Our Horrible Camping Trip

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.


I hadn’t been camping in ages and I had no idea how adept at camping Stephanie was, even though she must’ve mentioned her family’s annual camping trips to me, but no matter how awful I thought it might have been, I never could have anticipated the sheer horror of our camping trip on the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the Summer of 1998.

We picked a bad campsite. We picked a rainy weekend. We picked the rainiest afternoon of the weekend to venture out to Clark’s Trained Bears, a local roadside attraction. And, when we came back to our campsite that afternoon, our tarp had fallen down and our site was swamped. If ever in that first year I thought our relationship was going to end, it was during the fight that resulted as we struggled to get the tarp back up while we cooked dinner in the middle of a fucking tsunami.

(I should note now, because I’m not sure when it took place, that we also went on a camping trip with Donna and Neal at some point during the summer. That one was much more pleasant, except that it rained one night then as well, and I thought I was going to die. I even ended up writing a story about that one. It was called “Struck” and it sucked.)

I don’t recall any of the rest of that camping trip. I just recall coming back from Clark’s and the fiasco that ensued. In fact, that camping trip might have occurred after the Donna & Neal one, but the whole idea here is that we had an awful experience, whenever the fuck it was.

(We also hung out with Stef’s mom Julee and Stef’s brother Alex at some point during the summer as well, possibly after this camping trip, but I’m not sure. Stef seems to recall meeting up with them at the end of our camping trip and the beginning of theirs. All I know about that get-together is that we visited Castle in the Clouds in New Hampshire and Stef got her period halfway through the afternoon and it turned out to be the first time I ever bought pads for a woman when I went into a gas station store later that day.)

I have no diverged on two very out-there tangents, but I think you get the idea of what went down.