More than a camping trip

camping - cabin

It appears this cabin is for sale on the website.

One of my friends went on a camping trip with three other friends. All are women middle 60s and older. They stayed near an amusement park.

My friend was telling me about the trip both before and afterward. It was quite an experience.

As my mother would say, older people get set in their ways. They have established a routine and preferences and some just do not like flexing. It sounds like some of her friends weren’t the “go with the flow” type. These things don’t always turn out like those old geezer movies with everyone having fun (and maybe sex too).

They stayed in a one-room cabin without a bathroom. (Right there — count me out!) Some of these ladies are depending on Depends to see them through the night.

They cooked their meals, each taking a turn. Put four older ladies together and you have all sorts of food restrictions. Two couldn’t eat onions or garlic. One was gluten intolerant. Somehow they made that all work. Of course they had heartburn drugs and prune juice to help.

My friend ate out at the local cantina one day to eat some naughty food like burgers, fries and a shake. After all it was vacation!

One person had some “undisclosed baggage” and announced that she wanted to spend time alone. That’s hard to do in a one room rustic cabin with bunk beds on either side. People tried to steer clear of her.

Another one was sure this was her last trip to an amusement park ever and intended to spend every minute enjoying the rides. (Can’t blame her for that! Maybe she knew something she wasn’t sharing.)

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with inflation. My friend drove. The other ladies kicked in a minimal amount for gas and tolls which cost my friend over $150. She’s way too polite to ask for more. For her it was the cost of friendship.

She enjoyed the trip because she is a “let’s roll with it” kind of person. She also loves camping.

The sequence of her stories over a period of a week which started with an anxiety that it would work to the conclusion of how it went, was fascinating to me. It made me reflect on how flexible I am in a group.

I can be outspoken when it’s important to me and sometimes I can be that “go with the flow” chick who likes to enjoy people. (Don’t misinterpret this! I still prefer cats to people but I certainly can’t take them out to dinner or on a trip. Tuna anyone?)

I don’t participate in anything that I don’t think I would enjoy at least minimally (like camping) but I am willing to try new adventures and be flexible so I am not a royal pain in the ass. (and yes, sometimes I am a pain in the ass)

How about you? Pain in the ass? Go with the flow? Or just plain ol’ don’t participate? Or something else?

45 thoughts on “More than a camping trip

  1. That was a fun trip! What made it fun was that I was reading about it instead of doing it. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but I need my own space – and a means of escape. So staying in one room with 3 (not-my-husband) others and without total control of the transportation has me in a position firm enough that discussing the one-size-fits-all (possibly at the same time) bathroom isn’t necessary!


    • I am the same way. The older I get the bigger the space I need. When I was young I would go with friends on sail boats for a long weekend. Now I would feel trapped if it was longer than a day.


  2. I am not a happy camper and like you, no bathroom… No. I don’t even like to share a bathroom. I am not a whiner, at least not anywhere but at home and with the Husband. I would have to really know and be good friends with four gals to do that camping thing in that little house and it would have to have a bathroom, two bathrooms would be better. I really like a hotel with clean towels each day and treats left in the room. And it has to be clean! I can certainly be a pain in the ass but I try to be nice about it.. 🙂 But I can be pushed too far and then it isn’t pretty. So in this scenario that you have, I would be PODP. I almost typed POOP.. 🙄


    • Sounds so familiar. About 4 years ago my husband’s extended family gathered at a large house in the mountains. In it’s time it may have been wonderful with a wrap around veranda. Now it was filthy and run down. The kitchen (where people would cook) was a disaster. Half the burners and oven didn’t work and there was a lot of dust on the ceiling fixtures just waiting to fall into food. The bathrooms were carpeted and smelled like urine. We were assured a private bath but that was not so. We shared with a nice lady but the bathroom was tiny and she put her stuff in there and there was no room. (Not that I would have put my stuff on the filthy vanity!) There was a small stage and chairs (it had been a dance school at one point) and the kids found costumes and put on a play. Most of them got lice from the wigs. I ate very little that weekend and didn’t walk barefoot anywhere except INSIDE the shower. Camaraderie was wonderful was I struggled not to be a PITA and I was to some extent. Yep, we ate out for lunch so I could avoid the dinners. Believe me this was so much worse than my one camping trip because it was dirty.


