Camping last weekend.

May 13, 2010

Been a while since my last post, so here’s a general update on what’s been going on in my life.

I went camping last weekend with pathfinders, somewhere way up north in Ontario. (I live in southern Ontario.) The ride was more than two hours and on the way there Tigger (pathfinder leader which I must’ve mentioned at least a gazillion times) made me “navigate” since I got stuck with shotgun seat. (I didn’t want shotgun since there were other two other pathfinders getting a ride and I wanted a backseat closer to where the conversation was.)

It didn’t make much sense, Tigger having me “navigate.” Navigating was reading a list of directions she’d printed off of MapQuest prior to the trip, and reading and re-reading and re-re-re-re-re-re-times-infinite-reading these instructions (especially at every turn we took through towns and stuff along the way), even though she had a flipping GPS telling her where to go. Really, all this extra work was not necessary.

Normally I don’t trust in GPS machines in cars since I’ve heard bad things about what happens when somebody relies too much on it. (Like a driver being led right into a lake and not even questioning it until it was too late.) But this thing echoed me.

TIGGER: Okay, Alex, what do the directions say?

ALEX: [Reads complete directions word-for-word, punctuation for punctuation in a rather flight-attendant-sounding voice.]

TIGGER: [Insert random segment of the directions here, like turn left at whatever route number], right?

ALEX: [Repeats.]

TIGGER: What’s after that?

ALEX: [Reads out next direction, word-for-word, punctuation for punctuation.]

GPS: Turn left at [whatever street] in approximately [whatever] [kilometres/metres/whatever].

TIGGER: Is that what it says on the directions?

ALEX: Yes, Tigger, that’s what it says.

TIGGER: How far until the next turn?

And I’m hardly sensationalizing. It got annoying and everytime we had a pit stop, the GPS would be all, “Off route. Recalculating.” And then it would give us directions on how to get back on the road to the camp.

After we got back in the car, Tigger would basically have me read out all the directions we had yet to fufill, word-for-word, punctuation-for-punctuation.

We eventually arrived at the camp late. (Side note: Pathfinders in my group that came consisted of Brianna and a girl I’ll call Kitty- which was her nickname when we were in guides together. She doesn’t seem to be called that usually anymore though.) There were two guide groups there, and two of the girls were special. One of them had fetal alcohol syndrome, barely said a word, and quickly grew attatched to Brianna. The other girl we didn’t know had any issues until the next day when she wailed about having to go last to wash her dishes and dumped her hot chocolate in the still-being-used dishwater. (She had autism.) No one but one guide leader seemed to know how to react, so we mostly just stared or walked away while the leader chastised the girl.

We’d expected to meet a pathfinder from Madoc who’d be camping with us, but she didn’t snow. I mean show. Maybe that’s because she heard about what the weather would be like on the weekend.

That’s right.

It was pouring rain and freezing non-stop for the whole weekend until Saturday when it decided to SNOW. IN MAY.

The first night we slept in tents. Large green tents (enough to easily or maybe not-so-easily fit 14 people) with velcro-shut doors. They were pretty much built-into a hardwood plank-type thing which was elevated something like a foot (or a half) off the ground.

We kept waking up in the middle of the night (as in the wee hours of it) to the door being blown open and ferociously waving in the wind while a rain puddle was forming (the worst of the rainstorm must’ve been the night) at the foot of our tent. All of us were too freezing cold and half-asleep (don’t blame it on regular teenage laziness) to get out of our sleeping bags and shut it. We figured it’d be blown open again anyway.

I wore two layers of fleece pajama bottoms, two layers of socks, regular undergarments, a tank top, a t-shirt, a heavy sweater (the kind they sell at Zellers that say Canada across the chest), and my winter coat to sleep. A winter hat, too. Tigger also lent me a heavy fleece blanket and I had my sleeping bag and an improvised pillow (my yoga bag stuffed with clean clothes) and held my stuffed lion for most of the night. I was surrounded by the other pathfinders on one side and my suitcase on the other. I still couldn’t feel my feet and my fingers were almost purple most of the time, and felt too cold the next morning to change out of anything that wasn’t fleece. So I wore my pajamas for the next day. When I got my wash-up stuff altogether, I realized my deodorant had frozen in its container thing. That got a few laughs.

