Next week my family comes to visit and off to Orcas Island with big tents, Colman stoves, ice chests stuffed with food. Ice chests eventually gross me out. The ice melts more every day. You pull out the plug and let the water drain out, then investigate whatever has fallen into the bottom of the cooler, a smashed peach, a mangled stick of butter, cheese that has softened and become an odd shape. Swilling around down there. Pack and repack, hoping you aren't growing a microbe that will kill you and those you love.
Hazel will be on this trip, Hazel of the drying line of little princess panties and a pink potty the summer her mom was potty training her. Fearless child, she ran into the surf, got knocked down and giggled as her mother scooped her up. Milo spent the day dressed as a pirate after seeing a family in full regalia.
J and I bought a stand-up-in tent, like the senior citizens we are rapidly becoming. I hafta go get an air mattress. Hey, I've done my time with packback, weensy tent, and cunning stove that weighs 4 oz. Oh, and a Thermarest. I'm going to tell the truth now. Thermarests suck. You blow them up and throw them into the tent where they PLOT AGAINST YOU. You're tired, after a long slog with 45 pounds on your back. You are sitting by your stove (see above), waiting for hot water to rehydrate your "delicious vegan chili with veggies", consisting of small chunks of carrots? beans? vegetable protein?? which you end up eating partly hydrated so it is crunchy (and will later rehydrate fully in your stomach making you walk downwind of everyone else tomorrow). Then you brush your teeth and crawl into your bag which is (temporarily) atop the Thermarest. For the rest of the night, you slide around trying to make the Therarest stay put, which it won't, of course. In a perfect world, you've chosen a flat tent site with no roots, rocks,etc. However, your skittish Thermarest is either at the end of the tent under your boots or smashed up against the side of the tent and you are half on/half off for most of the night. In the morning, you awaken to a body you no longer recognize. Even your bones hurt. And you're in the middle of 60 miles and you're facing another long slog today. You're tempted to stab your Thermarest with your fork and leave it to die. However, that's littering and maybe tonight it will be better, the damn thing will stay under you the whole night and the next campsite will have hot showers (right).
Therefore, air mattress, real sheets and one of those folding chairs with a cup holder in it. I deserve it.