Camping With Grown-Ups


Camping humor. Classic.
For the last several years my camping trips have all involved our RV and a bear named Yogi.

Over the Memorial Day weekend however, I went camping with grown-ups. In a tent.

When friends of mine from the gym invited a bunch of us to crash their annual Memorial Day camping trip I was all in. Until they mentioned it was an “over-21″ campground. In Wisconsin. After perusing the camp’s website, I was worried that this place was going to be a cross between a biker bar and one of those nudist/swinger places you see on HBO’s “Real Sex”, so a friend and I turned to Yelp to check out a few reviews.

Bad idea.

In addition to discovering that our campground was conveniently located (read: across the street) from a strip club, we stumbled across several reviews that called out the massively imbalanced guy to girl ratios and the huge number of bachelor parties that the site attracted. One woman went so far to say in her review that she feared for her safety every night…”and I did a tour of duty in the Middle East.” Yikes.

Undaunted, we followed through with our plans and all I can say is that camping in Iraq must be pretty darned awesome because we had a great time — and not once did I fear for my life (except for the time I had to use the port-a-potty in the middle of the night…but I fear those things in broad daylight too.)

The weather was gorgeous, the company was wonderful, and waking up to chirping birds and cool breeze (as opposed to blaring TV and hungry kids) was a treat.

We took a trip to the nearby state park and decided to take an impromptu hike up the mountain. When I say hike, I mean HIKE. There was a fairly decent rock trail all the way up, but this was definitely no flat, easy path. It was a legitimately challenging climb.

Even so, it didn’t stop a majority of climbers from attempting the ascent in flip flops, without water, and with ridiculous gear in tow.

Yes. That is indeed a Maltese. In a tote bag. The guy was European so I’m willing to cut him some slack…but not much.

Even thought the climb was strenuous, it was so worth it for the view from the top. And humming Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” to yourself for the entire trek doesn’t hurt either.

Stunning!

I had to laugh because all the way up the trail markers kept calling out this amazing “balanced rock” that we would see near the top. We got all the way up and never saw it. On the way down, I figured out why. It’s barely view-able from the path, and it’s size reminded me of the underwhelming mini-Stonehenge from “This is Spinal Tap” .

The spacial resemblance is pretty much the same.

Even though the balanced rock was kind of underwhelming, the Devil’s Door definitely made up for it!

WOW, huh??

What’s hard to see is that to actually get a picture in that doorway you have to shimmy through the tiniest crevice or be willing to leap over fairly large crevasses between rocks, neither of which I was willing or able to do. This did not stop my gymnastic friend Katie from getting in there and posing.

Earlier in the hike she insisted on doing handstands right on the ledge of a really high viewing area which literally gave me a full blown anxiety attack. She is a very skilled former gymnast, but her antics encouraged members of the aforementioned European “climbing” group to follow suit. Remember, they were hauling lap dogs up the mountain in Burberry bags…clearly neither athletic nor gymnastic. I had to turn my back and walk away because as much as I love “Dateline”, the last thing I wanted to do was get interviewed about “The Tragedy on The Cliff” whereby several foreigner tourists tumbled to their deaths like lemmings due to the encouragement of a reckless American (whom I am friends with).

Thankfully the rest of the climb was pretty anti-climactic and we made it down alive.

Take that Yelp reviewers.

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