Kamping (Video)

My sister and I just took a one-way road trip from New York to California.   If you knew either of us, you’d probably assume we embarked on this road trip completely un-prepared.  Un-prepared, that is, except for the awesome 2-man tent we picked up at Walmart a few weeks ago.  Details, details… who needs sleeping bags, pillows, bug repellent or anything else camping-related?  Also, who needs planning?

Here we are, 8:50pm on a Wednesday night in Oklahoma driving down Rt 40 W looking for a campsite.  By “looking for a campsite” I mean getting off every exit with a camping symbol on it, and finding out that just meant that you could park your RV in a parking lot.  On cement.  No thank you.

“Carissa, we need wine first, then we’ll find a campsite…. let me run in that gas station and ask.”

We’re in the MIDDLE.OF.NO.WHERE.OKLAHOMA.  I walk in to the gas station mart.  It was kinda nice.  They had beer.  We didn’t want beer.  There was a drunk guy standing at the counter trying to buy something as I waited impatiently to ask about wine.  The drunk guy turns around, looks at me, and asks:  “Are you a Cherokee?”

WTF.

“No.  Do you know where I can find wine?”

“Yes, down the road a half a mile, make a left past the Big Cowboy.  The liquor store is open for another 10 minutes.”

I RUN out of there, signaling Carissa in the driver’s seat to start driving before I fully get into the car.

“GO.GO.GO!  We have 10 minutes and it’s past the Big Cowboy!!!”

We peel outta there, and drive down the dark road back and forth for exactly 8 minutes before I make her pull over at the nearest humans to ASK where this “Big Cowboy” is.  The old people with no teeth directed us a few feet down the pitch black road, where we again, run out of the car and catch the liquor store by about 30 seconds before closing.  By “liquor store” I mean a place about the size of my bedroom with a few dusty bottles, and tequila inside of a shotgun shaped glass.  After a few minutes, we decide on a fine BOX of wine, since that’s more portable than a bottle.   And wine is necessary to watch The Bachelorette, which was already loaded online on my laptop.

I hand the elderly woman my ID.  She looks at it, looks at me, shakes her head and says “1982?”

“Yes, I’m 30.”

She says, “You don’t look 30.”

I say “thank you,” but for the first time.  I’m not flattered.  I’m thinking she’s actually not going to let me buy this wine.  She really doesn’t believe me.  At least my 21-year-old sister has an ID on her.  That’s my only comfort as I give her a pleading look to just let me buy the wine.

She lets me buy the wine.

We get out of there and start driving.  My friend Doon texts me and asks if I need help searching for a campsite.  She asks where I am.  I send her a screenshot of my map.  She still doesn’t understand where I am.  Neither do I.  We drive a bit more, while internet searching.  We find a place called KOA.  For some reason we assumed this stood for Kamping of America.  I still kinda think it does, but I’m not positive.

There was no one there at the front desk, but there was a wooden counter with a sign above it.  Carissa pulled up and let me run out to check it out.  It said “Late Arrivals Welcome.”  Yes…….  I read the instructions and grabbed an envelope.  The envelope had a tent spot assignment written on it, and instructions for how to register and pay.  I wrote down my information on the envelope, shoved the required amount of cash inside and put it in the lock box.  Errrrrrr…..

It was hot.  It was humid.  There were a LOT of bugs.  It was dark.  Very dark.  We put the car lights facing our little patch of assigned grass and pulled the little tent out from the trunk.  We didn’t know how to pitch a tent, but it looked easy enough.  I’m sure it was easy.  It just took longer than it probably should have.  I blame the dark.  We couldn’t see a thing unless we were positioned correctly in front of the car lights.  I somehow found a flashlight halfway through the tent pitching attempt which aided us with the small pieces we were dropping into the grass.

Finally, the tent was up and the box of wine was open.  We put the laptop on top of the box of wine, calling it the “wine table,” thinking it was the most clever play on “coffee table.”  It was pretty clever.  We watched The Bachelorette as we swatted bugs off the screen and strained our necks to hear every word as the 18-wheelers whizzed down the highway behind us.

We watched TV until the computer died, and then sang to songs off of our iPhones.  When it was bedtime, we fell right asleep and accidentally slept in until 10:30am.  Who over-sleeps in a tent?  These two.  Whoops.

Here’s a little video log of our tent pitching.  Don’t worry, I sped it up… (a little)

More road trip stories to follow…

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