Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's Time For The Memorial Day Campout

These photos are from our Memorial Day Campout last year. Things don't change much from year to year. The top photo is the outhouse closest to our tent or where I hope our tent will be. The white tent behind the outhouse is where we wash dishes and do food prep. We will be there two nights.

The bottom photo is our tent. The only change is the green car door in the tent picture. That's my Toyota Sequoia (15 mpg) which I turned in last August when the lease was up. My Prius isn't exactly the car for dirt roads so we are taking Kerry's Honda Element.

Generally about 100 folks come for the weekend at Steve and Janet's Yellow Dog Ranch. The yellow dog is their lab Abby. They have 160 acres so it's not like we have to share with anyone else. These are all people who have been coming to their ranch since the late 70s. I joined in 1984 when I joined the company that Steve worked for then, PG&E. If you worked for PG&E and Steve and Janet liked you then you were invited. It just became a wonderful habit. Anyone who asks us to do something on Memorial Day weekend is told that we we are busy. It is so peaceful and the stars are great.

I'm the S'more lady; that means I bring lots of marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey bars. Every year I bring more and every year the kids seem to get through them. You have to buy early, however, because everyone else is making S'mores this weekend. I've seen stores run out of all the ingredients.

It's communal cooking with everyone bringing stuff to share. This year I'm bringing a cold chili relleno frittata and shrimp ceviche on tostadas as our contribution to the appetizers. One night we cook chicken; the other steak. I never remember which until we get there. Plus we will have baked potatoes and corn on the cob. I'm also making a pasta salad and Top Ramen cole slaw to share at the dinners. There is usually enough food for an army; but then we are an army of 100. Over the course of all these years we have had divorces, weddings, deaths, births and grandchildren. A few years ago Steve and Janet decided dogs were okay as long as they behaved themselves. After all, their dog was there; the rule about no dogs seemed sort of silly. There have been a few dogs who got the evil eye from Steve. You don't ever want Steve's evil eye. I've never experienced it.

It's about a 3-1/2 to 4 hour drive through some beautiful countryside. We stop in Ukiah to get more ice. You can never have enough ice. This year we have added another cooler on wheels and purchased a new air bed to replace the one that went flat last year. We always have two; one is the box spring (sorta) and the other is the mattress. With queen sheets, comforter and lots of pillows it's a pretty cozy existence. It's just getting up in the night to pee that is a challenge. I always give fair warning to any critter outside the tent before I unzip the tent flap. So far I have not seen anyone except other women doing the same thing I'm doing. We just smile at each other. We belong to a very select club.
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Minna said...

I've never been camping in my whole life before. Woul d like to someday. Anyway, have fun!

dykewife said...

seeing the outhouse actually brought the smell to my nose...ewww! have fun on your weekend away.

Rhonda said...

this sounds like an absolute blast!!!
I do have in the back of my mind, the outhouse and ticks and squito's and ......oh I'm just being a city slicker now...
Have fun.


Danulai said...

How neat! Mike and I were going to go camping over the long weekend, but our sick kitty demands that we stay home. Maybe we'll pitch the tent in the backyard and make S'Mores over the grill.

gypsy said...

I'm the Janet of "Steve and Janet" and I'm here to report that Kathy and Kerry were very well-behaved and all of us had a blast. This weekend is a yearly highlight for all of us. You never met a better bunch of campers in your life. It's a glorious experience and Kathy and Kerry are favorite returnees every year.