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Given that my posts usually come out on Monday and it’s already Wednesday you may accurately surmise it’s taking me a little bit to get my feet back on the ground after our camping trip.  For the most part we had perfect weather, great company, fabulous food and a lot of support.

Orion in our camp with the new tent in the background.  You can tell we had lots of help.

Orion in our camp with the new tent in the background. You can tell we had lots of help.


The Tent:  Setting up really was as easy as I hoped.  The space was very comfortable and workable.  The design, not so resilient.   The high point of this tent is unsupported, but rather suspended between two “air poles”.  So it’s not really ever as high as it’s supposed to be.   I’m 5′ 10″  The tent is supposed to stand at 6′ 2″.  There was “room” to stand up, but when I did my head became the support for the center of the tent.  I shouldn’t have even touched the ceiling at that point.

Also problematic is that this suspension structure allows for the accumulation of rain.  Water is heavy.  A bunch of water (either in a sustained rain or a downpour) will make this tent collapse upon itself.  Unfortunately the rear window is open at the top and when the tent is collapsed it forms a sluice for the water to pour into the tent.  It doesn’t really matter that the tent itself is waterproof if water is being funneled in by the gallon.

The Back: I don’t know that I’ve talked about my own problems with back pain, degenerative discs and over all “less than able-ness”.   I may have mentioned a time or two about my own experiences with disability, but generally refer all attention to my wheelchair dependent son.

This time I had the “perfect storm” of low back pain.  It was raining – all night.  I had little sleep and when the tent did collapse I was trying to get out from under the tent and off of an air mattress at the same time.  Do you see quick movement and unsupported back here?  Add to that the damp and the small issue of peri-menapausal flood along with a week of camping with Orion and perhaps you can begin to imagine the pain I was in the morning of pack out.

Karina jumped right into packing us up.

Karina jumped right into packing us up.

I made a 911 call to my daughter, Karina, who dropped everything and drove out to pack me up and drive me – not back home, but to the ER.   They gave me great drugs, decided it was a “soft tissue injury” and sent me on my way.  The doctor (who really didn’t listen to a thing I said) suggested that I keep moving rather than taking to bed, I might even “push it” a little.   He clearly wasn’t aware that he was sending me off to get Orion on the bus the next morning, unpack two car loads of camping gear, lay out everything to dry (since we packed up in that rain) and do 2 weeks worth of laundry.

ThankfullyOrion’s Dad came down as expected to help load up and take him off.  He also brought Orion’s step mother, so there was another driver for Karina’s car.   He also came as relieved Karina waiting for me in the ER so she could go on the double date she had scheduled that evening.

My friend Bonita, who’s featured in that link, came by on Tuesday to help me get everything unloaded and dried out.  She also hauled basket upon basket of dirty clothes down to the laundry room.  Karina swung by later to help roll it all back up and tuck it away for next year.   If I can manage to get the washing done Orion’s Dad will be by on Thursday to pick up Orion for dinner and haul clean clothes back up the stairs.

Several of my camping buddies have called to check up on me to see if I’m all right and if I need anything.  I’m grateful to be walking again and to be sleeping in my own bed.   It’s nice to know so many people care about me enough to step in when I just can’t go on.

More about the actual camping next week.  This week I’m trying to keep moving without over-doing.  Sorry the blog got put on the back burner, but I’m recovering.

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