|TASTES LIKE SMORES|
OK. I will boil myself some water and pretend it's coffee, I thought. I just needed to light up the cook stove. We were smart and had kept the matches safe and dry... In the car. Jerry had the car. He had me worried. I hoped he wasn't in a ditch.
Judy continued to sleep. Well, at least I could take a nice hot shower. That would make everything seem better. I took a large green trash bag and cut a whole in the bottom. I grabbed a slightly damp towel, popped the trash bag over my head like a poncho, threw on my baseball cap and ran down the muddy hill in the driving rain to the little building containing the showers and toilets. I was worried about Jerry, but we weren't far from Bennington. He should be fine.
|ARMHOLES WOULD HAVE HELPED.|
The jerk had better not be in a ditch.
I got dressed, put on my trash bag and cap, and went back to the screen house. For the next two hours, I drank cold water from a brand new enamel cup and pretended it was hot coffee. It continued to pour. The campground was slick mud. At 7:45, Judy arose. She came running in refreshed and smiling. Then she noticed the car was gone, "Where's Jerry?" she asked. I told her. She said a hot cup of coffee would be great. Had I made any. I told her. Oh. She sighed, a hot shower would feel so good. I told her about the quarters. Finally, I poured her a cup of pretend coffee and we both sat staring through the screen at the pouring rain. We worried about Jerry.
We agreed that if he hadn't gone into a ditch, he was going to wish he had.
At 8:20, the rain miraculously stopped. The sun burned through the remaining clouds. We sat in a warm mist. We lifted the rest of the panels on the screen house and peered through the trees at the deserted campground. Around the curve appeared the Trooper, canoe on its roof, with Jerry behind the wheel. He pulled up in front of our tent and hopped out wearing fresh clothes and a glowing smile, the obvious result of a good night's sleep. He had shaved. His hair was perfectly combed. He was beaming with contentment.
Judy and I sat calmly, both imagining what we were going to do with the body.
|THE HAPPY CAMPER|
Well, he was right. It was definitely fine. The rains returned that evening right after dinner. We left everything at our campsite (except for the food, the matches, and the money) and spent the next two nights eating Fig Newtons and watching TV.
Although the canoe had never left the top of the car, we were proud of what good campers we were. We may not have slept in the tent after the first night (Jerry, at all). But we cooked our meals, washed up, managed to build a campfire before the rains started again (I can't for the life of me remember where we found wood dry enough to burn), and enjoyed Smores before heading to our motel.
For the next time — there would, of course, be a next time — Jerry and I just needed to consider getting ourselves a bigger tent and a battery operated nightlight.
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE COMING WEEKS:
The story of our camping adventure with Blair and Marie on the Saco River in Maine during the 1992 Democratic National Convention, well-fed raccoons, and why we never bought a six-person tent.