Category Archives: The Camping Chronicles

Our infamous camping adventures.

The Camping Chronicles: Timothy Lake, Part III

After falling into Timothy Lake and returning to camp, I flailed about in our tent like a shivering man-child while The Wife forced me into dry clothes.

Dinghy McBrokenboat had set his crawdad trap earlier that day, so by the time we rejoined the group at the campfire he’d caught 4 of the disgusting little freaks.

“Look honey!” I said, holding one up for her to see. It waved its claws around, miming precious little death threats at her.

“Ooo!” she replied. “It’s a Crapdaddy.” Obviously I could not bring myself to correct her. Instead, I laughed and pulled out my iPhone, adding her quote to our ongoing list of Denglish hilarity.

We cooked the crawfish and ate them; each one offering just enough meat to evoke in my mind the shellfish genocide it would require to form a proper meal. It was then I noticed movement on the ground around the campfire. All around, as far as my flashlight could reveal, the forest floor was crawling with spiders. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. It was like something out of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets… or the night terrors I’ve been having ever since.

Because my normal clothes were soaked, I was wearing only socks on my feet, which left me feeling all the more vulnerable to spider attacks. I held my feet up as long as I could, like a pregnant woman in stirrups, before exhausting myself and retiring for the night.

The next morning, we awoke to the dreaded patter of rain hitting our tent. My coat was hanging under a tree somewhere outside, so The Wife found a white plastic bag and cut holes for my head and arms, fashioning a makeshift rain vest comprised of 10% German resourcefulness and 90% American shame. The rest of our group enjoyed the hell out of my predicament, while I choked down a little of the hair of the dog that bit me. I was cold, I was wet, and I was still angry about those other campers molesting our otherwise virginal ambiance…

But by God, we were camping… and we were camping hard.

Click here to read our very first camping adventure — The Camping Chronicles: Burning the German, Part I

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The Camping Chronicles: Timothy Lake, Part II

As you know from the first chapter of this story, we were camping at Timothy Lake, stuck next to another group of campers and their greasy teenagers.

With German efficiency, we tore through a half gallon of Canadian Club, chased it with a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and set out on the boat. Floating around the lake for a few hours, we laughed and enjoyed the hell out of our pubescentless air. When it was time to go back (and after a dozen false starts), the engine turned over and brought us back to shore. There, my wife and our other friends leapt gracefully from the boat and walked up the bank. I, however, gripped the handrail and attempted to slide off the bow like a manatee. I am still unclear exactly how this happened, but I found myself hanging from the side of the boat; my American butt cheeks dangling mere inches from the surface of the water.

“Help me! Help me! Help me!” I cried, but my pleas were rewarded only with laughter. Raucous laughter, especially from my wife. My arms grew tired and I knew I was going into the drink. “My iPhone! You asses, where’s my iPhone?”

“I have it,” chimed The Wife, just helpful as can be.

*SPLASH* I dropped into the water, feeling it wash into my shoes, under my coat and through my jeans; swirling like an icy maelstrom around my wedding vegetables. I emerged from the water soaked and shivering, and though I was prepared to greet hypothermia with open arms, The Wife marched me directly into our tent and put me into dry clothes as if I were some kind of big, stupid man-baby.

Click here to read The Camping Chronicles: Timothy Lake, Part III

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The Camping Chronicles: Timothy Lake, Part I

In case you don’t already know, The Wife and I love to camp — and we love to camp hard.

A few weeks ago, we went camping at Timothy Lake near Mt. Hood, where our friend Dinghy McBrokenboat picked us up at the ramp in his ancient fishing vessel. Keeping with tradition, it took 20 minutes for the motor to start up for the return trip, so we drifted around on the water with enough time for him to inform us there was a “surprise” waiting for us at camp. Dinghy is a sarcastic wretch, so I assumed this surprise was both unwelcome and uncalled-for.

The boat managed to deliver us to our camp on the other side of the lake running on nothing but unleaded miracles. It was then our surprise revealed itself — a large group of strangers setting up their own camp right next to ours. These campwads were practically on top of us. They were practically whispering ghost stories into our ears. They were practically making love to us with s’more covered genitals.

But why? I asked myself. Timothy Lake is lousy with camp sites! Oh how I hated these campers, and worst of all, they had teenagers with them… teenagers. *shudder*

Our other friend, The Dying Gaul, went over and gave them fair warning: “We are a large group of adults and we aim to drink; you may want to consider the impression we leave upon your impressionables.”*

No dice — the Children of the Corn were staying.

*No exaggeration. This is a direct quote.

Click here to read The Camping Chronicles: Timothy Lake, Part II

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The Camping Chronicles: Freezing the American

Despite 3 solid burnings during our last camping excursion, The Wife and I returned to the wilderness at the base of Mt. Hood to camp with some friends. Present were 6 adults and 2 children, and luckily, no wakeboarding boats from which I could be banned for life.

At the end of the first night, after we set up our massive dome tent and inflated our air mattress, I crawled into bed and cocooned myself within the blankets, twisting them around my body like an adorable pupa. The Wife informed me this setup was unacceptable, stating, “No, no — we use the German Method. Watch…” She tore the blankets off and began layering them on top of me; each one stacked perfectly upon the next, corner to corner, like slices of American cheese on top of my sweet, American body.

