Saturday, 30 July 2016

Camping Weekend

I'm camping! This is not glamping, not staying in some fancy lodge beside a lake with firewood provided and mosquitoes destroyed by spray. I'm camping out on Jim's property about an hour north-east of Edmonton, about 15 minutes away from the nearest town, Smoky Lake. There are critters wandering about, bugs flying about, birds flying about.

Jim has for or five trailers and RV's parked in the central meadow of his 80 acre block. Adam is in one, Katherine in another, and Jim in his own trailer, a really nice trailer. Yet all of these trailers, with their indoors safe from bugs and beds with mattresses, have doors which are only 24" wide. My wheelchair needs a 28" door.

Jim tried putting up a tent for me; it might sort of work, except once you get my sleeping cot, my wheelchair, an air mattress for Katherine and the rest of our gear into that tent, there is no room for anyone or anything to enter or leave. So we took a look at the back of my truck. we parked it beside the RV in which Katherine was sleeping, so if I needed help, I could call out loudly and she would hear me.

We opened up the back of the truck and took the last few items of gear out of it. Then we inflated the air mattress and set it up in the back of the truck. Once the air mattress was in place, I drove my PWC next to the tailgate and transferred. From there, Adam and Katherine dragged me up and onto the mattress with my sleeping bag in place. In the excitement, they over-pulled, so Jim grabbed my feet and pulled back, making the final adjustment. They closed me in, and there I slept.

There were a couple of minor overnight issues. Going pee on an air mattress which slopes to me middle, without being able to properly turn sideways, is a bit of a crap shoot. I messed up a couple of times, so ended up stripping out of my clothing in the middle of the night. Fortunately my sleeping bag missed the worst of it. And rolling over on this sloped, spongy, soft surface was just too much more me, so once in place I stayed there.

On the whole I continue to be reminded of how fortunate I am. I'm here, camping. I have Katherine with me. Adam is more than just a little bit helpfu. Jim is a great host. We sang Karaoke last night until nearly 2:00 AM. I'd call that a good start to a camping weekend.

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