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Old 04-30-2016, 09:45 AM   #1
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Creating my monster

I think I’ve created a monster. Or maybe I should say, they were no match for the power of the dark side.

Here’s what happened. After several years I was finally able to convince my good friends to come out on a boondocking camping trip.
A little backstory; my close friends have a Jayco Jayfeather (09, not that it matters). Typically, they have only been using their TT a couple times per year. They had never taken their TT anywhere but a trailer park with full hookups, and bathrooms and showers. It seems their DW and DD were very VERY adamant about the need for showers and phone reception and wifi. They had never used their TT bathroom for anything but brushing teeth, washing up and urinating. If any them had to go number 2, the hard rule was to use the parks bathroom and not go in the RV.
Last summer we went with them on the one trip they made. During which I noticed a certain disconnection to this family outing. While we had a campfire, it was only myself, my DW and my good friend sitting around it talking, having a beer (or three). We would be graced with his wife’s presence for a few minutes at a time, between going in to refill her wine and getting sidetracked by what the kids were watching on TV and/or checking her phone/laptop. During the day we walked around and fished a bit, but never very far from the park.
Since that trip, (and in true military fashion) I have given them a pretty good ribbing (ok, perhaps it was more like a harsh hazing) about what I call Glamping; and never using their TT to its potential. Then, during New Years, and while plied with copious amounts of fermented beverage; I was able to strike a deal. Since we went with them, they agreed to come out on a boondocking weekend with us. This was when the monster was conceived.
“IT’S ALIIIVE!!!!” We loaded up both RV’s (full water tanks, waste tanks prepped, firewood, kids dogs, etc.) and set out on a four day journey (well, three and a half days). We went to an area my DW and I love to go to. It is only about two hours from home, but it is completely without any cellular service, and absolutely no amenities. There is a nice lake where we can take the canoe and fish and usually the nearest other camper is at least 50 yards or more away. I had brought along my extra 35 gallon water tank (just in case), as I had promised my friend that she could still shower if she needed to.
Well, the first night went pretty well, but a good portion of that time was campsite set up and cooking dinner and getting things settled. It was pretty evident this was going to be a little bit of an uncomfortable adjustment process. My friend’s wife and daughter both remarked several times about how odd it felt not having cellular coverage or wifi. The youngest children seemed a bit put out by not being able to watch TV. The best one of all was the surprise that their microwave would not work (they don’t have a generator (YET)).
“YOU’RE JOURNEY TO THE DARK SIDE IS NEARLY COMPLETE!” The second day and night brought about the awakening. As things started, the kids were “bored’ very early on. The girls were surprised that they could still shower. Having to do it “Navy” style was new, but the adjustment was quick and they didn’t use much water. Everyone was shocked that the toilet in the RV worked for more than just the morning tinkle. As the day progressed and we fished and used the canoe, they kids played out in the forest, the dogs explored…. All in all, we had a full day. As night fell and the campfire lit, we found both families sitting around playing games. As the evening grew and we settled in around the campfire, the fermented beverages being consumed, there came the laughter, deep talks, the childhood stories, s'more's, the whole package. By day 3, no one even picked up a phone or electronic gadget, the kids were gone for several hours out on an adventure hike and my buddy and I managed to catch dinner from the lake. The afternoon and evening found us target shooting (.22s) with the kids and being visited by a cow and two calf moose. When day 4 came, they still had enough water for showers (though they were running very low). The afternoon as we packed up and cleaned up the camp site, the comments started coming; “why are we leaving so soon?”, “I wish we could stay one more day.” Paraphrasing my friends: “At first, it was painful and we (the wife and daughter) were not sure we were going to enjoy this, but as this has turned out, you have opened our eyes and brought us all closer. We have had so much fun, we never realized we could do this type of trip.”
By the time we got back home (they live across the street from me), they came over and told us about the next trip. The plan is for next weekend in fact (this time at a different State campground without any amenities), and there is a plan in motion for a Memorial day trip at the same spot we went to. My friends cannot stop talking about how good it was to unplug from the electronic trappings of society for a few days, and come together as a family.

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Old 04-30-2016, 10:05 AM   #2
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:07 AM   #3
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Excellent! I like being disconnected. I'm glad they came out of their shell. I never understand why some people camp when they are watching some electronic, the whole time.
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:11 PM   #4
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If you're going to be creating monsters, that's the best kind! Enjoyed reading your little tale.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:58 PM   #5
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Great story, I enjoyed reading it. I can't think of a better way to unwind and unplug then a camping trip. We've done our share of airline/hotel/rental car trips and while always fun we always seem to be trying to cram activities in to a short amount of time. Camping to me is waking up in the morning with no agenda and letting the day come to you.

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Old 05-04-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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What a great story! We do many different types of vacations and the camping trips are by far the best with the best memories. We take a +/- 15 day camping trip most every year and always come home feeling like a family again. Easy to get disconnected from each other with jobs and kids and busy lives but nothing like time together in an RV experiencing nature and new places without the distraction of daily life and the artificial stimulus of electronics to re-set the barometer.

Some of the best times for my wife and I have been spent sitting across the table with a glass of wine and game of cards or around a camp fire just chatting after the kids are asleep. Something about it that reminds us of the things that are truly important in life and what it was that drew us together in the first place.

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