Wednesday, July 30, 2008

night out

I used to love camping. Once when I was a college student I camped out solo -without a tent - in the Cascade mountains in Oregon, woke up to a view of Mt. Shasta in northern California. It was splendid.

Don and I actually used to camp a fair amount, and when we lived in the city, we thought, hey - maybe we need to live in the country. So we bought the farm (so to speak) in November 2003. It really does feel like a little campground or park.

So, finally, after intending to do this since we moved to the farm in 2003, I slept out a few nights ago, in Lesley's little single person tent.

And this is why I love sleeping outside:

  • rustling of poplars, like breathing
  • fireflies
  • no walls (tent walls don't count) full of plaster, electrical wires, lath between me and Nature
  • no clock, TV, refrigerator hum, furniture
  • the moon
  • cool night air and the damp
I could probably come up with more. My sister Dee Dee says as long as there are 3-star hotels in the world, she doesn't plan on camping. I wonder what you prefer, clean white sheets and room service, or a sleeping bag in the great outdoors?


Loring Wirbel said...

Outdoors, but for a week or less. I always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail, but worried I'd miss real beds about Day 12. You mentioned fireflies - Abby saw them for the first time in her life at her cousin Maggie's in Michigan City last month, and was astonished.

Ruth said...

Loring, can you do part of the trail for a few days? I loved the Pacific Crest trail, where we (students and profs) hiked for 5 days. There is something about having a destination, a certain number of miles to cover, carrying everything you need with you, etc. Camping out in the backyard is nothing close, but at least I can do it and not have neighbors peeking at me from their kitchen windows.

Rauf said...

Yes you become one Ruth.
And you begin to fight and be a part of nature. Its a constant struggle for survival. This is something you have to accept. Not everything is rosy. Its not a song. Along with the forces of nature like wind rain heat and cold, you have to deal with insects and other organisms. We learn a lot. Once we learn to defend which is a primary instinct the life becomes easy.

This tent is fine for you in Michigan, but due to heat it starts smelling here even if we pitch it under a tree. So we have canvas tents which are heavy.

Anet said...

Sorry...I'm such a hotel girl!
I love the day part of the camping, it's the sleeping part that I'm not crazy about. Also not a big fan of bugs, thunderstorms, (which it does everytime I get in a tent!) the damp stiffness in my back, no good!
Yes, give me a 3 star hotel anyday. I drive my hubby nuts about this!

Ruth said...

rauf, it's a good thing I didn't consult with you before camping, I might have declined!

But I know what you mean. Camping is playing at being in nature, one with it. It's a dream.

The nice thing about these little nylon tents is how easy they are to put up. Don took a picture of me carrying it down the path, funny.

= = =

Anet, why sorry? To each her own. And don't get me wrong, I love a nice hotel room and would not want to camp every time I go somewhere. There is a time and place for everything. The romance of a hotel never gets old for me.

Sharon said...

Strangely enough I have never really been camping. At least not "one with nature" camping. Once as a teenager my sisters dragged me to a Bob Seger concert in Bay City and we spent one night in a tent in a loud and crowded nature there. And then a few years ago I took my Girl Scout troop to camp for a week but (luckily) it was just down the road from our house so while I slept in the tent each night I came home during the day while the girls were doing activities. I was so wrapped up in making sure that no one got killed on my watch that it is all a blur now. Again, not a "one with the woods" kind of thing.

Ruth said...

Sharon, well maybe your life in the woods is making up for that, you guys live about as naturally as people can live in a house/log home.

Once Don and I tried staying in a KOA in San Bernardino, but we couldn't pound the stakes into the cement-like ground.

Donica (or Donna) said...

I would have to say that I am all about comfort....and would follow Dee Dee right into the hotel! I have camped many nights in my life from childhood to adult, and enjoyed most of them. However, with the limited time I have to be away from work....I want everything to be about relaxation and comfort :)!!

By the way, we have a large tent in the storage room that is not likely to get a single day of use in the next 20 years. Any need for an extra on the farm??

See you next week :)!!

Ruth said...

Donna (or Donica), why does this not surprise me? You don't have to justify either, 'cause I get it. And oh, did I ever tell you that I stayed in a campground outside Paris in college? If I had to choose between that and where we stayed with you . . . um . . . I'd choose the view of the tour Eiffel. (Hint: that wasn't the campground.)

Well, I think we might be able to use the tent, especially if anyone ever decides to camp out Farm Day, which hasn't happened yet. The babies need to get a little older, and then I think we could fill it!

Yay, next week!!!!! I can't wait!! And we just saw you not too long ago, it's so loooovely. And this time with NICHOLAS - yippee!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth we used to tent all the time when I was a kid.. and you know, I'm sure it must have rained a few times but I don't remember rain at all. We were just too thrilled to have gone somewhere..

With all the talk of bed bugs on the news.. I would much rather sleep in my own sleeping bag and tent than stay at a hotel... We tend to go to wilderness areas... You'd think living in the country, we would head for the city but guess not!!

Are you sleeping out tonight??

Loring Wirbel said...

Nice new logo!

freefalling said...

That's it!
We are getting a tent, THIS summer.
I've been wanting to go camping again for years, but my husband won't be in it.
But tough titties, mate -
we're doin' it and you're gunna like it!

Ruth said...

