.)  But we had all the elements of a fantastic camping trip:  roasted corn and hotdogs for dinner, the exotic facilities of the public bath house, a smoky campfire (wet wood equals no flames), and smores made with much more marshmallow than should be legally allowed.  There were even some gruesome and ghastly ghost stories provided by the kids--I think they involved some kind of bad guy and electricity machines, but they were hard to follow.  Oh, and the camping breakfast of eggs, sausages, fried english muffins and fresh fruit.  Gotta have a good breakfast!

The Scamp is too cute, literally too cute.  It has it's quirks, of course.  The canopy has issues with being set-up, staying up, and then retracting into it's little compartment when you want to put it away--so I think needs replacement.  I have an idea for a homemade one...anyway, so the canopy has "issues".  The roof vent cover is broken, and won't stay on, so needs replacing as well.  I did a little research, and it sounds pretty easy to replace and it isn't terribly expensive to order the part from the Scamp guys.  And then there is the small issue of the water leak under the sink, which I found out after the water connection had been hooked up for 20 minutes or so causing some flooding onto the carpeting, after flowing through an electrical plug that was connected to the running mini fridge.  Yikes-a-rooni!  Anyway, it seems to be dried out now after a bit of help from a fan, and I think the fix will just be to reattached and tighten the hose clamps around the inside connection.  It sure made for a night of squishy wet feet, and I don't want a repeat performance!

I'm looking forward to going out again with just the dogs, and spending a relaxing night under the stars, with a roaring campfire and a good book.  It should look something like this:

 I think the doggles and I will fit into the Scamp, and be nice and cozy.  It will be a little harder for the bears to peel open and eat us (and our marshmallow supply).

I mean, you just have to keep that breakfast safe from maurauding wildlife.

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