I didn’t need it anyway.

The next day we spent most of the time inside the building (where even after a LONG time of the maybe-twenty-or-fifteen of us sitting there, we could still see our breath prominently in the air) making crafts and stuff. No one wanted us to leave and there were rumours spreading around about all the guides moving into one tent since the autistic girl had peed on another girl’s stuff overnight and the tent was unbearably smelly. We left the building mostly just to do tie-dye (it was a time-travel themed camp) and cook grilled cheese for lunch on buddy burners (buddy burners = a small fire covered in a coffee can with airholes to let the smoke out) when it wasn’t so bad out. I still got raindrops on my cheese though.

One of the oldest girl guides told us about some guides apparently sneaking into our tent at something like 3 AM.

The Pathfinders are sleeping like BABIES!

“No duh, it’s like, 3 AM. I’m jealous of them.”

We ended up spending Saturday night in the first floor of the building accross the street where the Brownies and Sparks were staying. This building was HEATED. ๐Ÿ˜€

As soon as we walked in all of us could feel our bodies beginning to thaw and when Tigger (who was on the side of having us sleep outside in the snow to earn our “Winter Camping” badge in MAY) wasn’t looking, a couple of awesomazing Brownie/Sparks leaders snuck us (just the pathfinders, I think) some mattresses. The mattresses were about two inches thick, covered with leathery fabric and the best cushioning I have EVER felt in my LIFE.

Memory foam would’ve been jealous.

Dropping onto the mattress and in the same comfy fleece clothing, (minus the extra blankie) I slept like a baby. ๐Ÿ˜›

Naw. I don’t think babies actually sleep well.

I slept more like my dad does watching animated movies. (He told me he’s been caught snoring in the theatre before.)

Or like I used to in French class last year. (I did it very subtly and skillfully- pick a comfy position with your eyes invisible from the teachers and head buried deep into your work, like you’re concentrating on reading. Don’t do that during a lesson or when you’re supposed to be answering questions, though. That’s stupid for your grade and you’ll get caught.)

Anyway, I slept GREAT.

Until Tigger woke all the pathfinders up at like, REALLY SUPER-DUPER early (six-ish) telling us to get ready before all the guides did. (OMG I almost typed ‘die’ there. :S)

Of course I kept insisting I didn’t care about waiting in a line-up for the bathroom and just leave. me. be. When she asked if I was even listening, I said yes, and that listening and obeying are two very different things. (Which is true.)

I didn’t have to wait for a line for very long either since most of the guides were getting their bedding all together and stuff before changing and washing up. Also, there was INDOOR PLUMBING (!) for the bathroom we were using and plus a bathroom upstairs for the brownies and sparks we could use in case of emergency. (It was the kind with several stalls in it.)

Before leaving, I got basically every one of the guides and leaders to sign my autograph book (which was a craft we made at camp) and recieved a button-on-a-string craft from one of the friendly guides. (The one that said about the girls sneaking into our tent.)

(I’ve got her on facebook now.)

On the way home I figured out a card trick. I also won several times playing cheat on the first night. (Because I have the best poker face in the world and am very good at strategies for games that involve lying. Not that I lie on any occasion other than games like cheat.)

I had a BALL.

Alex Violet

PS I’ve got this new friend who moved to my school from a couple hours away. We’re going to be new BFFs, as I said to her. Today some girl asked “So are you guys like, twins?” She was a hundred percent serious and shocked when my friend said she just moved here. “It’s just that you guys look so much alike and you have the same haircut and everything.” I thought that was cool. Later, she suggested we go shopping and buy the same outfit just to freak people out.

Like I said, we’re going to be great friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

Later note: Long story short, we didn’t work out as friends.

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