My husband loves camping. I mean LOVES camping. Unfortunately for him, he married a girl that thinks camping is where you are pretending to be homeless. Think about it for a moment. You are sleeping in a tent with very few belongings, you have to walk to go to the bathroom, and you heat your food up outside. The only thing missing is a shopping cart to schlep your stuff in.
In my defense, Ken grew up camping. I did not go camping until 2005 and it was with Ken. I feel as though I must mention that the lows at night during that first camping trip were in the 30's and it was raining. Not a good introduction to someone that is terrified of sleeping outside.
Anyway, back in 2009 we started going on a small camping trip with each other during the Fall. I mean, if I can drag him all throughout cities to watch me run a marathon, I can handle pretending to be homeless for one weekend right? I mean talk about scoring major amazing wife points. Now don't get any ideas, this trip has rules. I am like the queen of making rules.
Keri's Rules of Camping:
1. No more than two nights
2. Running water is required
3. There must be s'mores
Easy right? Oh, these camping trips also involve floating down a river at the request of my husband. Another thing you may or may not know about me, but up until this past year when I did my Ironman, I had NEVER and I mean NEVER been in a river for the purpose of swimming or hanging out. I mean, they are dirty for Pete's sake!
Miss Kya started attending the annual camping trips with us starting in 2010. I am a bit of a freak when it comes to Kya and made her wear a life jacket. I am sure all of the other doggies on the river called her a wimp, a mama's girl, a princess, but I did not care, she is not a water dog. I mean have you seen her? I know, now is probably a good time to start feeling really sorry for Ken.
Prior to leaving this year, it was noted that for the last two years that Kya attended, it has poured down rain at some point. She is now called the Rain Goddess. Quite honestly, I am not sure that she will be asked to return next year. And you know what, I do not think she is going to be disappointed after what happened this year...
We left on Saturday morning at 6:00 am to make the drive to the middle of Missouri to the Current River. I always struggle with these drives because part of me cannot wait to get out of the car and the other part of me knows what is ahead. I try to focus on the s'mores that I get to eat.
This year upon unloading the car, it was realized that someone had forgotten to pack the tent. My first reaction was that we should just drive back home, because I am not sleeping outside without a tent. I also may have asked Ken how on earth you forget a tent while packing to go camping. He may have reminded me that he was in charge of everything due to his high maintenance wife or something of that nature. Whatever. Instead of driving back to Kansas City like I had suggested, Ken drove to Salem to buy a tent.
When he left, he told me that we would not have time to float on Saturday and would only be able to float on Sunday. Okay, no skin off my back. I will read. It was later determined that we did indeed have time to go floating on Saturday, so off we went. Kya of course was wearing her life jacket and someone asked me if she was a seeing eye dog. What? I guess when you are wearing a life jacket coupled with a lady with big sunglasses, you equal seeing eye dog.
We finished floating and it was rather uneventful. We did decide that when we are asked what kind of a dog Kya is that we are now responding with a boxer to see what people say. The evening was finished off with s'mores.
This is one of the only reasons I agree to go camping
Then, all hell broke loose. It started pouring. I mean POURING. I told Ken that I was on high alert in case Kya and I needed to take shelter. He laughed. I was serious. I hardly slept at all. Oh and guess what, that new tent from Salem was a POS and leaked. Ken had to wake up and put the pop up tent over us to keep the tent dry.
As you can imagine, I was super pleasant when I woke up. I mean sleeping on the ground, in the rain, in a tent. Sign me up! I told Ken I was not sure if I would be back, that I am getting way too old for this. He grumbled at me. I took Kya for a quick run and then it was time for day two of floating. We had 10 miles to do before we were at our car.
About one mile into the float, we came upon a spring with a lot of people in kayaks and canoes around. Ken had our nice camera out and I told him I thought he should put the camera away. He informed me that he had floated 1,000 times and had never flipped a canoe or kayak and that we were fine. Okay. I also told that Kya could come up front with me instead of in the center of the canoe where she was walking back and forth. He told me she was fine. Okay.
