“Mirror, mirror on the wall. I am my mother after all.” ~~author unknown
When I was a kid, we went camping from time to time. I don’t know the details, but I am betting that the arrangement was meticulously negotiated. You see, my mom wasn’t much of a “roughing it” kind of gal. Here is what I imagine the convo was like – Margaret: “No, way, Buddy. I’m not sleeping in a tent outside. We have a perfectly good house right here. Why would we sleep outside?” Buddy: “Aw, come on! It won’t kill you to sleep in a tent for a weekend. Fresh air, sunshine – it will be great! You can bring whatever you need.”
So off we went. We camped at what we called Clark’s Hill. I think it is Lake Thurmond now. Mom brought so many electric appliances that we probably blew out the transformers all around the lake. We took her beloved electric percolator (remember those??). We brought crock pots and electric frying pans. I remember Buddy saying, “Really, Margaret? You brought the waffle maker?” All the kids at nearby campsites rejoiced! Who doesn’t love a lakeside waffle? Especially when it is served with sizzling bacon hot from the electric frying pan in the great outdoors. And who doesn’t love freshly churned peach ice cream by the lake made with an electric ice cream churn on a hot summer’s day?
Did I mention that Margaret was not big into germs? Yeah, there was that. Cleanliness was next to Godliness and that’s a bit difficult when you are camping. You just have to let a few germs slide. Margaret was firm about cleanliness and those community bath houses were very stressful for her. She thought they were gross.
After a brief bit of introspection, I realized that the apple had not fallen far from the tree.
We spent one night at the Rustic Rook this week, but it was glamping, not camping. We glamped in the Sahara one night when we were in Morocco a few years ago. This experience was different in several ways. In the Sahara, we were served dinner in a dining tent after a camel ride out to see the sun set over the sand dunes. The camels slept nearby, occasionally bleating noisily in the night. Here at Rustic Rook near the Great Sand Dunes National Park, we booked an “estate tent” so that we would have a private bathroom and would not have to hustle out to the community bath house. We purchased two rib eye steak kits and Rick grilled on our own grill just outside our tent with the sand dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance. We pulled a cork out of a bottle of Cabernet and it was a perfect evening. The night was cold and clear and there was no moon, so we were able to see a few falling stars before we went inside and stoked the fire in our camp stove. It got ridiculously cold in the tent when the fire went out in the night; we thought that might happen, so we went to bed fully dressed. Rick said the overnight temperature dipped to thirty degrees out there. We had lanterns to use after the sun went down and some portable battery packs to charge our phones.
It was a really fun adventure, but I will admit that I am glad we only booked one night. Call it what you will, but it was still a bit of “roughing it.” I did think that some of the areas could have been a bit cleaner, even as I acknowledge that the area is plagued by sandstorms. When I handed Rick a handful of cleaning wipes and asked him to please clean around the grill before he put our plates down, he politely said, “Yes, Margaret.”