short sweet summers


Father-daughter road trip on a lovely scenic route up the Fraser Valley. Only took 6 hours and twenty minutes to our destination, including 6 pit stops and dinner. Luckily, we are of one mind about the pit stops. Nothing worse than disagreement between passenger and driver about the frequency of such things.

Anyway, we arrived our cabin late but with just enough light, even though the sun has set. The wind is blowing and there’s not a hint of smoke in the air, despite the Tyax lake fire just two valleys over. So I go to put the tent up, and as usual all the flashlights are dead and I can’t see too well in the cabin. I can only find my auntie’s tent, which is a massive thing, 8ft square and 6 ft high, especially big so that she could stand and sleep on a cot right after her knee surgery a few years ago.

It’ll do. It is also a little bigger than I am used to. The tent spot is the only flat spot behind our cabin. It is carefully marked by a rock conveniently shaped like a sasquatch footprint. So I slop that tent up quickly before the light goes. It’s halfway up the hill and sitting on sticks, but I usually sleep great at the lake! It’s pretty windy and getting that tent up is like wind surfing in the dark. I grab a foamie and the only sleeping bag I can find and settle in with my headlamp for a read.

I realize fairly quickly that what I thought was pretty windy outside the tent was actually really windy inside the tent. I’m half asleep despite the whap-whap-whap of the fly flapping around me when the tent blows over. Up I get and sure enough, all the tent stakes are gone and the wind has taken it to another level. I drive 6 stakes in the back corners, just to be sure.

I’m nearly asleep again, with my legs out stiff in front of me to keep the wind from collapsing the tent in on me. It’s just too windy for a tent this big and me. It’s exhausting trying to fall asleep that way. When the tent collapses again, I’ve had enough. I pick up everything and wrestle that huge cumbersome bundle out the door. It takes a few minutes, as I only unzip half the opening in my sleepy state. Once I’m out, the tent nearly takes off! I drop my bedding, grab my pack, and realize that I had better collapse the tent. These weren’t gale force winds by any means, but I wasn’t inclined for trouble. Out come the tent poles and I jump on the tent to flatten it down. It looks like it’ll stay now. It’ll do.

I run into the cabin like a pack mule, hoping I won’t wake dad. But I should have woken him, as he snores. Loudly. The next night I make sure and find my small tent, and I sleep out til we drive home. It turned into a great long weekend.

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