So… this is Glamping? Now that I’ve been “off the grid” for the first time since Ecuador, makes sense to proclaim myself an expert. Never thought I was the Glamping kind, but after the last few days at Crescent Lake campgrounds, there were several lessons learned. Overall conclusion: I might just be… a Glamper.
1. It can be hot. Bum-sizzling hot! Yet at night, oh-so-very cold.
Unofficially elected to bring the ladies, fulfilled my duties with a variety pack: four bodacious babes from Portland, schlepping our under-prepared selves into the woodsy wilderness, about an hour outside of Bend, Oregon. Armed with countless bikinis, a case of hard cider, and a decent supply almond-milk/espresso/chocolate martinis… What more could we need?
Pants. Definitely pants. Because when the sun goes down, so does the temperature. Fast. Be sure to bring at least one pair of warm leggings.
2. There Will Be Bugs
One gal-pal (who told me she’d never be caught dead camping in the first place) swore she wouldn’t go again, mostly due to the icky bug factor. But. If she DID go again, she’d “do it right” and there would be lots of territory-marking, pink balloons. Because once you’re in the middle of nowhere, can’t necessarily count on cell service or any other smartphone capability to help you find the campsite. She spent an hour circling the lake before she found us.
3. The ground is hard. And rocky. Bear and grin!
With or without shoes, you can’t win; there will be rocks and prickly things going into your delicate skin. Bear and grin.
Karen and I opted for a queen-sized inflatable mattress, yet missed the fact we’d need a device to inflate the darn thing. Luckily, there were experienced glampers among us, who shared their mechanical pump. Violet (my daughter) says once you use an air mattress camping, you’ve earned glamp status. Also, you’re a sissy.
4. Everyone brings something to the table; let’s have a feast.
Organized by Corey, leader of the “503FC” fitness challenge Facebook group, everyone was invited. (Currently there are over 2,000 members – it’s not exclusive.) With these numbers, odds were 99% guaranteed it’d be a hearty good time. Our party, at it’s peak, was more than 30-deep, including eight dogs. Most of us didn’t know each other. Everyone knew either Corey, or Me.
No one had any qualms. Likewise, the dogs were peaceful, except a few warning growls. The biggest: a large, unaltered male with severely cropped ears. He peed on everything in sight, including tents and coolers. We heard he was a mix of ten breeds, one specifically bred not to feel pain. Ironically, this dog wore a vibrating/shock collar (that didn’t seem to have much effect whatsoever).
At our disposal were several kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. Also a giant floating mattress with cup-holders and backrests. People played volleyball and horseshoe along the pebbly, bug infested beach, and our communal fire pit was either simmering, burning, or raging, 24-hours a day.
Those with RVs shared warm baked goodies, or cool frozen ones: delicious pina-coladas and sweet potato with egg breakfast muffins. On the last night, we had s’mores, nachos and mojitos. Of course there were gallons of cinnamon-flavored whisky, most of which was slurped directly from the bottle.
Corey won quote of the day with that little gem… When I lost track of time in the sun on Day One, spent the rest of the weekend with a severely burned bum. Most of Day Two was standing around (anything but sitting on my ass – god forbid in a chair), chasing patches of shade and taking dips in the lake to cool off. Followed by thorough reapplication of bug spray and sunscreen. You can call me Lobster Tail.
Bonus: A bald-topped mullet is a bullet.
Since there were two costume themes (80’s and Hawaiian), it meant lots of spandex, “jorts” and a colorful mix of throwback tunes on the stereo. Everyone got lei’d. One guy, “never more than an arms-length away from a loaded gun,” seemed most at home in his mullet wig. The whole group was sitting around the fire when he mused, he’d have a mullet all the time, if he could.
Then he asked, “What’s it called when the mullet is bald on top?”
Fortunately, someone had a clue. Terry informed us, “It’s a bullet.”