Wet Hot Utah Summer (I suck at camping…)

I think I’m in love with the idea of camping. The Oh! Pioneer, hipster culture, Van culture, Huckleberry Bound; they all make it look so romantic. I want that so badly. But, I’m. Just. So. Fucking. Bad. At. It.

...pretty much sums it up.
…pretty much sums it up.

I wanted to get out of town last weekend. Brought it up to my husband, gave him 4 options, or so. Saturday rolled around, and we had one of those “What do you want to do?” “What do you mean? It’s too late! You never plan!” conversations. So, the next week rolled around, and I was determined to do something. I just wanted to:

  • Get away from social media.
  • Stop monitoring everything going on in my friends’ lives.
  • Reconnect to nature.
  • Have a nice campfire meal with my husband.
  • See something pretty.

Well, we settled (sorta) on visiting the Tushar mountain range. We’d never been, and it turns out they are Utah’s 3rd highest mountain range. Well, we fought the Tushars, and the Tushars won. What happened next is some lampoonish plot designed to remind me that I suck at life camping and should probably just stick to hotels for a while.


Don’t count on getting wood in Beaver.

We didn’t buy firewood. I figured I could pick some up in Beaver. Not so. You can’t find any wood in Beaver, it turns out. No pun intended. We drove all the way to the lodges in Eagle Mountain, which were deserted. I had tried calling and emailing to find out if they allowed camping or rentals, but their office hours are basically that they are never fucking open. Ever. But, when we pulled up, and I walked around the building, I heard people talking inside and I let myself in. A guy, who was very nice, asked if I was staying in the lodge, and I explained that no, I was camping and needed firewood. He unlocked the closed ski-shop store inside and gave me their last bundle for free. It was very nice of him. BUT! He could have warned me about staying in the woods…he knew I was camping in the woods, and he didn’t warn me about the horror I was about to witness! (dun dun dun…)


Is that your wife or your daughter?

We drove around looking for Tushar Lake campground. Spoiler alert: we never found it. But, there was a pretty spot at Puffer Lake. We pulled up and found a spot with a still-smoking campfire (not cool!). There were 6-7 raver-kids walking away from it (weird…) in the middle of the woods, and three dead fish left in the ashes. Gross. But, still. It was like the prettiest spot to set up camp. So, we did. It overlooked the lake and no one else was camped there. After about an hour of solitude, a group of hikers wandered past us…a handful of polygamists, who were camped out nearby. Oh dear, god.


Apologize to the Girl Scouts of America, dammit!!

Like I said earlier, the idea to go camping didn’t happen without a bit of kicking and screaming. I really wanted to get away, and I suppose the idea of a weekend alone in the woods with me might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Anyways, we weren’t in the best place on our way to Camp Lauck, and setting up camp didn’t go super well either. Finding the still-smoking campfire, full of dead fish set off a good fight, too. Ryan picked up the dead fish and decided to toss them about 100 feet off in the woods behind our tent. Since this was bear country I objected in the move.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“I’m moving them away from camp.”

“This is bear country! Isn’t that like chumming the water?”

“Bears don’t eat dead fish!”

“Black bears eat carrion all the time, that’s what makes them so dangerous. I just read a book about bears, plus I was Girl Scout!”

“Since when did the Girl Scouts teach you about bear safety?”

“What the fuck do you think they taught us?! How to get our fucking periods!?”

So, yeah, obviously, we were off to a very mature start.

I only have the dry-heaves for you, dear. 

I’ve only seen my husband puke a handful of times. Two of the times involved me cooking us dinner while camping.

Dude, I’m so high right now!

When we got to the campsite, it was windy, but I could hear this weird music. It was like an obnoxious techno music. I figured, maybe, there was an ATV rider blasting it nearby. Or, maybe a campsite playing it. But, it kept going. Throughout the weekend, it just kept going. Ryan and I kept trying to find it, like a pied-piper, it called us. Where was it coming from? I followed it everywhere. The later it got, the louder it got: a 6-second techno loop, like a promo loop on a TV display at Costco or those annoying Maverick ads. I figured it would stop at night. It didn’t.

dobedobedo do do do dobedobe do do do do do (stop)…dodododo unce unce unce unce (repeat)

I took 4 headache pills at night. I put my headband over my ears. I couldn’t block the music out. I still can’t. I can still hear it!

dobedobedo do do do dobedobe do do do do do (stop)…dodododo unce unce unce unce (repeat)

Eventually, at around 2:00 am, I had to get up and go sleep in the car. I took Sprocket with me. It was the only place where I couldn’t hear the music. I managed to get a few (fitful) hours of sleep. When the sun came up, we could still hear it. As we left, we drove to the top of the mountain where we found the Lunar Transit Festival taking place. Two guys, wearing matching black skinny jeans, Jamariqui hats, white shirts and black vaping pens told me what the festival was about, but I looked it up later. For $70, you too could listen to a 6 second techno loop over and over for two days. One of the features you pay for is, and I quote, “Energy crafted from the citizens of Lunar Transit.” It’s billed as a Leave No Trace event (I guess burning campfires and dead fish don’t count) and promises that “vibrations from space will be present” for “humans and extraterrials(sic).” So, yeah. Thing is, I actually like progressive trance. This was bullshit. This was a 6-second loop. Over and over. I hope they get ball cancer and I’m not even joking.

The immense cost of coffee

It takes 20,000 years for light-energy to travel from the middle of the sun to its surface. Then 8 minutes for photons to reach the surface of the earth. The photons are metabolized in the process of photosynthesis and turned into energy inside plants. Trees take years and years to grow. 50, maybe 100, years later, that tree is mature enough to grow up, grow old, and die. Maybe just a branch falls off. That branch is collected in the woods, tossed into my fire pit as kindling, and heated to produce fuel for a fire. The fire produces heat energy that warms the water molecules in my water pan. My water boils, and it’s added to a french press. Coffee, grown on its own timeline, is heated. Coffee is made, poured, consumed. 20,000 years or so, all leading up to this point. All for this cup of coffee.


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One Comment

  1. August 10, 2015

    Imagine my delight when I stopped by to read your last post and saw us mentioned up top: my heart went a-pitter-patterin’! While it was entertaining to experience second-hand, your latest camping experience does sound rather unfortunate. I’ll just say: don’t give up on the whole crackling fire and tent fly fluttering endeavor just yet! But do enjoy yourselves a nice bed and breakfast every once in a while.

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