After our European backpacking adventures of 2002, camping disappeared from our lives for a while and I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe living out of a backpack and tent for five weeks gave us our fill? Maybe we failed to make the time? Whatever the reason, last year we finally started to dip our collective toe in the exciting world of camping again, after five years of being away from it. We've taken it slow thus far, camping at "safe" places with bathrooms and easy access to Wal-Mart for forgotten marshmallows and chocolate bars. This past weekend marked our first camping trip of the 2008 season and while it was great fun, it was also a lesson in patience. Typically, we camp in May because we enjoy the cooler climates and sparsely populated campgrounds. Camping in the middle of June, however, brought with it some interesting surprises, like intense heat that forces you out your tent at 6:30 a.m. and summer thunder storms that force you to seek shelter under a very rickety, and difficult to assemble, canopy (courtesy of Wal-Mart). Luckily, we were with our friends, Chris and Bri, who know how to fun no matter what the situation, so a night of Texas Hold 'em ensued despite buckets of rain pouring down all around us. Overall, we had a great time camping, although there was one part of our trip that was borderline intolerable: the wild insects that look like they could be part of the cast of Transformers 2. Poor Chris found an insect that can only be described as a flesh-eating, giant-winged half-caterpillar, half scorpion on his leg as he was tucking in for the night. Believe me, Chris's screams cut through the night air like a knife!
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