Such, SUCH a great weekend. A while back Tommy and I camped at (in? on?) the Oregon dunes with some friends to go dirtbike and ATV riding. Even though we stayed in this ridiculously small tent (probably 6x6 and we’re both 6’+ tall) that ended up getting soaked and we ended up sleeping in my Civic, we still enjoyed ourselves immensely. A tent, canopy, battery operated air mattress, and various other accoutrements were soon purchased and a plan was devised.
After much research then a big discovery that all the “good” places were booked because I waited so long to book one (what was I thinking?!?), we found a “primitive” site at Lake Alder which is considered a “Tacoma Power Park” (something like 70% of all the power comes from the nearby dam you can walk too – DAM!).
I love serendipity. This place was PERFECT. It was “primitive” but still really close to parking and a decent bathroom (I developed my trick where I took with me a disinfecting wipe in my left hand and a baby wipe in my right). We stayed at #224 if you want a visual. We were surrounded by ferns, blackberries, and tall evergreens. Our site came complete with a picnic bench and cooking/fire pit and a perfectly cut out area for our tent. We set up tent and wandered around the park for a while. The dam is cool just because you don’t see dams much and there’s so many things you can say (a la one of those Vacation movies) – “I sure hope there aren’t too many dam personnel milling about” “I wonder if there’s a dam giftshop” “Where’s the dam bathroom?” or the classic, “Dam!”
We walked around the swimming area and boat docks then headed back to get dinner ready. Tommy made a damn fine fire while I got the grill going (we got a cute little grill on sale from Rite Aid). Dinner totally rocked. I grilled corn on the cob (I go the super lazy way and don’t even remove the silks til after – just set the cobs in there undisturbed shucks on the grill and roll from time to time for about 20 minutes or so – I like to shuck mine and continue rolling them til they get a bit brown in places but you can skip that step if you want to) and Costco buffalo burgers. Buffalo can be tricky to find – Central Market carries a good brand, Trader Joe’s was shockingly disappointing – they tasted like school cafeteria burgers, and Costco’s are wonderful (and cheaper). I made double cheeseburgers with them which was a bit excessive (do I want to finish my corn or my burger?). After, we got our drink on by the fire. Bella Sera makes a damn fine, CHEAP Pinot Grigio. It's WAY too easy to drink, as my sister and I would say. Tommy opted for his tradmark Jack & Coke.
There is nothing like staring into a fire. I learned that from my Daddy probably during Indian Princesses. What’s even better is neither Tommy nor I feels obligated to talk all the time (shut up anyone that wants to comment that that’s a shock with my chatty nature!) so we sat there together and pondered. From time to time we’d talk but overall, we were just pleased with the company and the environment.
The night grew cold. Like REALLY cold. I checked the weather before leaving and the low was supposed to be 55 and apparently in a tent in the middle of nowhere, that translates to COLD. In the middle of the night, after having a weird “too real” dream, we both ended up getting up to put on socks and our hoodies. Next time, we’ll be more prepared with something to kind of keep the floor and thus the mattress warmer plus warmer less bulky jimmies.
So about this dream – in it I had come out of the tent to stand by the fire. Tommy was there (even though he went to bed before me in “real life”) and he was poking at the fire and chiding me to do something I forget but was unsafe or creepy or something but he wouldn’t let up so I said I was going back into the tent. “Fine!” he snapped. Except when I got back into the tent, he was there all cuddled up and said, “Finally” like he’d been waiting for me the whole time – like in “real life.” It creeped me out enough to wake up and realize how cold I was which lead me to think about how supposedly when ghosts are present, it gets really cold which lead me to getting spooked. The dreamy was only mildly –yet effectively - creepy and I started comparing Fire Tommy to Ethan in Lost – did you see the episodes he was in? Ethan was just this basic, nerdy looking guy but he kind of hovered and loomed really creepy….til he threatened to kill everyone on the island one by one….but before that. Needless to say, it took me forever to go back to sleep (I tend to go back into bad dreams only to find newer and more creepy versions of the same dream) but eventually I did. The last dream I had I swear my old dog Jasmine came to me. This sounds corny but I think she just wanted a visit – apparently angels don’t know how to rub her spot just right so I did. I woke up happy but then I started missing her and have been in an on & off funk ever since [I just stepped on a moth by accident and maimed it and that's upset me! RIP Moth]. I don’t want another dog, I want HER. Fortunately, Tommy is great about these things so he puts up with my corniness and makes me feel all better.
Moral of that paragraph is I’m smudging the next campsite we stay in.
I know telling others about your dreams is supposed to be boring and pointless except for those telling it and sometimes for those featured in it but I will use my “this is my blog, it’s a personal journal” card on this one.
We ended up getting up at dawn (we think – neither one of us brought a watch) and Tommy made a fire – this one to cook on (what me nervous?). I made scrambled Egg Beaters, Leavenworth sausage, and tortillas. Tommy wasn’t crazy about the eggs – I think they had a slight reaction to the iron skillet (I will be shopping the Amazon Friday sale this Friday for a good, cheap, nonstick pan). I thought they tasted fine noting the iron-y taste. (What can I say? An iron skillet just sounded camp-y!) We sat around and looked at the fire some more (not as fun as in the dark but nice nonetheless) and for some reason, I guess because it was so early, it was too chilly so we went back to take a long nap. We think we woke up several hours later because it was downright hot. We took down our camp, took a walk back to the dam then headed out.
That sounds like a great weekend, right? But wait! There’s more!
On the way back we stopped at Half Price Books where I found a copy of London Fields for Tommy’s dad, Bel Canto for his mom, and a few books for his sis. While there, I found a first edition hardback of the said Bel Canto, first ed hb of Coraline, and a paperback of The Chosen – possibly my next read. Tommy also found an Ann Rule book (he pretty much reads nothing but true crime – any recommendations would be much appreciated).
To stay on the fun roll, we ate dinner at Chevy’s. I can’t get enough of the shrimp and crab enchiladas and their corn tomalito stuff…but fortunately I have the foresight to ask for a to-go box at the beginning of the meal so I can box up half of it so there’s more room to enjoy their flawless chips and salsa.
Then we went home, unpacked, took MUCH NEEDED showers then went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (with two, count ‘em TWO previews to The Corpse Bride and a preview to Bad News Bears that made us want to see the movie). I LOVED the first half of the movie with the character development of all the kids especially Charlie – the house he lived in had so many great details. The look of the movie is great – I was in awe of Augustus Gloop’s complexion and the whole cast was perfect. I just thought the movie missed something. Hello? Tim Burton did it! I was dreading the boat seen that scared the hell out of me in the original but there was nothing to be scared about in this one. Plus I couldn't understand most of what the oompa-loompas were singing (sing-along subtitles would have been AWESOME here) in there sometimes overly-modernized-attempted songs. I wouldn’t say, “Don’t see it” just “Don’t be as as excited as I was to see it.” You know how when you get so excited to see a movie that you blow it out of proportion so when you do see it, it doesn't measure up? I think that's what I did.
Then we went home and went to bed. A weekend well spent.