While the German Method may sound brilliant in theory, in practice, it’s total crap. The blankets were just big enough to cover both our bodies, so when a selfish German decided to roll over onto her side and take half the covers with her, the American was left to freeze off his Red, White and Blues. Add to this a slowly deflating air mattress, and you’ve discovered the faulty engineering behind the German Method.*

After shivering my way through the night, I woke at 6:30 am to the sound of children playing around the campsite. They were having a wonderful time, and their carefree laughter filled the forest air… a sound which grates upon my ears like nails on a chalkboard. The Wife was already awake, and she turned to me with a vicious case of dragon breath. “NOW do you want to have children?” she asked.

“Oh yes,” I replied. “Triplets. And when they wake us up the next time we go camping, I’ll take them for a little nature hike — ‘Time to go to the Drowning Pool, kids!’ ”

Still shivering cold, I dove beneath the blankets and clung to The Wife like a koala to a Eucalyptus tree, making sure to rub my frozen hands and feet all over her bikini bits. While I was down there, rummaging around in the warm darkness, she totally let rip and farted on my knees. Just all over them. And my head was beneath the covers too, which meant my wife had just treated me to a Dutch Oven.

I scrambled to the surface, gasping for air. The Wife was laughing at me, so I bear hugged her — squeezing her super tight — right as she machine-gunned 3 sneezes across the top of my head. I felt the mist and everything.

She rolled out of bed, informing me, “Those sneezes are called ‘Ha-Cheez.’ ”

*The Wife claims she rolled onto her side during the night in order to face away from me because my breath was so bad, which is totally impossible, because my breath smells like freedom.

Click here to read some of our other camping misadventures.

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The Camping Chronicles: Burning the German, Part III

When it was finally time to break camp and head home, The Wife and I attempted to extinguish our campfire; this is Oregon, after all, and we are good, responsible campers. It’s not like we had wholesale disregard for Oregon’s  Severe Weather Alert — or its no-campfires policy throughout the summer months in general — it’s just that we like to do whatever the hell we want.

So we hoisted our cooler — now half-full of water from the melted ice we’d purchased — and dumped it directly onto the coals of the fire. Apparently we were dealing with the grumpiest fire of all time, because it erupted with steam and Old Faithfulled all over my wife’s hands. Now, I am not generally opposed to hot liquids shooting all over beautiful women, but we all know how dangerous steam can be. Luckily, she got away with pink skin and a blister. Score.

How could I have been so stupid as to dump water directly onto hot coals? I don’t know; I’ve been burned at least three times the same way, and the fires just can’t seem to learn this simple lesson. I guess they’re just doomed to repeat it, the stupids.

Anyway, after burning her 3 different ways during the course of our camping trip, I decided to apologize by buying my wife a peanut butter burger and a 34 ounce stein of beer at Calamity Jane’s in Sandy, Oregon. The burger and the beer were bigger than my wife’s head — and they were awesome — but she could not remember the name of the restaurant as we drove home.

I told her it was Saran Wrap Jake’s.

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The Camping Chronicles: Burning the German, Part II

Striding through the forest at the base of Mt. Hood, The Wife and I heard some eerie, bell-like sounds. “Those are windchimes,” I declared, checking the safety guard on my canister of bear mace.

“Are you sure? They sound like cow bells,” replied The Wife, as if she knows my country better than I do.

“Totally wind chimes. Some hippies probably hung them up in a tree.”

I had to go pee pee, so I stepped into a clearing and whipped out my beefus. Sure enough, two giant cows emerged from behind a shrub — bells ringing — just pleased as hell to contradict me. That’s when I looked down to find my right Tiva buried in a fresh cow pie.

With my pride crushed beneath a pair of disgusting, stupid, grass stained, idiot, cloven hooves, I decided the cows would  make excellent subjects for a field test of my bear mace.* I popped off the guard and depressed the trigger — BOOM! That mother had some recoil! A huge jet of rust-colored pepper spray fired out, and it was thick, like 4 inches in diameter. No way could you miss a bear with this stuff. You could, however, give your wife a healthy dose of back spray by carelessly firing it into the wind.

I looked back to see The Wife’s eyes tearing up and turning every bit as red as the rest of her. Oh God, how mace burns! I’ve maced myself on accident a few times, but never with bear mace. Obviously it was time to apologize, wipe the cow shit off my sandals and head back to camp.

*No I did not mace the cows. They were too far away.

Click here to read the third installment of Burning the German.

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The Camping Chronicles: Burning the German, Part I

During our recent camping trip on Mt. Hood, The Wife and I drank some brew doggies and sat in the sun. And by sat in the sun, I mean we cracked a few PBRs and immediately lost track of time. We let that almighty bastard in the sky work us over for 5.5 hours, which wasn’t a huge problem for me — I had a decent tan in place — but The Wife was paler than that God-awful pickled herring she loves so much. If she’d been any whiter, she’d have been listening to NPR while composting her vegetables. If my wife had been any more white, she would have purchased the complete DVD set of The Wire before riding a Vespa scooter to Whole Foods.

What I’m saying here is my wife got sunburned. Bad. Even the knot loops on the back of her bikini top were seared into her flesh like a hilarious Colonel Sanders string tie. Of course I laughed, and of course I was  somehow to blame for this sunburn (totally worth it). And God bless my wife, for she — unlike me — is not a complete pussy; she ignored the burn and informed me it was time to go for a walk.

Click here to read the second installment of Burning the German.

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