All Dressed Up And…


Boodle at Borders

The Universe keeps leaving me messages lately.  Not great message either.

Frankly, I think I need to change my number, or at least find a way off its speed dial.

For the moment though, I’d really like to know why the Universe seems so opposed to us going camping.  I mean, it’s not as if we’re higher (or sadly much lower) impact than most people who spend time up on Lower Saranac Lake.  We use a rowboat equipped with a little 2-cycle motor to zip between the ranger station and our camp site instead of a canoe (though I’d be content enough to canoe most of the time, it’s nice to have that motor for the initial setup and break down periods); we tend to do most of our cooking via a campstove instead of the fire pit; and I do use dish detergent to wash the dishes in the lake.

Old Litter found in a scap pit on Halfway Island, Saranac Lake NY

Old Litter in Bright Green

I have even been guilty of bringing soap bubbles for my son to play with at the camp site.

However, the few plastics we bring always get brought home and either recycled or disposed off in a more conscientious manner.  We do not leave broken glass or litter in the wood as some have done.   Our choice has always been to leave the campsite a little nicer for the next people than we ourselves had found it.

Which, btw, means we like to leave it as close to pristine as possible on a State Camp Ground.

So why has everything interfered in our camping this year?

  • The first disaster was a minor one–my husband somehow booked the wrong campsite.  This would normally not be a horrible issue, save that we have a child who is still learning about the outdoors, what is safe, what is not and there are several sites on the lake that have huge rocks that just drop off into the lake without warning.    We know very little about the section of the lake we’re going to be at this time.  Could be good, could be bad…  The mystery is enough to make me cautious, but not enough to cancel the trip.
  • The second “disaster” has been the timing of the head cold of the year.  I’m just starting to get over it, but the Boodle is getting sick now and there are odd hints that the Leader of the Opposition Party (that is, my husband–now known as the LOP) is working on getting it too.  Being sick where the quickest route to a hospital is seaplane doesn’t really appeal to me.
  • The major disasters however happened last night when the LOP started doing an inventory of all our camping gear…


Need I say more?  Well, I probably do, since it might now seem that drastic, but these guys were both huge and everywhere.  And they’d eaten their way through our $400 tent, our air mattress and our rubber raft. 

This isn’t stopping us since the LOP has “connections” nearby (his father was already loaning us the boat and just threw in a tent for us to use), but sometimes one really does have to wonder why the Universe is so adverse to us camping.

ROW80 Check-in

This hasn’t (as the above might show) been the best week.  I was completely down and out on Sunday and Monday with the cold.  My word count was stifled, but it’s back on track now, and I’m even back to getting my 750 done on 750words.  It’s all part of a process I guess.

The biggest killer at the moment is the brain drain.  Too many other things have been taking their toll and leaving my mind to scattered to actually work on my story ideas.  Today was the first day that I didn’t have to force feed words to the paper, and because I had too many things that needed to be done “right now” I could only jot down notes for writing out in detail later.

I’m both dreading and looking forward to that camping trip just for the end of the “right now” period.  I do know that this was the absolutely wrong month to take up a WriMo challenge.  But I’m here now, and I will do what I can.  I guess it’s much like my karate experiences.  Even in losing, I will win something.

Speaking of which…  Must leave you now so I can do that part.  Hai!


This will be my last post for almost two weeks, if things go well.  If things keep going the way they have been going though….  Well, stay tuned for further developments and enjoy these images I took during our camping trip last year:

Bees Knees! Taken at our favorite swimming spot

Bees Knees

Reflections on the water


Ending day

Ending Day


10 responses to “All Dressed Up And…

  1. The one thing I’ve been doing faithfully is the 750 words. I might not write anything else that day, but I make sure that’s accomplished. Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month, too?


    • I’m doing the Camp this month, yes. Quite of few of us ROWers are. In fact, check out Lauren Garafalo’s page if you’re interested in watching some of the “action”. Fun and games even. She’s running a feature every Wednesday in celebration of the event called Cheer and Whine.

      And really, some days I wish I was getting in 750words. Kudos to you for doing so, John. You’ve done better than I lately.


  2. Have a superb break away – get over the brain drain and come back fresh and invigorated. And best of luck with those pesky ants!! I have to say – comping is so not my thing, although UK rarely ever had the right weather for it. 🙂 X


    • Thanks, Shah. I will do my best! 😉

      As for the ants, I didn’t know it either. These were huge too! Carpenter Ants of some kind. Either that or they mutated eating all that nylon…

      And yeah… As much as I loved my time in the Midlands, I didn’t think much of it as camping time. Though I did consider doing some bike trips and bedding at a hostel or a B&B once or twice.


  3. Lauren Garafalo

    Love the pictures!! I know what you mean about the signals telling you to stay home…it does make you wonder. But try to look at it like…this will be SUCH a good trip bc of everything you had to do to get here. Omg…I had no idea ants ate things like that. Hope you guys have a wonderful time 😀


    • I keep telling myself that too, Lauren… if it’s been so bad, then everything HAS to get better now. And it does seem to be working. Not only did the new tent arrive a day ahead of expectations (and it’s bigger and cozier than the old one), but the extra equipment for my camera all arrived, the words are flowing freely again…

      Yeah… gearing up for some good times. (though I will forever be leery when I see ants around the tent now).


  4. I hope you have a wonderful trip despite all the problems you are facing getting there!


    • Thanks, Christina. I’m starting to think it’s going to be great. Guess I needed to vent the worries to let the “happy” back in. Hope you have a great week too.


  5. Ah, camping. Our first trip, my middle daughter got 2nd-degree burns from the campfire and we all got a stomach bug. After 24 hours, we gave up and went home (this after the park ranger, thankfully also a paramedic, had to visit us twice in 24 hours… then as we tried to leave, he had to jump-start our battery-dead car!).

    750words… something I’m determined to start doing when the kids go back to school 8/27.

    Hope your cold is better and you have an awesome time camping. Looking forward to your post when you get back (and more pictures).


    • Oh, my, Tia! I am sorry I missed this comment. I can’t even say it got lost in the shuffle; I just was on “blog burnout” for a time and haven’t been posting in so long that I’d forgotten I was saving a reply to this one afternoon when I couldn’t respond due to network issues.

      Well, I do hope that, for you, future camping (or any other “risky” family outings) are much more enjoyable. In our case, I’m glad we braved it despite all the hints and suggestions that the Universe seemed to be sending our way. We had an amazing time and even spent some time visiting some beavers…

      It goes to show that there are silver linings everywhere, I guess.

      May this year bring you much joy.