Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let Me Tell You How I REALLY Feel About Nature.

I don't camp. Well, I do camp, but neither willingly nor excitedly.

Don't get me wrong, I love being outside. It is part of why I ride my bike (almost) everywhere.

But when it comes to camping, there are two diametrically opposed forces at work. One is an honest appreciation of the peace, quiet and simple beauty of nature. The other is my appreciation for uninterrupted sleep, mosquito-free space and fresh armpits and nether-regions.

My parents made it easy to ignore the internal camping conflict when, five years ago, they bought a cabin just outside the southeastern border of Crater Lake National Park. The cabin is an ongoing project, but has all the comforts...electricity, heat, laundry, kitchen and, uh, cable and a soaking bathtub. (My mom is as much of a camper as I am.)

The cabin has been a peaceful place to escape from life, in general, and the city, in particular. Depending on the quality of outside light and the quantity of alcoholic beverages consumed, I usually can usually average one book and nine hours of sleep per 24 hours.

Both Christy and I have been struggling through professional and personal rough patches since the start of the summer. It seemed like a good time to escape to the woods.

Here is the weekend, by the numbers:
  • Hours spent driving in 48 hours: 7
  • Varieties of Clamato-laced domestic beer available at Chemult gas station: 1
  • Hours spent on cross bikes riding to and from the Pinnacles: 2.5
  • Times cross bike's bell rung to ward off cougars, chipmunks and homicidal maniacs squatting in the backwoods: 15
  • Tourists made uncomfortable by reference to Pinnacles as "hermaphroditic" and "vaginal:" 5
  • Degrees at end of ride: 92
  • Pitchers of frozen margaritas consumed post-ride: 6
  • Times the words "this is a really strong drink" uttered by my mom: 10
  • Pages of Ayn Rand read: 200
  • Pages of Ayn Rand not driven by incomprehensible dialogue or unnecessarily heavy prose: 0.
  • Ratio of pages of Ayn Rand read to threats to destroy book by fire or throwing into creek: 3:1
  • Number of mosquitoes living within an acre of the cabin: 3.6 trillion
  • Alfred Hitchcock movies about homicidal birds viewed: 1
  • Episodes of the Muppet Show enjoyed while drinking coronas: 2
  • References made to "Man Island" and Ken dolls wearing diapers: way too many.
It was a short weekend, but a good one. Here are my favorite photos:

(Destination reached without cougar attack.)

(Christy contemplating the wonders of nature.)

(The hermaphroditic pinnacles.)

(The FTs!!)

(Quality Control.)

(Christy promoting literacy.)

(Lindsay promoting literary flogging.)

(Quiz A: Which beer was better? Quiz B: Which book is more infuriating to Read?)

(The effects of heat, tequila and literacy officially kick in.)

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