Up until now we’ve been staying with Phil’s family, living the cush trash blog life. We’ve had our meals cooked for us, our sheets turned down for us, and have been sent on our way each day with more food than we had when we arrived.
We write like Noah, seeking refuge in a delicate bark that promises but slim protection from the beasts outside. Raindrops the size of baseballs beat down on all sides with no sign of stopping, but we digress.
Saturday night we arrived at Oxbow Regional Campground just outside Portland with high hopes that were immediately dashed by the No Alcohol sign. Tent set-up went smoothly and Phil only got poked in the eye twice.
Our dinner was to be a significant gastronomic event: beef perfectly roasted with charcoal grill lines, slathered with special sauces; french bread handmade by artisians who were recently imported from France; fresh seasonal vegetables so colorful it hurt your eyes to look at them; and to top it off a supreme delicacy of a dessert, perfected over the decades and fit for royalty.
Dinner went down well. But we had no idea what was coming for us.
Nothing bad happened that night, except my hips got bruised by the hard ground. Two mats simply aren’t going to protect these babies! We woke up later than we expected, but we were only half an hour late to Mass.
We had a full day in Portland before returning to our campsite eager for another culinary adventure, and a rejuvinating evening spent in Mother Nature’s company. We enjoyed some friendly raindrops on our windshield as we meandered over country roads towards Oxbow.
Ever striving for gender-equity, we decided that I would be in charge of making the fire and Phil would cook dinner on our trusty Coleman. Seeing as I couldn’t strike the match, Phil had to lend occasional assistance. Phil will say that I haven’t very good fire-starting skills, but I think the heavy downpour had something to do with the high smoke to flame ratio.
When I looked up from my smokepile, I noticed that Phil also seemed to be struggling: our fresh ahi tuna on pan-crusted focaccia had turned into something that came from a can on soggy bread. Since when did tuna melts look like soup?
By this point the rain was getting the better of us. We agreed to trade places. I fled to the car to finish Phil’s disaster dinner and Phil stood in front of my smokepile and decided it wasn’t happening.
The rain got even harder. Both of us were in the car by now, although it was debatable whether there was more water inside or outside the vehicle. We guzzled down our yogurt-laced tuna salad and soggy bread and prayed our windshield would not crack.
Finally the torrents eased up a little, enough for us to make a dash for the tent. Unfortunately the car alarm went off when we opened the door. We gave Mother Nature and Oxbow Regional Campground a piece of our mind while we dug for the keys.
So ends our first bought with camping. We’ve thought about turning back and going to live with our parents… but our mission propels us on (plus, after showing that picture of the tuna sandwich, it is questionable whether they’d even let us in the house anymore). Onward to the Oregon Coast!