Camping 2017.. in the books

Most camping trips start out with lists.. we started out with one and then it went to hell crunched up into a ball the night before we left..Blah..who needs a list..right? The night had come that we ALL had been waiting for..VACATION.. time away from passwords, reports, working in general and most of all PEOPLE..I think that Sydney was even antsy for vacation to begin..The Stauff hauled in the camper from the ranch and we hauled in all our gear that we would need for our trek away. The night before The Stauff decides to check the battery to make sure it works.. We flick on the lights and no juice..tinker here and tinker there and still no juice.. The Stauff’s temper flares.. “We are not going on vacation..we are all working tomorrow”. I roll my eyes and kids find a safe place.. I grab my flashlight and go to following cords.. I think to myself..”seriously..it can’t be that hard”.. The Stauff sees me and comes and joins. More tinkering here and there and WAHLAH..lights turn on.. WHEW I sigh..One battle won.. The next AM we are all getting ready to go. I have to take my Jeep along as well as on the way home I have to hook a left onto the interstate and drive 3 hours for a work meeting the next day..(Keep this in mind..It becomes pivotable later in the story) So away we go..the boys in the pickup/camper and the girls/dog in the Jeep. Destination would be in about 4+ hours..We stop in Casper to get groceries and supplies..an hour later and checkbook depleted we leave. We stop along the way so Wyatt can fish a little and then locked in to the destination..Hog Park.. We get to Encampment and drop my Jeep off at my buddies house and we jump in with the boys, since we can only have one vehicle at our campsite. We unload the supplies into the Camper from the Jeep. The GPS says about 20 miles from here, but it is saying it will take an hour to get there.. Chad gives me a “Are you F’ing kidding me look”. I shrug my shoulders and say, “Seriously, come on, we are on vacation.. who cares”. Away we go, Lola our GPS showing us the way. We turn off the highway and start the climb into the mountains. We are instantly met with serious wash board roads.. We slow to a snails pace. Chad looks at me and says, “AH..I get why it will take us a damn hour to get there”. I take a deep sigh and think to myself, Lord, just get us there.. After about an hour we get up to about 8500 ft..Lola says “You have arrived at your destination”.. The only problem was there was nothing but trees and a road..no sign for Hog Park anywhere.. I started praying for anything.. a chipmunk. moose, bear, sunlight.. anything to point us in the way.. I say “well let’s turn around and go back down that other road where the sign showed the other campground was”.. Chad shot me look and found a spot to jockey the pickup and trailer around and we shot back down the road that said “Lakeview Campground”. We go about 3 miles and BOOM, there is the sign.. Hog Park Campground.. ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA why in thee same hell they would call the same campground 2 different names..Typical Government. We shoot in and go hunt our camp site down. We are site 46 right next to the lake.. We duck and weave our way and finally find our spot.. right next to the lake.. AHH Relaxation..I hadn’t even opened my door yet and this little pickup comes flying up beside us. “HI there” he shouts out, “I am the Camp host, you must be the Stauff’s”. I smile “Yep, that would be us”. He hollars from his pickup again, “Do you guys have water?” The Stauff says “No, we have some cans that we can haul it in with”. The Camp host says, “Come up to my trailer, I have a hose, you can fill up there”. Luckily we weren’t unhooked from the camper yet, so away we go.. The Stauff and I are filling up the Camper as the host is giving us the low down on the rules of the campground and such. He pauses and says “Do deer growl?”. I glanced up waiting for the punch line. I looked over at The Stauff who is smiling back at him and I knew he was waiting on the same.. a few awkward moments and finally The Stauff says, “Uh No, Deer don’t growl.. Why?”. The Host says “Hmm, I didn’t think they did, but I had something growling outside my camper last night.. I think to myself, “What in thee Sam Hell did I get ourselves into”. We finished up with the water and head back to our site.. I looked at The Stauff.. “WTF..growls by his camper???”