Gwen, it seems to me if you camp as a kid it's just a part of you, and the thrill of being with parents and seeing them 'play house' outdoors with cardboard salt & pepper shakers is just too much fun. I mean, cooking around an open fire!

Oh dear about the bedbugs, I hadn't heard about that. But yeah, I do get grossed out sometimes and won't sit down on the bedspread, have to take it off and put it aside. I know they don't wash them after each guest.

Nope, not sleeping out tonight. Maybe once a week for the rest of the summer.

= = =

Thanks, Loring. This vacation is giving me too much free time.

= = =

Letitia, I think Vince owes you and should go camping if he likes it or not. And you can tell him I said so.

(Did I just say that? I'm so brave on the other side of the world.)

Drowsey Monkey said...

Good Lord ... take a guess! LOL Room Service Please!!!

Kierstyn said...

Oh Dear Ruth--I think my husband should have married you :) I feel as connected to the earth as a plastic, chartreuse coffee cup (made in China) when I am *camping*. The natural world is filled with black flies (that bite), and long grass that feels exactly like a large insect crawling on your bum as you squat to pee. I think if I were a man, maybe I would enjoy peeing in the woods more--be able to whistle and enjoy the scenery. I find it to be a sweaty affair. And my lord, the cacophony at night--the mere tissue layer (tent) of protection between the bugs waiting to devour my flesh and my scared body is just too thin. I never sleep. I wake up feeling hung over from nature. I always wake thinking: How long must I endure the wilderness??

I am envious of you and your enjoyment. Maybe it is as easy as changing my mind? Show me the way Ruth!

lesleyanne said...

i'm trying to picture where you pitched the tent! what a fabulous idea for a night alone on the farm! i admire you, for your courage, your sense of adventure, and your love of the outdoors.

i miss camping, and would much rather do that than stay at a hotel, if the situation called for it.

i love you. and will see you in one week!!

André Lemay said...

I prefer the outdoors and the trails anytime. But I think that I might stay inside for your blueberry dish.

Ruth said...

dear Kiers, all the things you listed in your litany against camping are awful. I've been in the UP when the black flies drove me to insanity. I've lain awake hours thinking about 'Blair Witch Project' and being terrified.

But for me the good times outweighed those experiences. And here on the farm, the night was silent the other night - which surprised me - no cicadas, tree frogs, nuttin. I had mosquitoes safely zipped outside. The temperature was perfect. I mean, the ingredients have to be right. I totally agree with you.

= = =

Wesrey, I pitched the tent on the path, under a tree, right where the grass grows up going down to the pond.

We don't have the big tent here(Grandpa has it) or you could camp out next week. :)

= = =

André, ha! Well yes, there are times to be out and there are times to be in.

Ruth said...

Drowsey, why am I not surprised? Hehe.

VioletSky said...

Camping in a really cool old silver Airstream ... or a log cabin.

Sandy said...

I pefer clean white sheets, cocktail lounges in beautiful hotels, with a piano bar, and great restaurants, perched high on a cliff overlooking ocean, but with forest (Bir Sur area)....or beautiful hotel in the middle of the desert, or beautiful hotel along a raging river. Once in awhile I would camp out but I don't like the idea of bugs crawling on me while I sleep.

I have done some rugged camping in my past (not often) and all the things you mentioned were wonderful but I still think I prefer the hotel with wireless internet service so I can do my laptop when I'm in the room.

I like the comfort of a nice place to stay but access to all the wildness so I can hike and enjoy nature.

I think that's so cool you camped out on your property.

Auntie Sandy

Sandy said...

Bringing my comment from your flying blog here because i can post easier here - for some reason it doesn't want to remember my info so I have to fill in the boxes every time. Actually I go there a lot to look at your photography but don't always comment, when I want to, because of that.

So with that said, I love all your photos of your birds!!! I am so looking forward to our county fair this year to spend some time with the different varieties and maybe get a chance for some photo.

Those birds are adorable..

Ruth said...

Oh, Sanna, yes! Don and I have drooled over those forever. We'd still love to find one and camp it on our property for an extra guest room.

= = =

Auntie Sandy, nothing like being pampered in a nice hotel. It sounds as though you like both worlds, so you go ahead and enjoy both. Me too actually, on the rare occasions I stay in a hotel.

Hmm, sorry about the comment hassles at flying. Thank you so much for visiting there, it's nice to know, whether you comment or not.

Don and I just got back from the county fair! I'm happy with some shots I took, and Don had a blast looking at the chickens! Full grown ones like the ones he has, and some others. Just gorgeous. I didn't take their photos, since they were in cages. We love these goofy members of our family and how they contribute to our lives here.

Ginnie said...

HA! I KNEW Donica/Donna would say that. She is definitely NOT a tent lady! BUT I would set up my own tent out there with you unless we found one big enough for both of us (though it sounds like you just wanted to be alone?). I still have such fond memories of camping with the kids. We had so much fun in our big Coleman tent. Many happy memories in the Redwoods of Northern CA!

Ruth said...

Oh Boots, I would love to sleep out there with you. In fact, couldn't we take a hike somewhere some day? Some trail in the US and take everything on our backs?? Somewhere neither of us has been, like Montana, Wyoming, or somewhere??

Esther Garvi said...

Three stars or a million? I'd choose the outdoors!

Ruth said...

Esther, stars stars stars, nothing like sleeping under stars.