Thursday, July 2, 2009

Camping bribe?

I was chatting online with my friend Michelle, who lives back in the midwest. She and her hubby had bought a camper and we were talking about different things to do while camping and relaxing. Sadly, I have no clue how to relax. There's always a house to clean or laundry to fold or dishes to wash or paperwork to sort or....

One of the things she said they do is cook and eat. Well, heck, I can do that. In the conversation I mentioned Tonka Toasters, which I used over many many summers at 4-H camp. Michelle hadn't heard of these things, so a little Googling came up with the same concept: Pie Irons.

These classic campfire cooking tools have their own website and gosh-- a blog, and check out these recipes! I had only really known about the standard Wonder bread and pie filling recipe. Wow! I may have to get a pair of these when we get our camping gear.

Let's backtrack about 11+ months for a second so I can bring you up to speed. No, let's start about 30 years ago.

When I was a kid, my dad took me on a camping trip from Wisconsin to California. We cruised down the road in his little red Mazda RX-4 (with black leather or vinyl seats - wearing shorts - in the summer - yow! burnt thighs!) and camped in a pup tent near Mt. Rushmore, Lake Jenny at The Grand Tetons, and probably a few more camping spots that slip my mind.
It was a while ago.

During that trip, and subsequent camping trips with Dad, 4H groups, and other friends, I learned that I'm a hotel and cabin kind of gal. I don't relish sleeping on rocks, i hate waking up to a flooded tent during some rare stateside monsoon, I'm not so big on having a group of snickering Canadian boys collapse my dew-covered tent at 6am and then trying to claw my way out to daylight along with a dozen other screaming 14-year old girls, and I have un-pleasant memories losing my pillow and waking up stiff and sore. Besides, camping is cold.

Ok, so about 23 months ago, I tried to talk Frank into getting camping gear so we have more vacation freedom. At that point we had spent 95% of our time over the last 6 years in the Willamette Valley or on the central Oregon Coast. Frank always scoffed and said, "Yeah, we'll see if you do go camping." He says he's game to do it but knows I'd complain way too much.

When he had the musty little Lincoln City apartment when he was working in Pacific City at the Pelican Pub, we'd visit him and sleep on air mattresses. I don't recall complaining. Did I complain? Ok, maybe I grumped a little because the air mattress leaked and I woke up with my butt on the floor. Frank and Rachel complain that I complain all the time. Ironic, isn't it?

This year I'm bringing up the subject of camping gear again. Frank is laughing at me again. Rachel is rolling her eyes at me again. I vow to not complain.

Gonna have to get some Tonka Toasters (ahem, Pie Irons) to charm the sandals off my campmates.

In case I feel the urge to complain.

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