A wall of old camping gear stares at me every time I do laundry. Covered with dust, it reminds me of our very last camp out--a sad and memorable event.
Our church planned a big camp out, starting Friday night to Sunday morning, with a big potluck on Saturday evening. One of the church ladies had a brochure on a nearby camp site, which showed towering trees, people playing volley ball, kids swimming, etc. It looked marvelous.
Talk about untruth-in-advertising. After checking in, we went to our assigned spot. Where were the trees? Gone, all gone. In their places stood spindly plantings. The pool? Drained for repairs. The volley ball court? About ¼ mile, at the far stretch of camp.
The saddest thing of all was the sewage back-up in the only shower and toilet facilities. Four toilets, each backed up, with toilet paper pieces covering the floor. Fortunately the campgrounds were spotted with Spanky’s Porta-Potties, which were nearly full.
Saturday night was about 90° and at dusk, the air started to cool. We were each assigned food to bring, which for us was salad thankfully.
The number of entrees was thin, but some cheerful church lady brought a huge cauldron of her special recipe chicken stew. “You’ll just love this!” she exclaimed as she ladled it out. My husband accepted his portion, while I passed it by, and headed to the tray of cold cuts.
Most of the campers settled into their tents, while others stayed up around the campfire, singing praise hymns, without ceasing.
Around 10 pm, my husband leaped up and ran out; I could hear him retching in the brush. There were so many others doing the same. He returned to the tent, saying “We’re leaving. Now.”
With Spanky’s Porta-Potties by now full to the brim, there were no other viable options where to vomit or allow one to relieve one’s bowels.
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We gathered or grabbed valuables, leaving the tent standing, and raced to our home, about thirty miles away. It was a rough night.
My husband returned early the next morning to pack up the tent and sleeping bags. He said many others had done to same.
Since then, we have converted from roughing it to staying in a motel. Things change; the memories remain.