“A funny thing happened on the way to …”

 

“Funny thing happened on our way …!”

As the days are consistently above freezing with plenty of melting, nights continue to be in the 20’s. It’s a great time as we experience winter losing its icy grip on the lower 48. Maple sugaring is in full-swing and “March Madness” with 64 of college’s best B-ball teams is now pared downed to the last 4. Yes, spring is coming!

This blog will be about reminiscing. A look back on days that were strange, sometimes scary, sometimes funny, but almost always hilarious in hindsight. Many things happen when tent camping! Like when we tried to leave Baxter State Park the night before not realizing they lock you in. Four of us sleeping in a ford Ranger on a hot humid night (with “no-see-ums”!) is a night you never forget! Or go into the wilderness… without your sleeping bags! Most of our adventures happened in the North Maine Woods or on the coast. But then there was the trip to Minnesota… As time has dulled the edges of the moment and sharpened the senses of a comical situation, there were many situations but I will only capture a few. Enjoy!

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Years ago in beautiful Baxter State Park, our nighttime encounter with wildlife was an interlude to say the least. Picture this; in a forest, arguably the most wild east of the Mississippi, my 9 year old son wanted to sleep outside under the stars. At about 1am my wife and I are awakened by a noise outside the tent. Something is crawling around. And Corey is out there sleeping! There are bears and lynxes’ as well as many other scary creatures! After it crawled over my son, the raccoon sauntered off into the woods. Corey slept through the whole thing! The thought terrorized his mother and me for months to come!

Tenting at Holeb Pond and in Baxter State Park

Other situations in Baxter: In a log cabin sleeping was … er… cozy. In a room 10 by 10 which included a wood stove, 4 adults tried to sleep. Nesowadnehunk Campground was the scene of a most friendly situation. Picture 4 grown-ups sleeping in 4 levels of bunks fixed off the wall in a very small room. It is even hard to describe… BUT DON’T FART! “Cozy Cabin” was intimate.

Wilderness canoe trips were a regular summer excursion for us back in the 80’s. On the Bow River trip (Moose River) in northwestern Maine, several laughable moments happened. First trip, a thunderstorm came up quickly. Crossing Holeb Pond, the skies pummeled us with rain. As we pushed for shore to get cover, one of the paddlers hollered, “It can’t rain any harder than this!” Well, it did!

Moose River in the ’80’s

Or how about the wife getting out of the canoe to avoid whitewater. Oh, she took the very expensive video camera too. “Let’s not get this stuff wet!” She props herself on a rock to video me coming through Attean Falls. She slips… ass-over-tea kettle in the drink… camera and all! By the way, I did not get wet (but the camera did).

Then there was the time when there was a question about duck tape. Doing the same bow river trip with my brother and our sons, Brandon asks, “Dad, do we need to bring the duck tape?” Two days later coming through Attean Falls, I ripped a 42 inch hole in my canoe. Thank God we had a whole roll of duck tape. And yes, you can tape a canoe back together with the “Maine Chrome”.

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The POP-UP – – Better than tents but…

At the turn of the century, we moved up to a pop-up camper. And the challenges continued. Camping in gorgeous Sagadahoc Campground on Maine’s exquisite coast, we had guests. As beautiful as the scenery can be, biting insects can still be a pest. Mosquitoes were so thick; it was almost impossible to see to back the camper into our spot! We ran out of bug spray that weekend (LOL).

Camping at Truck Stop in Ottawa, CA.    And leaving last April for the South

In 2015, we acquired a new 30’ tow behind (often referred to as a tt) camper. Our maiden voyage was a trip to Minnesota. (Yea, most people would not do a 2200 mile road trip for the first trip!). This trip had many near catastrophes but none were funnier than the French Canadians headed into Ottawa. Traveling west on the Trans-Canadian Highway, a beat up pickup with a flatbed trailer passed us. It was smoking but I thought it was just an engine issue (after all, the truck was old and beat up). But something didn’t look quite right. My sister quipped, “Is that truck on fire?” I said no. It was hauling a bunch of junk from a construction site but looked to be fine. After about 10 minutes I said, “We should follow this truck. It is smoking more.” About that time, flames flared out of the junk in the back of the pickup! They immediately pulled over …and us right behind them! Deb grabs a water bottle! I run up to the truck as the occupants have already jumped in the back. Junk was flying everywhere! The Canadians were frantically trying to unload their flaming cargo. I ran to the camper and grabbed the fire extinguisher and proceeded to the truck. In short time the fire was out and the danger passed. But we were entertained …and they were very thankful. (Wish I had a dash cam – LOL)

St. Louis River (Duluth, MN); Castle in Duluth; UP (need I say more)

There will be more “tales from the campah”… STAY TUNED!

YELLOWSTONE

Welcome to Workamping!

Please comment (and share to facebook, twitter, instagram, other social media) (campahedu@gmail.com)

 

Coming Soon!!! Youtube channel with movies of the adventures!

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