Monday, July 3, 2017

Upper Grey's Memories

The wife is sad today.

And now, after flipping through these digital albums of camping days gone by, I'm sad too.

You see normally at this time of year, we, and two other families, would have schlepped our enormous supply of camping gear to Upper Grey's Meadow deep in the Eastern Sierras. For a week of sunburn, dirty feet and high altitude hangovers.

This year marks the first time we haven't made the trip in 14 years.

And I've got the pictures to prove it.

The Rum-Soaked Snipe Hunt of 2009 -- we had convinced the kids there were these strange night creatures that lived in the bushes by the side of the path. And, that if we could catch one there'd be a huge cash reward. My buddy Paul would surreptitiously toss pebbles in the bush to make a sound and the kids would get all excited. Other worldly campers joined in and said they had seen some snipes just up the road. The Hoax/Hunt was a rousing success. And though it was at the expense of our gullible children, I haven't laughed that hard since.

The Bristlecone Pine Death March of 2010 -- We drove 25 miles towards the White Mountains of Nevada and set out on a hike that started at 11,000 feet. The temperature was 113 degrees in the shade. And we ran out of water after Mile One. The moaning and groaning echoed itself all the way to Death Valley. It took a lot of ice cream and candy to put the smiles back on these kids.

The Kapaa Con Job of 2007 -- Every year the town of Independence puts on a July 4th parade. And every year we would march in the parade. We put a lot of effort into coming up with a theme. And Paul even magically built a flag float that we would roll down Rt. 395. In 2007, I thought it would be interesting to pose as visitors from Kapaa, Hawaii. In the hopes of somehow spinning the gag into free airline tickets and lodging for our group to visit Kauai. That didn't work out. But when they announced our contingency over the loudspeaker some of the lifelong residents started whispering. "I didn't know we had a sister city in Hawaii, that's so cool."

Yes, it was.

This year, the kids, who are no longer kids, are off doing their own things.

Interest in the camping waned and now we find ourselves at home. Watching Precedent Shitgibbon pick Twitter fights with TV hosts while his KGB-trained counterpart devises a strategy to split the West and take us down.

So with website traffic notoriously down during these holidays I thought I'd devote this week to July 4th camping stories.

Tomorrow, "Pack up the shit the campground's on FIRE!!!" 

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