. The Stauff just smiles and says, “I am pretty sure he was joking”. Needless to say I filled the kids on it just to be safe. We get back to the camper and the kids set off to the lake to fish and The Stauff and I start the process of setting up camp. The Stauff turns on the water pump to get the water primed and gets busy hooking everything up.. I am busy putting groceries away, sweeping and thoroughly enjoying our new home. The Stauff comes in and turns the water on. The faucet looks like a little boy peeing. I closed my eyes and said a few quick prayers.. The Stauff says, “Hmm that is weird. It doesn’t act like it is working. I will give it a few more minutes”. I get quite and I feel The Stauff’s temper is starting to shine..like the SHINING. After a bit our worse fear is true.. The water pump is shot.. The Stauff blows up. I tell him that it is no big deal. So the water doesn’t come from the faucet. Who gives a shit. The Stauff slams down to the couch and looks at me, “Well I don’t know about YOU, but I will need a shower in 5 days”. I bit my cheek and nicely said “Well..maybe you should just go jump in the lake”. He jumps up not seeing my humor and says “Well let’s turn the fridge on and see if that sum bitch works”. Then he calmed down a bit and went and laid down. I glanced over at the fridge and the light was blinking. there was a little sentence by the blinking light that said.”If blinking check propane”. I dropped my head, for the love of.. In two seconds I convinced myself I would not be the one to bring that one up to The Stauff. I was just hoping I wasn’t around when he did see it. But.. not such luck. The Bear..er I mean The Stauff gets up and checks the fridge and sees the blinking light. He growls, “Are you F’ing kidding me. What does this mean?”. I couldn’t resist, “Um I am not trying to be a smart ass, but it does say that if it is blinking to check the propane.” and I continued on doing what I was doing. The Stauff blows up again, “That’s it, we are done. We are packing it up and leaving tonight”. I spun around and looked at him “OMG…Are you shitting me?”. He stomps out to go check the propane. The blinking light goes off and the Fridge starts to HUM.. I smiled at him and said “Wow, don’t know what you did, but you made the fridge work!”. He growled, “I didn’t do anything”. I shrugged, “Well that must have worked”. The kids were out fishing and catching a ton of fish.. completely oblivious to the melt down that was going on in the camper..thankfully. We get supper, brush our teeth and head to bed. I prayed for a better day.. About 3 AM God showed me what the next was going to be like with a kick ass, heart stomping, blinding thunderstorm.. I was waiting for it to hail and pummel the pickup, but we were spared that. The next morning the temp is 43 degrees. The Stauff is looking for his new coffee pot he bought for the trip. He looks over at me and says, “Did you see that new coffee pot I got yesterday when you were unpacking. I closed my eyes..shitola..I didn’t see anything. I wimpered a little, “um, no actually I didn’t see anything”. THEN it hits him.. It was left in the Jeep an hour away..So.. no coffee for The Stauff, just the way he wanted to start off the day. I say “well we were going to go to the other mountains today anyway, we can stop and pick it up”. He grabs his ball cap and heads out the door. Ugh I thought.. I wish my broom worked..I would fly to get it. We packed up the cooler and thundered our way out.. fished all day and stopped by the Jeep to pick up the coffee pot.. We get back to our camper and I start making supper. The Stauff gathers up some wood for a fire after supper. Supper gets over and the fire is roaring.. Peace has settled into The Stauff family.. It wasn’t long after this peace found us that we heard a ear pearcing alarm going off. The Stauff looks at me “Do you hear that noise?”. I say, ” Yea, I wonder what the hell that is?”. The kids joke that it is a siren that we have to evacuate..The high pitched alarm keeps going off. I look at The Stauff and say, “You don’t suppose it is coming from our trailer?”. I get up and walk to the camper.. SURE ENOUGH.. There is an alarm going off in the camper. I looked at The Stauff who was just as bewildered as me. “WTF is that?” I said. He says “Must be something to do with the battery”. So he unhooks the battery and sure enough, the alarm quits. The Stauff says well I guess we don’t have electricity either.. I closed my eyes and let out a huge sigh.. I said “well what the hell.. it is bed time anyway. Don’t need lights to sleep”. We get up the next day and The Stauff says “let’s take that battery with us and we can charge it somewhere”. Great idea.. So we set out for adventure.. We stumble across some old Tie Hack cabins, a copper mine and prospector’s cabin. Some more cool old cabins. Took in the history of the area. Jay and I were in love. The boys were equally in love fishing the rivers around us. We found another road that led to Encampment. I tell The Stauff, “Oh, let’s try this road maybe it won’t be as rough and it is about the same mileage to town?”