Monday, April 27, 2009
Running to Camp - Literally-
This is in honor of the first annual Estates of Russell Creek campout. That’s right. An overnight camping trip of about 9 families to Lake Ray Roberts. A big shout out to Lisa, Julie and Tiffany who organized the thing. The campout was a about 1/2 mile from the car on a rocky, sandy trail...no worries...chance to get about 6 miles of running in with weight training...good prep for the Bataan Death March Marathon with 35 lbs pack held every year in New Mexico. At this point, got to give a shout out to David Tallant who had the forethought to bring a dolly…still kinda tough to maneuver...but better than the alternative of actually humping a cast iron dutch oven!
In the back of my mind I kept hearing the words of Clint Eastwood, from the movie Heartbreak Ridge, telling me to adapt/overcome….which will come in handy later.
This would be considered by the Texas State Park Department as a primitive campsite as there was no bathroom or running water…those amenities would be ½ mile away….remember? So my sweet and lovely wife, who ain’t real hip on the camping thing as it is, was out more than normal. To the point, and lucky for me, she decided to make the 45 minute drive in a second vehicle in case she didn’t want to stay overnight…at least she would enjoy the days activities…which consisted mainly of moving your trash into camp near the edge of the lake. I have to give kuddos to my sweet Brenda for being a trooper for the entire day.
I pick a campsite and then commence to set up our little 8 man tent…which I had purchased for the specific purpose for family campouts…one with lots of room. Compared to most tents, it looks like a small condo…but since Bren isn’t into camping , size is a moot point….at least in the tent category. ;-)
Saturday afternoon, right next to the lake gave way to about 40 MPH winds…might as well been a Cat 4 hurricane trying to set up a condo tent. Luke and Macy are always great help and the tent is so large that you have to have help to get the fiberglass flex poles in place. I could have had all 8 men help set up the 8 man tent….it was not going to happened with the Cat 4 hurricane winds. Yep, we would get the tent up…but then the wind would blow so hard as to collapse the poles in on themselves and the tent would basically collapse. I tried two other times from some other help…only with the same results. So what to do…adapt and overcome….pawn off Macy and Luke to two other responsible families who have the fortune of not having to put up a condo…but more like a modest townhome. So at this point the Tallants and the Morrows commandeered two orphans from the throes of homelessness. (Hope, my youngest daughter, would go home with my Sainted Wife…did I mention she doesn’t dig camping…no matter how big your tent is!!!)
What about me you ask? Two options: either snuggle up to Matt Adey in his tent…NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! Or sleep outside. Not much different than my USMC days so I decide to sleep under the natural lights that only God himself could create….but I get ahead of myself.
The kids played all day…the boys running the lake trying to catch live things that gross out both moms and girls…and girls talking, playing princess or whatever. It is so awesome watching the kids be kids in the great outdoors.
We get a fire started and get ready to cook dinner….I love cooking outdoors and had brought a couple of steaks and hot dogs. Some of the others cooked the hotdogs as well. I had forgotten the fresh asparagus in the refrig at home so we had to do without. Everyone ate and then I started to prep for the dutch oven peach cobbler. I had humped a 15 lb cast iron dutch oven ½ mile and I was going to cook a cobbler if it hair lipped the governor….plus dutch oven cobbler is some kind of goooood! 25 minutes later….wahlah….peach cobbler….the sun was going down and the kids were winding down and they eventually were put to bed. With that being completed, I donned the trail running shoes and head lamp to go out for a little run. I had planned on going 15 miles but already had about ½ that done with all the running to and from the car to the campsite. There was a really technical mountain bike trail I wanted to run. It was tough…to the point that walking with only a headlight seemed precarious. A raccoon, two snakes and an armadillo later I thought it was time to turn back. (plus I had fallen once and rolled my right ankle twice.) I completed my run at about 11:30 pm. I had not gone as far I wanted but did get about a 2 hour run in for the evening.
I get back to camp…and couldn’t believe it…everybody was already in the bag….not much to do but air up the air mattress (I ain’t in the USMC…NO MO!). Grabbed some baby wipes and commenced with a “whore’s bath” and bedded down. Thank goodness I had the foresight to borrow a tarpaulin from David Tallant because at some point during the night it started raining. I stayed dry but when I heard the rain…the first thought was…”Dang it…I got to hump my stuff through the mud tomorrow…back to the car.” After concurring with both Tallant and Adey…they had the very same first thought. I slept well though and all was good.
The Prills cooked some awesome breakfast burritos Sunday Morning. Since I didn’t have a tent to break down…it was easy to pack up and get ready to go. I was wanting to get the move on in case the sky’s really opened up to a downpour. I gave Brian Woodrick a run for his money on moving out of campsite in record time.
I saw where Julie Tallant was asked if she had a good time camping…her response, “the kids did.” I have to say that a day camping is better than any day at the office. All in all I had a good time…..maybe the 2nd annual Estates of Russell Creek camping trip will be a 2 day backpacking trip…I’ll be leaving the dutch oven home.
Stay tuned for the years' Ultra race schdule!