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Camping Adventures in the Minnesota Wilderness--1998

A documentary of a summer spent hosting at a national campground--Anyone want wood?


Day 1:  A storm kept me awake half the night.  I tried not to think that my cell phone's battery could wear out just as a wicked tornado whipped through the campground. My freezing cold nose and ears!Those crows, "caw, caw".  I know cold.  No heat or electricity yet. One potential psycho camper. I'm so new to this whole camping experience.  One step up from a tent.

Day 2:  The propane tanks are hooked up and the stove is working.  Bad news about the electricity.  The only way to power important things like fridge, tv, and most lights is to be hooked up constantly to a power source.  I am taking back my 12 volt RV battery today and getting a lantern.  Also, with SNOW across ND and MN, temps were in the freezing range.  I wonder if someone up above is trying to tell me something......."YOU are NUTS", "You get a buck a bundle for wood!", "I camped out like that when i was 19", "It's so beautiful out there", and "You are getting paid to sleep" are some of the comments I have been hearing.  I wonder what people are saying behind my back.

Day 3-9: Due to unseasonably cold weather, and in need of a hot shower, I have driven to my mother's in  Detroit Lakes  on about five separate occasions.  The distance from Cass Lake to Detroit Lakes is about 100 miles.  Find out how far a distance it is  from where you live to Detroit Lakes--click here

Day 10:  Went to see my son's favorite actor, Jim Carey in his new movie,  The Truman Show . I think my son was a bit disappointed since the show is not a comedy and Jim was not at his funniest.  However, this is a type of film that makes you think, "Yeah, in some ways, he's got it made, living in a pretty-perfect city, sheltered.  Unknowingly, his life, on constant display for the world's viewing pleasure, not too much unlike this website, even though it is a written diary, not live, unbiased video and audio stream.  I love those  cool cams on the net, but cannot imagine living my life as Jenni, the show-all coed.Ok, folks, this webpage is nothing like the Truman Show, I just want you to know that I enjoyed it, and it let me think a bit about humanity, how, at the expense of one person, a whole world tunes in for entertainment, how a creator can shelter us from only so much, thinking our fears will keep us from straying, exploring.

Day 11:  This morning I took the coldest bath ever.  The water in the lake was so cold it brought mind-numbing pain to my extremities.  Another storm last night.  Cherub (my APBT) is at the camper with us.  Good thing I brought her inside before it started pouring.  It's so beautiful out there.  The sunsets are to die for, and last night I took a half-hour walk with Cherub, who got to meet some of the other camping dogs. Ms. Psycho camper has moved on. There are generally 10 families camped out there the past few days.

Day 12-19: The weather has warmed up ever so slightly.  About 4 miles away in another campground I made the finest discovery of humanity was only a short drive away--HOT SHOWERS!!!! YES!!! YES!!!! YES!!!! (like a totally organic experience).  The bathrooms even have power so I can blowdry my hair and use the curling iron! It's so sweet to have hot water.  Funky thing too, it's got two shower heads, one for your head, and one for your bottom.  How innovative! When the days are sunny, I'm at the beach so you can imagine I'm getting super dark.  My son got into poison ivy or some swimmer's itch.  Poor thing has oozing scabs all over his neck.

Day 20-22: I have electricity.  The generator has been there since day 5 I spose, but I finally got the thing going--all I needed was a $3 adapter.  We watched movies this weekend and enjoyed the lights.  Next step, to get the antennae up so I can watch  ALLY MCBEAL tonite! Or the World Cup , if I'm ever home when it's on.  Not that I'm that much into soccer, but geesh the US team is really sucky.  I'd rather watch soccer than US football ANYDAY. Oh, but to watch  Eastenders , my ALL-TIME favorite show, is only a dream.  The public tv stations around this neck of the woods are just not into carrying good tv, well ok, I do like Mystery!  Who has time for TV anyways when the summer's this short? Sides, I'm listening to an excellent book on tape called "Memoirs of a Geisha" and I don't have to choose between sunshine and entertainment.

Day 22: Things are going so well at the moment, I'm bracing myself for the next crisis. I'm saving money, weather has been warmish (not too sunny, but not freezing cold or scorching hot), but the point is, I have found total happiness. Almost as if things got any better in my life, you'd have to chisel my smile off my face. Yet, just as the difficult times, this too shall pass. My only question, when will I have to pick myself off the floor and start over again? Hopefully not for a very long time. I'm going to be interviewing the couple who has camped at South Pike Bay every summer (where I'm at now) for nearly fifty years. Maybe they are together to this day because being one with nature does something to you, purifies your mind, or soothes your soul. Keep this page bookmarked as I learn the camping philosophy as they live it.

Day 24:I have so much to add, like little stories about the Kickers, the bears, etc, but I am too ill to write any more atm.

Email me to find out how I survived!

critters have trekked through this woodsy page since Memorial Day, 1998.