. What did i know? We head down this trek that turned into a nail biter road for those weak in the knees with heights. Straight drop off’s. Wyatt says at one point “oh look, there is a river down there”. I laughed and said “uh yea, it is really probably about a 1/4 mile wide, it just looks that little from way up here”. I about had a nervous break down.. The boys thoroughly enjoyed it. We managed to get a little charge in the battery and that night when we got home we hooked it back up. Lights!! WHOOP WHOOP. We go to bed… About 3 AM the alarm goes off.. The battery is dead…again.. I put my hands over the alarm and The Stauff jumps out of bed to disconnect the battery again..By this time, us girls are itching for a shower..The Camp host comes by one morning to check on us and says, “Ya should check out the natural springs, they have free showers and everything there”. Light bulbs shot on with Jay and I. When the Camp host left we pitched our idea to the boys, “let’s go to the Springs and then we can take showers”. The boys scoffed. The Stauff says, “I am really not that bad and BESIDES.. I am not taking a shower in front of everyone there.. They don’t have individual showers”. Dammit..the hot springs would have felt pretty nice at that point, sulfur or not. Luckily for us, he also knew that my buddy was gracious enough to come to her house and open it up for us to shower the next day and visit. So we waited till the next day to get our shower.. it all worked..The last day comes and Wyatt gets up at the crack of dawn to go fish his honey hole till we leave. He grabs his pole and I think to myself as he is walking away, “We should make a departure plan”. but I curled up and fell back to sleep. Later on we start packing up our life for the week. Jay was fishing and The Stauff and I were just lounging packing. Since we were never able to use our water in the tanks The Stauff says, “let’s drive over by the boat dock and let the water drain out for a bit”.  That we did. Jay and I get our camera’s out snapping the last few pictures of the lake and the surroundings.. still no Wyatt. The Stauff says, “You know he isn’t going to come to the camper right? He is going to lose track of time and he will still be there in his honey hole fishing”. I knew he was right. That kid has a fishing brain that thinks of nothing else, but fishing. We decide to go pick him up. Now to get to the honey hole you can either hike around the campground, which is what Wyatt did, or you could drive all the way around it, which we did. We go trucking down the road and The Stauff says, “I am just going to park alongside the road and walk in to get him”. It was about a 1/4 mile walk. The dog goes with him. Pretty soon The Stauff is walking back with no Wyatt. My stomach started to churn. The Stauff jumps in the pickup and says “He isn’t there. Maybe he is on the other side of the damn? Let’s drive in there and I will hike up the dam and see”. We do.. we drive in and Jay and I watch as The Stauff slowly becomes a little blue spot on top of the dam. I can see him looking all around..no Wyatt. I felt like I was going to throw up. Pretty soon The Stauff shows back up.. He is getting nervous. He jockeys the trailer around and we fly back up to the campground.  I told The Stauff, “Maybe he really is being responsible and he is waiting for us back where the camper was?” We maneuver around a corner and there he is packing his fishing pole and waders with a big grin on his face. Chad looks at me “Look at him grinning.. No worries in the world.. Geezus”. Wyatt opens the door and smiles, “Man I was kinda feeling like that kid on Home Alone”. He giggled. I told him to jump in the pickup and he realized that we were more than worried about him. I told him we aren’t mad, we were just really really scared something had happened. He says “oh ok, look at this picture I took this morning”. It was a track that looked like a wolf that took up half of wyatt’s foot sitting next to it.. I gulped. “Geezus”..and we went home..Me to my work and The Stauff, kids and dog back home. The trials and tribulations of camp life.. The next time we will do a more thorough check on items before we leave.. A list.. yea a list would be a good idea..TO FOLLOW.

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