Take special note of the people on the right. This is the last picture of the day.
Then it happened. We went over a tree root that was in the water but hidden. And bam, the canoe was turned over and Ken and I were both in the water. Not just water, cold water, water that was under 60 degrees. I looked around for Kya in the water but did not see her. Where was she? Oh she was still standing in the canoe while Ken and I were trying to hold on to the canoe. Yeah, she did not want to get out of the canoe. The canoe started filling up with water and she had to get out. I looked over and Ken and he was holding the camera up out of the water and I watched it fall into the river. Did I mention that this part of the river was really deep and Ken could not touch?
I yelled at Ken to get Kya. Get Kya, save the dog. Ken later reminded me that Kya was the one wearing a life jacket, but I did not find that funny. The canoe was completely sinking and Kya was apparently going down with the ship. A few very nice people had paddled over to help us and Kya swam over to hop in some lady's kayak. See, I told you she hates the water. Ken grabbed her and got her to shore. A nice man helped me get over to the opposite edge of the river. I was mainly cold and upset about the entire situation, but I probably should have just swam over to the other side to be with Ken. Honestly, for Ken's safety, he is probably glad I didn't. I was a little on the mad side since I had just told him to put the camera in his dry bag and he did not listen.
So here I am, completely soaked and cold and only one mile in. Fortunately, there was a trail leading back to our campsite and we were only a mile away, so Kya and I walked back to the campsite and called it a day. Ken ended up paddling the entire 10 miles so he could get his car. He did come upon the super nice people that had assisted us and they were curious where his passengers went. Ken had to explain to them that his passengers just come along once a year and are by no means actual paddlers. I do not even touch a paddle the entire time.
While I do realize it was not entirely Ken's fault, Kya and I were still under is care during the camping trip so we hold him responsible. Fortunately, we were all okay and I had time to calm down before Ken got back to the campsite. In summary, I did not kill Ken.
The entire campsite was pretty empty, so we were quite surprised and annoyed when these two mean set up their tent right next to our campsite. The one guy walked by and told me that we have a prize German Shepherd and then he used to raise them. Um, well sir, if you used to raise them, then you would know that our little prize German Shepherd is actually a Siberian Husky. Neither Ken or I had the heart to tell the guy, because he kept going on and on about it. He was old, so maybe he could not see all that well.
The rest of the evening was very uneventful. We did not take any pictures, since our camera had gone swimming in the Current River earlier that day, but we did have s'mores.
At approximately 3:00 am, I heard commotion coming from the campsite next to us. I of course, instantly think that something shady is up. I told Ken I did not feel right about the situation and that I was going to go sleep in the car. Ken laughed he told me the guys were probably very cold and were packing up to leave. I of course did not believe him and sat up and opened the tent window to see what was going on. I quickly tell Ken that the old guys next to us have set up some canopy thing and that I cannot completely tell what they were doing. (In my mind, they were either setting up a huge breakfast spread or setting up an area like on the movie Hostel to torture us.) Ken told me to stop staring, and leave it alone, they are probably going to a hotel.
I just knew that they were murders and were packing up to leave. Why else would they be leaving in the middle of the night. Ken said they would leave due to the cold. Whatever. I was prepared to bail. I then heard a noise, that turned out to be the hood of the car closing. The canopy that I thought they had put up was no canopy at all, it was the hood of the car. The area where I saw the guy "working" was actually the car engine and not a table for breakfast or a torturious table. Oops.
Both guys got in the car and I had my eyes on them. Maybe Ken was right, maybe they were going to a hotel. I had to make sure the car turned to get to the road and not towards our tent. I watched them slowly turn away toward the road and felt relief and jealously all at the same time. It was pretty cold and all I could think was take me with you!
There you have it, our camping adventure from 2012. While this is certainly not my favorite thing to do, I do enjoy spending time with Ken doing one of his favorite things. I am just glad it is only once a year and we have 51 weeks until it is time to go again. :)