Thursday, July 15, 2010

Camping Part 4: The Final Episode

After sleep finally found us, we got up pretty early because we had a 9am date with the kayak people. As I went to the jeep, I saw the neighbors up and about...I tried to look normal and have a natural smile on my face, but all in all, I just avoided eye contact. I had no animosity, really, (no, really) towards them, but I just thought it best to steer clear altogether.

We had a great 4th of July kayaking down the Delaware Water Gap. Picture perfect, so I'll just let the pictures tell the story:

Here we are before we start our 4th of July Kayak Trip (about 8 miles or so)

That's my man! I love this picture of him!

The guide had told us to stay to the right of the island because it was too shallow on the left.
Guess who just had to go left???

I didn't go left, so I busied myself on the island by taking a pee break (of course)
and taking pictures of myself while I waited for him.

Some sights along the way:

Nice 4th of July Surprise for those on the water!

A bald eagle! On 4th of July! Perfect!

Dingman's Bridge, right by the campground. Almost there.
And I was just about done by this point.

So, this was Sunday. We were both off for July 5th, and James was off for July 6th as well. All weekend he had been trying to convince me to call my two summer jobs (both of which I was starting my summer hours on the 6th) to see if I could skip Tues. I was sort of on the fence - at least about calling and asking - but once we got the new neighbors, James sort of lost his enthusiasm for the extra day.

Checkout was noon the next day, but he was hoping we could go for a hike in the morning and then check out later on on Monday, so we could use the showers.

After kayaking, we stopped at the general store to find out about it. Now, I was waiting in the car and James went in. After a few minutes of waiting, a guy wearing a 'Staff' T-shirt came storming out, spewed more than a few choice words, got into the camp van, slammed the door and sped off, leaving the trail of dust behind him. All I was thinking was, 'Oh my gosh...what did James do???'

Then,another younger guy came out next and went over to the girl who had been standing outside with her dog. I heard him say:

"Yeah, that guy who was on the other side of that tent was talking to the owners about the people who came last night. Turns out they aren't even allowed to be here. They never registered or paid."

OK, so that explained the angry guy.

The girl said, "See? I told you we should have said something about them! We are too easy!"

Well, it turned out the young couple were actually from site 3, the other people unfortunate enough to be on the opposite side of our new neighbors. In just another minute, James walked out and I grilled him: "What just happened in there?"

"Well, I was asking about us staying the extra half day, seeing if anyone was registered to be in our site tomorrow night. I told them that we had contemplated staying another day, but we weren't crazy about our new neighbors. The guy had a weird look on his face and said, 'What new neighbors?' I told him, 'The people who showed up late last night at site 4...with all the cackling and yelping.' The guy said, 'There is nobody registered to be at site 4. That site is empty.' So I said, 'Well, it's not empty now.'

And that was where I saw the angry staffer storm out. So....after all the upset the night before, those people had snuck in without paying or registering????? After the shock of their audacity sunk in, their stupidity soon followed.

I mean, if you are going to sneak in someplace, wouldn't you try to be as inconspicuous and quiet as possible???? Why would you draw unneeded attention to yourself??? Maybe they had done this before and no one had ever found out???

I told James about the guy I had seen leaving, and then about the young guy and girl and what they had said. James later told me that when he went to talk to the girls the night before, he heard someone from site 3 unzip their tent window - I guess to watch and listen. Apparently, we weren't the only ones disturbed.

So, when we got back to our site, we had missed the altercation, but our neighbors at site 4 were soon to be our neighbors no more. They were packing up- I guess they got the boot. I kind of felt bad, but then, I didn't. They had done something dishonest - and disturbed the honest, paying people while doing it. That's what happens.

And we hadn't turned them in on purpose. We were just looking to see if we could stay an extra day. James didn't intentionally get them in trouble; but it was a good idea for the owners to know that some of their guests (well, freeloaders) were disturbing other (paying) guests.

Besides our adventures with our neighbors, we had another bit of excitement: we saw a bear! Well, James did. He has eyes like a hawk and can see anything. I grabbed my camera, which has a killer zoom, and this is what I got:
I know it looks like a brown blur, but I promise! It was a bear!

In a returned state of peace and serenity, we finished out our last night grilling steaks after a long day on the water, hanging out by the fire and listening to music on our CD player with all 8 C batteries. I even pushed myself to stay up as late as James was - which was sometime around 3 am (and I hate staying up late!).

The next morning, we got up after sleeping in a little, packed up camp and headed home. Here is our friend at Dingman's Toll Bridge. This was really how they took the toll! She did not look happy.

So, all in all, I'd say a successful first camping trip. With all of the bumps, upsets, and unexpected disturbances, we still love each other - and actually - we still like each other. And we'd do it again. And honestly, I think it served us well. Not only did it give us time to just hang out uninterrupted and doing some things we love, we had lots of time to talk and contemplate, which we don't always have the luxury of. I felt like we were closer for the experience.

So if camping really tests the strength of a marriage, I think we are off to a pretty decent start.

{PS - Be sure to visit the Girl Creative for New Friend Friday. Buttons on right :) }


  1. Good old Dingman's Bridge. I hate driving over that thing, and the toll people have never been all that friendly.

    I can't believe those people at #4 did that!! What is wrong with people?

    Love all the pics too!

  2. Can I just say I loved your camping posts? They were so funny & entertaining. I enjoy reading your blog so much & I like how you're honest about your marriage, its refreshing.
    Glad to see you had so much fun & developed your relationship on your camping trip despite the troubles!

  3. awww that's lovely. I think you are indeed off to a good start. My mom and dad camp and they are married 40 years this year! new follower from nff!