Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Road Trippin' Lytle Style - The Curtain Call

The hubs, daughter, her BFF and I went camping for Spring Break this year (as we usually do). It turned out to be a ‘farewell trip’ as we decided upon our return home that we’ll be selling our trailer which we love because the economy still sucks at our house! :-( But that’s a whole other post - which, actually, I probably won’t be posting about! ;-)

Anyhoo – We had a great time on our trip – which should’ve been to Oregon’s high desert country (read: dry and mostly warm & sunny). However, we had to change plans at the last minute because the mountain pass we would’ve had to traverse became covered in several feet of snow thanks to the biggest storm of the whole last year, just two days prior to our vacation! Grrr… So – to the beach we went. The coastal weather in Oregon, in April, is sketchy at best – but over 4 days we donned coats for only two! That was a terrific surprise :-) All in all we had a super fun time, but life isn’t perfect - and as can happen, a few hick-ups popped up to challenge us.

Although we went coatless for half of our stay, two other days (and clearly prior to our arrival), it was rainy…really rainy! Of course, the spot right outside out trailer door was a mud pit and out door mat’s size wasn’t quite sufficient to span the gloppy mass. Thank heaven for a plethora of pine cones and twigs!
Not only did this mat-extending project work like a dream – it was kind of a piece art too! I found I enjoyed seeing it every time I exited the trailer :-) Besides…I love pinecones and sticks…..oh and rocks too. ;-)

Another kink in our plan was that we had no running water in the trailer – long story short, the water pressure at the park first popped the water line to the toilet (which wasn’t a deal-breaker as we can shut off the water line to the pot and still be able to use it via cups of water in the bowl, and flushing to the holding tank). However…we found we can’t shut off the water to the shower faucet which was the next thing to blow! So – with all water shut off, we had no water save for the 5-gallon bucket now sitting in the tub for toilet usage, and for boiling so I could wash dishes. Um…..yeah….washing dishes with a pot of boiling hot water is a pain in the ass – not the mention the hands! So, we used as few dishes as possible and when it came time to cook something that normally would’ve required scrubbing a pot or pan, we either scrapped the idea or……I made disposable cookware
With a hearty flame lapping underneath, this triple layer foil ‘pan’ worked wonders! The bacon cooked to a perfect crispness and was as tasty as ever on our cheeseburgers. Scratch that….cooked on an impromptu foil pan….it was even better. And the hubs? He thought I was a marvel :-)

For us, camping means a fire gets sparked up every day by about 4 o’clock. While I don’t build or tend it, I do like to poke at it with a stick...get the end all aglow-n-such. Well, on day two a flat and clean cut of wood called to me.
So, my charcoaled poking stick became my pencil and I branded the log with the family name thus christening our fire as the official Lytle Evening Flame.

Later, as the hubs was about to once again stoke the fire, I shouted, “Wait!” I pointed to the burning wood, “Look...a heart!”
There it was in plain sight…a heart in our fire. We just stared at it for a moment, I snapped the pic and more wood was put on to keep us warm, thus pushing the heart further down into the embers. I was glad I’d taken the photo then…but even more so now. I didn’t know at that time that we were experiencing our last camping trip. That heart will forever represent the fun we always have when we take the trailer on the road for family fun. Camping is about togetherness, adventure and love. From the very first trip in our very first trailer (a pop-up. 7 years ago) when I made t-shirts emblazoned with the motto, “Road Trippin’ Lytle Style” to this latest outing that left us water-challenged, every trip has been unique and given us memories that will last a lifetime. There will be no ‘tent-camping’ trips in our future….we’ve done our time in tents…. It will be fun to take the next step and go on to other kinds of vacations. We’ve loved our trailer camping trips….but out there somewhere….new adventures await.

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