We hauled the five-gallon gas container out of the garage because we’re taking our first road trip in a year and a half to a part of the country where people are filling plastic bags with gas because they’re worried about running out of toilet paper.
We might get stuck in the Smoky Mountains.
I am undeterred by a hacked pipeline or by the monumental logistical challenge that is tent camping in the modern age. Hemingway walked across the UP with cans of pork and beans in his backpack and if you read any of his Nick Adams stories, you will hear Nick complaining constantly about how heavy his pack is. Incredible. Who carries cans of beans in their backpack, even at the turn of the century before the last one?
We are not taking any pork and beans on this trip though we do have cans of things. The cans are packed in boxes and will ride in the back of our truck. and not in our backpacks. Our backpacks are full of electronics. We have cans of soup, hash, chili, and the signature can of great camping – Spam!
We also have our metal coffee pot with the wire handle you have to use a potholder to pick up and our red cook set and plastic dishes in a net bag and our red checked tablecloth and all the key utensils and a roll of paper towels and tin foil and all the things we ought to have. I made lists so I know.
I celebrated the launch of our great camping trip tomorrow by eating an entire Hersey bar tonight after dinner. I also turned up the heat. Earlier we tried blowing up the mattress for our new two-person cot but we needed four D batteries which we didn’t have. So we made the decision to trust that we could blow up the mattress for the first time at our first campsite tomorrow night which is ominously called Starve Hollow State Recreation Area.
We are determined to go on this trip. To camp. To sleep in our tent. To sit at a picnic table in the morning and watch coffee perk in our ancient pot. To be cold in the morning and then hot later in the day. To puzzle over the instructions for blowing up our mattress. To cook our dinner in one pan and then wash our plates in cold water. To go to the next place on a road we don’t know.