Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Scribbling - Bed

Camping. Not one of my favorite pastimes. I didn’t grow up camping, it’s more something I inherited through marriage, like an in-law that you have nothing in common with but you smile and make polite conversation with. Brad - he practically grew up in a tent, spending summer after summer in the state parks. So when we got married, I gave it the old college try. We bought our first tent, a little three-person blue dome tent from REI and christened it “Love Shack II”.

One of our first after-marriage, before-kids, camping trips was in the Columbia River George. It was a small campsite, near the river and within a 20 minute driving distance to the quaint town of Hood River. It was a bargaining chip. I’ll camp as long as I can window shop for a few hours on one of the days. It was a smaller campsite and not terribly busy that late spring weekend. One reason might have been the proximity to the railroad. A few hours after turning in for the night, I was wakened by the sound of a train. One that sounded like it would cut a path right through the front door of the tent. The noise woke me right up and I sat up with a start. Brad slept soundly through the commotion and barely stirred.

I laid there trying to get my heart rhythm back to normal and trying to get that drowsy, sleeping in the fresh air feeling back that would put me back to sleep. Still getting used to “sharing” a bed, I shifted a couple of times on the queen sized air mattress, trying to find a good spot. Finally, I had found the sweet spot with just enough air and just enough cushion and I felt myself drifting off to visions of five-star hotel rooms with thermostats, crisp white sheets and bathrooms just a few steps away.

In the stillness, I felt the mattress shift. I looked over at my sleeping husband. He was out like a rock. He hadn’t moved. Hmmm. Laying still, I felt my body getting heavier, the sleep invading my body from my toes to my head – WAIT, there it was AGAIN. I didn’t imagine that. The mattress was MOVING even though Brad and I were perfectly still.

My first thought, earthquake. My second, volcano. We live in one of the areas of the world where seismic activity is not unheard of. With a dad who’s a geologist, I knew all the possibilities. Now I was wide awake, searching the memory archives for what you do in case of an earthquake if there are no door frames or desks to hide under. Seriously – what do you do in case of an earthquake when you’re out in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE?

I laid there with pounding heart – again. Trying not to over react, I did end up waking Brad and asking him if he had felt the movement. With a sleepy, newlywed grin he said no, but offered to make the mattress move again if I wanted. Not funny, I said – exhausted and overwhelmed by adrenaline for the second time in one night.

Finally, sometime around daybreak I must have slept for a bit. Groggy-eyed and grumpy the next day, I helped break camp. Underneath our tent we were amazed to find 3 fresh mounds of dirt. Mr. Gopher had been the one making the earth shake under my mattress.

As a girl that really does NOT appreciate the fuzzy and cute factor of ANY rodent, I think I would have preferred the earthquake. The story doesn’t end there. Over the years, my nighttime campsite visitors have included a raccoon, drunk neighbors and a black bear. Needless to say, camping is not one of my favorite activities. I’d much rather spend the day outside somewhere, have a campfire, and then go to sleep, IN MY OWN BED!

To read more Sunday Scribblings, go here.


Amber said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAAA! That is so funny! And I love how you thought of volcanos, but tried not to over-react, LOL! That is so where my mind would go.


Left-handed Trees... said...

I recently returned from a beautiful camping trip--I actually enjoy camping VERY much. But, there was a raccoon visitor to break our sleep and a giant spider who climbed up my husband's chest while I watched in mute terror--just like a Hollywood, I can sympathize with you just a bit!

Cate said...

Oh, the suspense . . . I was dying to know what was causing the shaking (and just screaming over the newlywed husband remark!). Of all the rodents, gophers seem like one of the sweetest, though I've never seen one up close and personal! And raccoons and black bears terrify me! You're a brave, brave soul! My idea of camping is taking an RV to a state park where there are beaches, bathroom, and laundry facilities! HA!

A fabulous, engaging Scribbling!

January said...

Very funny!

Yes, I wanted to get to the end so I could see what was shaking your mattress. Give me 4 walls and a real mattress any day.

Deb R said...

LOL! Too funny! I'm with you on the camping thing. I can handle one night of it now and then, but after that one night I want a shower and a hot meal and a REAL bed.

DuhhhBlond said...

the suspense of what made the air mattress move got me, too..
and I thought Brad's answer for that was pretty cute :)
A black bear!!!! Oh no! I would love to read about that incident sometime :)

Laini said...

How funny! We don't do much camping, though I'd like to more, but in our case it's my husband whose family never camped and who has more particular bed needs -- he can't sleep well on the ground. I once had an experience, camping all alone in the Apennines in Italy, of waking in the middle of the night to a LION roaring... in Italy. No joke! I knew it couldn't be a lion, but it sounded like a lion. Because it WAS a lion. The next morning I found out there was a circus in the nearby town!

paris parfait said...

So clever! I think I would have preferred the earthquake, too. :) Camping is not my favourite thing, although it had his charms at certain times in my life.

MiandMiksmom said...

I love it...we are planning only our second camping trip since we've had two kids this weekend! Maybe I should have read this first! :) Thanks for dropping by my blog.

John Tran said...

A wonderful story! I can imagine how annoyed Mr. Gopher must have been. :) Straight out of the toons!

liz elayne said...

okay so if my husband wasn't snoring next to me i would be laughing out loud. my family never went camping either...and my husband and i...well...we like the idea of camping but we don't so much like the not near running water a bear might come visit you holy crap it is dark out here side of camping.
so we stay in hotels.
but there is no place like your own bed. yes.
(loved this story and am so glad you shared it!)

Jenny Rough said...

Oh my gosh, you must go to Treebones Resort if you ever have the chance It's in Big Sur, CA and it's the PERFECT combination of "camping" and "luxury."

P.S. This was a funny post!

Brad said...


As your husband- I can testify...

Camping - no.
Hotel - yes.

Damn Gopher.


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