i packed that little subaru to its brim. i mean sleeping bags, pots, pans, firewood, tent, lanterns, propane tanks, and most importantly phone and ipod chargers. this weekend was going to be AMAZING! that seemed to be the phrase echoing through my mind the whole time as i loaded. friday afternoon 330 was launch time.
i had hoped to be able to leave and still arrive at the camp site with day light. i can always picture doing things in the dark and thinking i never really was able to do anything in the dark. well, we were not able to arrive at robbers cave until close to 10pm. as you can guess...no light. i tried to keep the head lights from the car on the actual campsite til we could set the tent up but the way the road was situated only a little light actually hit the site. the roads to drive were higher than the grounds. i started a fire as soon as possible so this might bring in some light for our viewing pleasure. my mind was set: get the fire going, get the tent up, get the chairs out and set them by the fire, enjoy ourselves by the fire, stay out late and then finally go back to the tent and truly return to natural activity. this was MY plan. the tent we had graciously received had never been assembled by our hands. i honestly, was banking on liz's expertise more so than mine. she grew up in alaska with that outdoor-sy mentality. with no light to actually to see anything the first assembly of the lowrie's tent congregation was not happening that night. suffice to say there was no tent revival. out of no where liz shoots out, "well, lets lay the tarp down and put the sleeping bags on them and sleep outside." i had not even thought of this being a possibility. i didn't want to sleep outside, i wanted to sleep inside a tent. liz was very tired, and i was rapidly approaching that point of give up. you know when you have been working on something and then your fatigue sets in and you reach a point in the mind that this has been far enough and even if you were to attempt any more, you would not achieve what ever it is you are shooting for. that was it for me as well. the excitement let down and then it hit me...i am laying on a tarp in the middle of oklahoma underneath what could be clouds to let down rain at any given moment. i thought this will be ok i guess...
all thru the night i heard noises. raccoons, birds, frogs, and semi's from the not to far off distant road were all periodically entering into the ole drum of the ear. i knew the morning light would wake us and i was praying to god it wasn't the oklahoma rain. my biggest fear upon waking was really to see campers lined up behind liz and i taking photos because we were sleeping outside and not in a tent. i quickly felt the urgency to dispose of the evidence that two individuals slept outside. i regret doing so because liz wanted a picture of our adventure to share with the world. never the less we set up the tent and surprisingly enough it took not even 20 minutes. after the completion of the tent we made breakfast on a propane stove. we mixed turkey sausage, eggs, and cheese. it was very, very, very good. it coupled nicely with our cowboy/camping coffee. as we sat there eyes glazed towards the river less than 20 feet away i realized how awesome it really is to be able to sit down and not have immediate responsibilities. we took a walk in one direction from the site for about 20 min. came back, took a nap, and then started on a hike in the other direction. little did we know our trip's life was determined for death.
as liz and i started our stroll in the opposite direction of the earlier morning hike it began to drizzle. it was nothing to cry about and was barely noticeable. however, it was consistent and lasted for nearly two hours. liz and i talked politics, callings, counseling, and i shared with her some revelation the lord gave me earlier in the week about eagerness and examination. i won't go into detail on the specifics. before we realized it we were headed back in a somewhat harder rainfall. we thought we might want to check the tent to see if there had been water damage. there was just some spots were water was leaking in but not enough for us to begin construction on a log cabin. well the rain was NOT letting up. it wasn't a hard, torrential downpour but it was not being a good host to the native land of oklahoma either. we set a time limit on the rain. it was leaking in more and more. 5 o'clock was the deadline, if had not let up by 5 then we were going to pack it up and head home. at this time it was around 345 and not even as soon as we had set that time limit a drop lands squarely on top of the sleeping bag. that was it, we both had had it. we devised a plan on clean up and effectively succeeded in clean up in a mere 20 minutes.
with everything packed and the little subaru on its way back towards the exit/entrance of the park i though we might just check and see if they have a cabin to rent. they only had a hotel lodge = yuck!!! despite their efforts of getting us to stay by knocking off $30 dollars, we really didn't want to stay in a room with a microwave and mini fridge. we left and decided to head home leisurely. it was a great trip back. i can recall many moments where i made liz laugh and things she said made me laugh hysterically. we stopped at a goodwill because i felt it was a gold mine but the only benefactor of that stop was our son dutch who got 4 shirts. we then stopped at pizza joint in some random town which had music blaring on the speakers inside. it would seem we had stumbled onto christian night at mazzios. they played all christian music, most of which i had never heard. the music was showering cheese and i thought we had enough cheese on our pizza so we got out of there and started back home only to arrive around 930ish. i was promised by my wife that we will indeed go again sans the children. but it also prompted a desire in me to invite friends to attend the next one too.
i will go camping again, oh yes, i will go again and i will stay longer than 24 hours at this next campsite. this i vow...nature has not had its last laugh.