Canadian love to go camping. We live in a pretty gigantic camping paradise so the May long weekend in these parts heralds the first official camping weekend for those so inclined. It is a much anticipated weekend to say the least and I was one of of those anticipators. I like getting out into the bush for some closer communion with all things green and just sleeping outside is something special. Making coffee in camp is also something I look forward to, tastes better out there, away from the everyday routine. I made sure I ground enough of the stuff not to run out, hehe.
All that week was spent pumping up the upcoming weekend and I was happy to have three days to hang out out there, away from the city for a while. But one dark cloud threatened that idylic notion. You see, here in British Columbia, if you want to hit a camp ground as it were, you have to make reservations now, in advance too and I’d kind of forgotten to get into that mind set and didn’t do that. Usually I roll up to my favorite place, pick a spot and pay the people who come to collect the over night fee. That was, the new ‘is’ is different. I don’t like the new system because it takes the spontaneity out of something that comes natural and making reservations is not natural when it comes to camping. So my plan was to see what would happen. I had not even really decided where I wanted to be and only figured that one out an hour before I threw my backpack into the car and puttered off down the highway and of the city, a big cup of coffee and a smile on my face.
I decided to go wild, hike into a lake I know and set up there. Not my usual place but far enough from all of the other riff raff that camps ‘anywhere’ on this long and probably busy weekend. I started feeling really good when the houses were replaced by trees wizzing past. The day was lovely, the sunshine warm and I was in a good mood. I hit Chilliwack, a farming town and pointed the car towards a narrow valley and a long stretch of road that would lead to where I wanted to be. Nice, a cold clean river on my right side and trees and mountains everywhere else I looked.
And I ended up picking a spot that wasn’t too far off the road too. I’ve seen this road under a long weekend onslaught many times before. People would pick just about any spot to pitch a tent, and not always in ideal spots but I found one that usually was shared by a number of campers. More than perfect for one person this time. I set up my camp, strung my hammock and set to relaxing and enjoying being out there. I was looking forward to two nights under the stars but what I got was an entirely different experience which began with a bit of a sore throat coming on mid afternoon.
How could it be that I had looked forward to spending some time out by myself over a long weekend and then my body checks in with my brain and the two confer for a bit and come to conclusion that while the idea was a great one, my body had picked up some bug somewhere and wasn’t going to be able to enjoy itself as much as I’d wanted? It happened. I got sick. Real sick, real fast. Thankfully my camp setup was not too complicated and I managed to throw it all together and stuff it back into my clown car (smart car), my head reeling, chills and hot flashes alternating my body temperatures in minutes. Time to head for home …
I made it, just. Had I stayed a couple of hours longer, I would have experienced pure hell out there and I am glad that I listened to my body signals and headed for a real bed. Long story short, I ended up in bed for two solid days of fevers and chills. And oddly enough the weather mirrored my condition and rain set it for those two days too. So, it would have been doubly bad for me out there, had I got stuck out there. Yeah, the silver lining in that cloud cover was sweet but being sick is never a sweet thing ever and wasting a whole weekend on being sick when one should be having fun … well, you probably know what that feels like. It’s been a tough week but I’m feeling better and looking forward to trying that again … soon.