My last post ended with an ominous rumbling of thunder, rather like the terrified neighing of horses that follows saying “Frau Blucher” aloud. I bet you were all on the edge of your seats, waiting to find out what happened next.
My typical worst-case scenario for camping has to do with rain. Putting down a wet tent, or, worse, putting down a wet tent while it’s still pouring rain is about as fun as being coated in honey and released in an apiary.
I have a new worst-case-scenario. It involves grudgingly waking up, at the slightly frantic urgings of my tent-mate, to find myself face-to-nylon with the tent wall. It involves hazily trying to roll away from the tent wall, only to discover that there is nowhere in the tent that isn’t right up against the tent wall/ceiling.
That seems kind of bad, but wait, there’s more!
Before you go blaming my tent-setting abilities, let me assure you… it was set up. We even had tent pegs (another one of my worst tenting experiences involves no pegs and a wind storm), and this tent was solid.
So, muddled from my coma-like sleep habits, I crawled awkwardly out of the tent to the sound of hysteric-drunk-girl-laughter. At that point, I could deal with it – whatever had caused my tent to flatten, I must have looked ridiculous emerging from it like a small child emerging from a collapsed sheet-fort. She even helped me
with starting to put the tent back together.
What happened? Someone had tripped into our tent. Not just a simple stumble, though. He managed to fall entirely on top of M. She was, luckily, lying on her stomach, because he would likely have broken some of her ribs or done other damage if she’d been sleeping on her back. He did hurt her enough, however, that she wasn’t quite ready to move from that position quite yet. No worries, I’ll finish putting things back together, and rejoin my comfy sleeping bag for a few more hours of sleep time. At this point, you’re wondering when the honey-covered-in-an-apiary situation will be trumped.
But wait, there’s more!
The wildebeest who tackled my tent had hit it SO hard that he shattered poles. I have no pictures. By this point, the still giggling drunk girl was very close to being kicked in the face (I can do that… I’m bendy. This is not an idle threat.) at the hand of my cranky, sleep deprived tantrum-y inner two-year-old. The water-resistant light-o’-my-life was struck down and the poles were shattered in a rather irreparable manner. One of the poles fragmented into tens of fibrous long strands of… whatever the poles were made of. Something standard for lightweight tents, I’m sure. Just as I’m sure that this tent would have been able to deal with rain. Would have been able to deal with the high winds that caused me to wake up on the roof of my not-pegged-down tent in a windstorm. It was not, however, able to withstand a man (wildebeest) launching himself over it, so that he landed nearly entirely on top of the tent.When the friends of giggly girl came over and asked what had happened, I could barely contain my rage (and overall upset-ness at the death of tent) to say something along the lines of “Wildebeest Smash! Why tent no-get-up? Hulk angry. Hulk kill wildebeest. Where wildebeest?”Hulk sad, but still badass!
Wildebeest, was, of course, long gone and disappeared into the nearly silent tent forest. If he was amongst the friends of giggly girl, he was wise to not say anything about his part in all this, because I would likely have found some orifices to shove my broken poles into. Instead of checking if we were ok, upon landing upon M (she’s ok, by the way… not nearly as damaged as poor tent) and destroying the tent, he eloquently summarized things with a four-letter word for copulate, and ran off into the night laughing his wildebeest laugh.
We emptied the flat tent, wrapped it up, and relocated to the flattened back seats of M’s hatchback. Sleep was quick-coming for me, because my hulk-rage is quick-burning, and I need my sleeps. And I can sleep anywhere, a trait that M does not share, especially with a pain-ey ankle and a few inches additional height that meant she couldn’t lie down with her legs fully extended, or without throbbing ankle pains.
Between 3am and about 4, she tried valiantly to find sleep, and at about four, she gave up. around 4:15, M woke me up and said, “Could we go to their house now, do you think? Ok, I’ll drive… you can just stay there”
We were almost there by the time I thought to ask how she knew where they lived. Apparently, they’re the only people with their last name in the city… and M’s smart-phone is pretty darn smart.
At about 4:30, I sent a cautiously probing text to K, asking for her to come open the door to her house (not creepy at all, right?), and we proceeded to skulk down around the back of the house, like the creepers we were. Locked, surprisingly.
Probably for the best. Can you imagine waking up in the night to the sound of intruders… only to find them sleeping on your couch by the time you scrounged the courage to creep downstairs, baseball bat and phone in hand?
Our next plan involved sleeping on the front porch of K’s house in our sleeping bags until morning, but I was in dire need of a washroom and unwilling to water the lawn in a residential area. Does Alex go in the woods? Yes, when the need arises. But she doesn’t go in the rhododendrons. There are lines.
But there were no lines at the 24 hour Tim Horton we found. And their sausage and egg wrap is heavenly.
We showed up at K’s house again at about 6, I tried texting her again, and gave in, calling her home-line and waking up her parents.
Two glorious hours of sleep on the most comfortable couch in existence had me feeling like a human being once again.
As a finale to the whole affair – to whoever I texted “Hey, I’m outside your house, unlock the door” at 4am… I apologise. Because it wasn’t K, or anyone else I know. One day, in the future, you might be able to sleep at night with the lights out.