Monday, June 18, 2007
We spent the weekend camping at the farm and I'm still recovering. 90+ heat can kind of wear you out, but at least it was cool and breezy at night. One way of beating the heat was glorious in its white-trashy simplicity: slap on some sunscreen and drag your lawn chairs and your beer into the creek. Then just sit there, not moving much, while the water cools you. Well, cools your feet and your ass anyway. The rest of you is still baking in the sun.
A camping trip usually results in the purchase of some new piece of equipment. I now have an official camping cocktail shaker, made of high-impact plastic, with helpful recipes and measurements printed on its sides. Friday's drink was the Mint Julep, made with fresh mint from our garden. Saturday's drink was the Mojito. The only problem was in each case I had to use cubed, not crushed, ice.
An important part of car-camping (as opposed to wilderness canoeing or backpacking) is the concept of the camp kitchen. To me, eating well in the outdoors is a big deal, and I like to have a good space to prepare food. This is a picture of the official Sprawling Ramshackle Compound Mobile Kitchen. Note the Gadsden flag flying proudly. This identifies you as a potentially armed crackpot in case any Iowa meth freaks wander near your campsite.
Inside the screen house, out of direct sunlight, is a collapsible table, a cooler and a honking big propane burner. Over the weekend this area was used more for drink mixing, but I still made a tasty dinner Friday night: lime & chipotle marinated chicken breasts served on tortillas with fried black beans and corn which had been cooked with green chiles and caramelized onions.
A word of advice for anyone training to run a marathon. If you stay up drinking until 1:30 in the morning, smoke a couple cigars, sleep 5 hours on the ground, then run at midday when it's 90 degrees, running 4 miles on a hilly gravel farm road with no shade really counts the same as running 8 or 10 miles. I'm thinking of including this in my forthcoming book, "Marathon Training for Lounge Lizards".
On Saturday night we experienced an awesome thunderstorm. Not much compares to the feeling of being in a dry tent while the lightning flashes outside and the rain falls in sheets.
Overall it was a fine weekend of doing nothing.