Rain. There is always rain. Relentless and unforgiving it crashes down on us, on my tent, on my soul. It does not matter when I go camping, the rain goes to. It talks to god and says "God, I think I need to go camping. Hossman is also going camping this weekend and even though he didn't invite me, I think he still expects me to come. It's a thing we have going on." And God says ok because he thinks it's funny. Hell, part of me thinks it's funny to. I would be a great God.
Whenever I go camping, and it has nothing with the time of year that I go camping, the rain comes with us. And my 1984 tent wasn't cutting it. It leaked. Bad. Like bad enough for me to wonder if we even were sleeping in a tent.
I don't go camping often. Actually, before last year, never. However, the kids finally reached an age where I thought that they would enjoy camping. So I got our old 1984 tent from my mom and we went camping. It rained. The tent leaked. We woke up in the middle of a lake that was inside the tent. I thought that the Apocalypse had come. It wouldn't have surprised me if the Loch Ness monster poked his little head up and asked for snasauges.
I put the experience behind us because the kids apparently love camping. And it turns out that so do I. I find them better behaved at camp than I do at home. I have since decided that I will raise my children outside.
We went again and again it rained. I was hoping that the first leaking experience was a fluke. I'm a half glass full type of guy which on occasion makes me an idiot. The tent leaked again. I sat there all night with the Chinese water torture smacking against my forehead.
One more time we went last summer and it did not rain. However, the dew was heavy enough to actually soak through the tent and it's leaking seams so that by 5 am the dripping and puddles easily formed. Nice one God, that one took some creativity. Way to keep me guessing.
Then Hossmom and my mother in law chipped in and bought me a brand new state of the art bad ass tent. For the first time this year, we tested it out.
It sleeps 8, a huge interior that resembles a Gothic cathedral. I can stand up and defy the rain with a shaking and pride in my heart. It's got wrap around windows that let the sunlight in but keeps the riff raff out. The top is also meshed so on rainless nights, nights that I'm not familiar with, I could look at the stars. It has a rain fly, the joy of my joys, a rain fly. This is an additional piece of tent material that goes over the top and keeps the rain out. Sleepless nights being belted by rain pellets were a thing of my past. It even has an electrical port providing even more luxury than my house.
We set up camp. We cooked smores and told ghost stories about evil banks that foreclose on the wrong houses to scare the adults, Papa Scrum and TV's Mike that went with us. Bank of America could be coming and they could be coming for you! We roasted meat on the fire pit and drank beer. We swatted bugs and discovered that ticks sometimes actually fall from tree's giving yet another reason why Hossmom never, ever camps with us.
Then we went to bed and the rains came, as expected. If your part of the country is having a drought, pay my site fee and gas and I will gladly camp in your neck of the woods.
The winds howled and I laughed in it's face. The tent wall blew sideways but we stood firm in the ultra badass tent. The rain pelted the top and I stood. I ripped off my shirt, clawed at my chest and cursed the rain. "I am beyond your reach!" I bellowed, shaking my fist and then laughing hysterically. The rain came harder and harder, the lightning illuminated the sky and my triumphant shadow stood as the solitary backdrop to my victory! The thunder shook the very ground but the tent stood and I with it.
I saw a drop of water come through the top of the tent and land on my sleeping bag. It came almost in slow motion, the splash rippling through my pride.
The new tent leaks.