Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Camping Gods Hate Us

So this weekend we were supposed to camp Saturday and Sunday night, but we came home late Sunday.  Rained out.  Again.  We always seem to get rained out in New Hampshire now.  The giant pile of firewood in our sun room attests to the number of times we have gone to New Hampshire, bought wood at some roadside stand, and then never burned it because it rained and campfires are hard to maintain in the rain.

Anyway, we went up Saturday morning, set up our tent and sleeping bags, and spent the afternoon at Attitash Mountain, a ski resort in the winter, and fun mountain amusement park in the summer.  However, we only went on the Alpine Slide twice and the Mountain Coaster once because of, you guessed it, the freaking rain.

The second it starts raining, they have to shut down the Alpine Slide because the brakes stop working completely.  They kept the Coaster going a bit longer, while we stood in line getting rained on, until a guy couldn't stop on the slick track and plowed into the lady in front of him at the end of the ride.  Everyone was okay, but they shut the Coaster down.

Regardless, I loved both of the rides and really want to go back and do them each 7 or 8 times in a row.  I admit, I was chicken about it at first.  I'm not a roller coaster person and I hate that out-of-control feeling, but Jason insisted we go and I'm so glad he did.  The genius of these rides is that you're in your own little car and have a manual brake so you control how fast you go.  I felt much more confident the second time on the Alpine Slide and was speeding along right behind Jason, but we kept getting hung up by the slow mom in front of him.

No offense to moms, but I observed that moms traveled slowest down the Alpine Slide and the Mountain Coaster.  FYI, when we have kids, I will be the awesome mom speeding down the track. 

I'm glad we set up camp before we headed to Attitash.  We managed to get our dinner and a s'more cooked and eaten over our smoking fire, hissing with each light raindrop that hit it.  We cleaned up the food (bears!) and tucked ourselves in the tent. 

Another thing we have a knack for when we camp (in addition to being the best rain prediction tool out there) is finding the campsite right next to "The Bros."  These are the backwards baseball cap-wearing guys, who stand around the fire with their beers, getting drunker and louder as the night wears on, inserting f-bombs in place of "um" when they speak.  Charming, especially when campsites aren't really isolated at all.  So we listened to The Bros for awhile, and then I managed to drift off to sleep, only to wake up at 1 AM when it started pouring rain and didn't stop for several hours.  Good thing I can play Candy Crush without a cell phone signal.

The Bros woke us up at 6 AM as they packed up camp - loudly.  Bros do nothing quietly.  I guess they decided they would stay drier drinking their beers with their baseball caps in their apartments back in Boston.  We woke up again around 9 AM, and while the day dawned a little cloudy, it started clearing up and Jason pressed on with his hiking plans.  I had planned to go for a 6-mile walk through some wetlands and a wildlife preserve, but it was REALLY muggy, and I figured with all the rain the night before I would wind up really sweaty and harassed by bugs.  So I hit the outlets in North Conway and found some great Fall work clothes.

I picked Jason up at about 6 PM and showed him the weather alert on my phone that came in at 4:30 saying there would be flash floods and a major storm and thunderstorms that night.  Yeah, I don't think so.  Jason might have wanted to stay, but I was pretty resolute that I needed some sleep at least one night this weekend.  Also, based on the forecast, his plans for us to go rafting on a lake on Monday probably weren't happening.

We drove back to camp, threw our tent and everything into the car, and went to dinner.  I drove us home since he had been hiking all day and we hit pieces of the HUGE storm on our way out of New Hampshire.  It was seriously scary driving for a bit there, but we made it.  I haven't seen lightning like that since I left Tucson, and the Arizona monsoons, behind.

So Monday wound up being a lot more low-key than we planned, but our summer weekends are usually hyper-scheduled and it was kind of nice to have a rainy day knitting at home.

Frankly, I'm kind of scared to go camping again.  We always plan these super fun New Hampshire weekends and we wind up soaked with no campfire.  But I'm sure we'll keep pressing on.  After all, we've got all of this awesome gear!

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