I grew up in Central Alberta’s most popular area for camping. You would think because of this I would be an avid camping fan, eager to get out there May Long weekend with the rest of them.
That is one wrong assumption.
My family camping trips as a kid consisted of a tent in the backyard which we would load with mattresses and blankets with easy access to the front door. Some family members didn’t even make it the full night claiming it was too cold, or the coyotes were keeping them awake and would sneak back to the house when everyone else was asleep. It didn’t really count as camping.
While most families would take roadtrips or vacations and camp along the way, we stayed in hotel rooms with access to showers, toilets and warm beds to sleep in. We just weren’t the camping folk.
As I got older I would visit friends at the campground just down the street which was only a short bike ride away from home. Most of the days I couldn’t be convinced to stay when my cozy bed at home was in such close proximity. I stayed long enough to play in the lake and have a hot dog roast but at the end of the day I had no desire to stay.
In high school I gladly offered to work the shifts that everyone else took off for the notorious May Long camping trips. I never understood why everyone would want to get together in the middle of nowhere to get dirty, be cold and uncomfortable and do nothing but drink all weekend. I’d rather make money.
Today, I’d still rather work May Long weekend. I still don’t see the point or appeal in going camping for May Long (or any weekend for that matter). Alberta is notorious for being cold, rainy and usually receiving snow on this weekend. Gee that sounds like fun, stuck in the trees while it rains or snows? No thank you. I’d much rather attend the local farmer’s market, visit my fellas at the SPCA, or even clean my house!
What exactly do you do out there anyways? The best part would be the fire to roast some dogs and make s’mores but that’s only fun for an hour or two until your lungs are full and your eyes don’t stop watering from smoking blowing in them. This year there is a province wide fire ban in effect, so there goes all the fun. What else is left? Swatting off bugs? Layering as many pairs of clothes as possible to stay warm before you can’t move?
I’m sorry what part of this sounds appealing? I think I’ll stay home and make s’mores atop my BBQ and retire to the warmth of my living room afterwards. Ah, much better.
I suppose there’s the folks that spend ungodly amounts of money on the big huge luxury trailers equipped with toilets and showers, wine coolers, tv’s with satellite and a full kitchen. Hold on a minute, doesn’t this sound like….a house? If you need all that stuff than what the heck are you doing in the bush off the side of the road in the foothills? Isn’t camping suppose to be all about ‘roughing it’? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?
You Albertan’s can have all the bush space you want but I’ll continue to sleep in my nice warm, comfortable bed, in my heated apartment, away from the bugs and the elements, equipped with running water which includes both a toilet and a shower.
If I wanted out of the house that bad I’d rent a hotel room instead of pretending to be homeless.