Monday, July 8, 2013

Good morning campers

It's good to be back. With my hands on the keyboard and a tankful of tales to be told.

Though where I had been sitting for the past 6 days, at a beautiful campsite, 7000 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains was not so bad either.

Take the photo above, for example.

I snapped it from our camping table.

This young fawn/doe/deer/buck/moose (I couldn't tell you the difference if I had a zoological picture book parked in front of me) strolled right into our campsite. It happened shortly after sunrise, while I was enjoying a concoction my wife had whipped up, a slice of propane-toasted bread, topped with pepperjack cheese, several salami nuggets and a fried egg.

Its mother, lurking to the left and out of frame, watched carefully to make sure I posed no threat. As long as he/she/it didn't come anywhere near my salami, we were good.

Many people still find it hard to believe that I pack up my gear, and willingly sleep on the ground, take showers from a plastic bag, and do all my personal business without the aid of running water -- hot, cold, or even grey.

The truth is these people just don't know me that well. And as my wife will attest, they're better off that way.

The fact is, camping -- the act of abandoning civilization and subjecting my mind and body to physical and mental discomfort -- is part of my nature.

Years ago, my father schlepped my brother and I, on a 7 day backpacking Death March through the backside of the Grand Tetons. We had 80 lbs. packs, enough freeze dried beef stroganoff to survive a nuclear holocaust, and a slew of meaningless topographic maps that we used to start illegal campfires.

Each night we had to hoist our packs, and anything that smelled remotely like food, over a high tree limb so as not to attract bears. And not just any bears, grizzlies.

Had we not made it out of there alive, I'm convinced the headline in the local Wyoming paper would have read, "Three NY Jews Complete Suicide Pact in Yellowstone Park."

One of these days I will sort through the plastic bins in my garage and fish out the photos from that near-fatal trip. And in an act of self-flagellation post pictures of myself sporting nothing but short shorts, rainbow suspenders, and $200 Asolo Hiking boots fashioned from the hard leather of a Nepalese Mountain Yak.

That post will go up the day after I can no longer find cynical things to write about the advertising business.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

As anyone who works in advertising knows, the act of abandoning civilization and subjecting your mind and body to physical and mental discomfort is just the price of entry.