Camping crosses cultures

Last night was not the most fun I've ever had camping.  The rain that pelted us up on the mountain slid down into camp and stayed around. As we're lying in the tent listening to the cracks of thunder get closer, my husband noted: being is this tent with water running under it is no different than lying on the open ground in the storm. We all ran for the van. 

When the storm had subsided somewhat the guys returned to the tent.  I was already comfy in the van and saw no reason to put down a perfectly entrancing book.

They spent the rest of the night trying to stem the flood. I spent the rest of the night sleeping.

We had taken one of our older tents because it was larger, and the seams around the bottom leaked.  Badly.  Or well, if leaking was their job.

Soggy sleeping bags.  Dripping blankets.  Clammy clothes. Towels holding tubs of water.

So while they wring things out, I thought I'd take you on a virtual tour of camp as it looked last night before the deluge...

Down the road a man is walking a brace of black Dachschunds.

Two spaces over two elderly gentlemen play the violin and guitar. I invite myself to their jam session for a few minutes. One explains he is teaching the other how to play the violin. I asked, what's the difference between a violin and fiddle? He smiled- a violin has strings, a fiddle has strangs. I thanked him for the lesson and their music.

The couple across the road are preparing for dinner, speaking German.  Perhaps he is a retired engineer, because he spends 30 minutes leveling the table upon which he will set the camp stove.  With a real level.  He is finally satisfied when a single sheet of newspaper under one leg balances it out.  He pours wine into glass wineglasses, she brings out a round of cheese, and they sit and sip at a delightful little table set with tablecloth and silverware under their awning.  I am definitely going to have to upgrade my camping. Preferably to crystal and good wine, but at least to a tent that doesn't leak.

Next to us is a Middle Eastern family, with three little girls and a boy.  The boy wants to go bear hunting.

Over the purr of a generator, strains of "The Yellow Rose of Texas" find their way to my ears and blend with the song the children next door are singing, in a language I don't know. The clouds hover over the mountaintops, and even the pines have ceased their whispering to listen. The cultures blend as beautifully as the verdant shades around me, the accents and languages inviting my senses to partake as sharply as the conifer perfume I inhale with each breath.

The sun will come out, the sleeping bags will dry. What I will remember from this night will not be mildewy bags or the damp carpet in teh van, but the sounds of people from a wide range of cultures coming together because they share a love of the outdoors. In that we find a common language.


Mother Nature


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