making the most of it

There is beauty in improvisation. 

I think sometimes forgetting can lead to something better. This is a bold claim, because us human beings like to plan everything. We want to organize, and label maker every surface, and write calories consumed in our planners, so that we have control over some of this entropy called life.

But maybe if the sticks up our asses weren't so long, we could maybe appreciate a little magic.

Camping is the perfect example of how we can over engineer the simple. The idea behind sleeping in the woods, is to leave all the tchotshkis at home. The stars will keep you warm and the tent will ward off any potential predators. A camping human should eat peanut butter sandwiches and go to sleep early. But instead we bring Coleman 6 burner propane stoves so we can eat breakfast burritos and have a more culinary delightful authentic Mexican experience.

I do not condemn this. Hell, I have a s'mores maker, which happens to be my pride and joy. It is utilitarian and does not require propane to run. Everyone loves the ideas of s'mores, but the truth is - they don't really WORK. That goddamn marshmallow no matter how long it is stuck in the flames will never entrap enough heat to seduce the chocolate into melting. And that's why the fine people at Walmart introduced the s'mores machine. It is a long metal stick with a folding light weight grate at the end. The s'mores craftsman only has to put a graham cracker on one side, gingerly place a piece of chocolate on top of the graham square, followed by a marshmallow. It is important to gently caress the marshmallow so it lays a little flatter on the chocolate. Next, top it off with another graham square. Slowly, let down the other side of the grate and enter the s'mores ingredients and maker into the fire. The master s'mores chef knows that patience is truly the key. 

But let us return to the charms of being unprepared and leaving a little room for the unexpected. My example for you to consider centers around camping.

This weekend some chums and I ventured to Moab, Utah. Getting a group of people to camp in a foreign state presents a myriad of challenges. Who is bringing the butter? Are we even cooking the corn? Is there a campsite to be found in the entirety of Utah? The answer happened to be no to all those questions. It can be summed up as, camping requires organization and planning.

But the thing is, I always forget something. I forgot hand sanitizers for when melted chocolate and red dust coated my paws. I forgot some other things that I am forgetting right now. All of us chums forgot firewood, even after talking about it several times.

I-70 in eastern Utah has a lot of nothing going on. There are no trinket shops or gas stations or aquariums. It is desolate. There are no trees. We turned off onto 128 which is the mother of all beasts roads. I mean this in a "this is an incredible road that will surprise and delight even the people with the longest sticks up their asses who have forgotten how beautiful planet Earth is." It's incredible with large sandstone cliffs that have been carved into by the big bad muddy Colorado river.

It is 47 miles to Moab and ain't nobody peddling firewood. The most integral part of a camping trip is that warm fire and diddies sung around it. Also it helps for cooking weenies, which is what the camp cook was  planning for supper. 

What are some girls to do without firewood? Look for it.

As we got closer to Cisco, planks of old houses were on the side of the road. It was dry and old and it went in the back of my friend's cars. We amassed quite a bit of wood that had blown off from old houses. The planks were log and it was necessary to break them into smaller bits.

To be honest, I did not really take in the little abandoned place we were. Cisco is a  ghost town that had its day in the sun, when the Denver Rio Grande chugged by. Now the buildings are caving in and there is a lot of graffiti telling the passerby to get on out. We met a friendly dog with a bandana. And then it was time to move on.

Finding wood is better than buying a cord of wood at the 7-Eleven.