  3. I am not a camping kinda gal I would be a royal pain! My favorite place to be is home. I don’t go anywhere unless I am almost positive I will not lose my cool and kill somebody. Prolly wise that I stay home most of the time. .


    • I traveled a lot when I was young both in and out of the country. These days I don’t travel well for a lot of reasons and am most content at home. Each year we go to the shore for a week. It’s driving distance and that’s enough for me. Oddly, the first few days are carefree and then I miss the cats so badly.


  4. When camping, I had some ‘whine’ with my cheese – after the fact – and it was great blogging material. But mostly, I like to think I’m a go with the flow person. Even if I am, on occasion, a stick in the mud. 😉


    • Because of nocturnal bathroom runs (which started like 20 years ago) I am not much of a camper but I wouldn’t go on a camping trip and complain. I just wouldn’t go! Other than that I like to think I am a GWTF person although I have my moments.


  5. My husband bought me a beautiful dome tent one year for my b’day…we love camping. My sister, nieces and I have hiked and tent camped all over the Aspen and Crested Butte mountains in Colorado and had a ball. I don’t want to camp w/just anyone…picky about that. When our big family gets together it’s whatever suits individuals…everyone’s happy. To each their own…that’s the best relational policy.


    • For four months…four consecutive summers…my husband and I volunteered in the Forest Service. Two of the summers we hosted campgrounds 10,500’…no electricity, no water and it was awesomely wonderful. The following two summers we tended the horses the rangers used in the wilds…electricity but no running water. Just us, the eight horses and paradise. Depends on what you like/love to do.


  6. I try to set the tone at the beginning of the trip so that everyone is on the same page. For example, we went on a cruise last summer with another couple. First night, my friend, who loves to sleep in really late, asked when we wanted to meet for breakfast. i said, “Don’t worry about us. I know you like to sleep in. We can get breakfast on our own. When would you like to meet up?” I think we agred on 10 or 11. I think she was grateful she didn’t have to drag out of bed and have her least favorite meal of the day just to keep us happy. I was happy because I could get food when I wanted and didn’t have to wait for anyone.


    • That is how I am. We do a beach trip every year with our siblings. My husband and I do the planning and secure the location. Every year I send a detailed email on what we are taking that’s community shared and what they need to bring themselves. Perhaps it seems neurotic but everyone knows exactly what food is in the house and what nights we will have joint dinner (with margaritas of course!).


    • There isn’t an easy answer is there? When I wrote the story, I wasn’t sure where I fit. This scenario wouldn’t fit me on so many levels but if I committed to something I liked to do and some things went south, I’m hoping I could GWTF.


  7. Typically, I go with the flow, but when it comes to camping, I’ll be at the closet Hilton. That cabin looks like it was made out of Lincoln Logs…one of my favorite toys when I was a kid. 🙂


  8. I’m leaning more toward just “plain ol’ don’t participate.” I used to be a go with the flow sort of woman, but not anymore: comfort and space trump cabin and rustic every time.


  9. Moi? Mostly POPD. (Plain ol’ don’t participate) and that mostly because I think I could be a royal PITA.

    Though, that little cabin does look sweet. For me. Maybe hubby. And the cats.


    • I’ve been a PITA once or twice but only when it wasn’t as described. One room with 3 female friends, I just don’t know. Seems a little tight especially without a beach. Oh yes, it rained the first day. Forgot that!


  10. Do I have to pick just one? 😛

    * I am flexible, but only to a point. And some things (like indoor plumbing) are non-negotiable. E.g., I would not go camping in a cabin without a bathroom because I am not wandering around in the woods after dark when (not if) I get up for a piddle break in the middle of the night.

    * If I was “going with the flow” in a one room cabin (WITH indoor plumbing) and someone announced they needed some time alone, I would honor that request by pointing them to the nearest exit.

    * I would be the unpaid advocate for your friend ~ figuring out or asking about the total cost of gas or tolls and then letting the other two know so they could chip in a bit more.

    * Rides?! Let me at them!!! When I go to an amusement park, I want to get there when it opens, ride the rides all day (with short bathroom breaks, as required), and leave when security is kicking folks out of the park.


Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s