Posted by: Abe's Blog | August 14, 2010

Family Camping Trip, Destination Hell

Author’s Note: This was originally written a year ago, August 2009, during a lovely family outting. I am still alive and married.

Pre-Script: My name is Abe and I am dumb. I recently gained some new readers so I feel it wise to add some information that will help readers to understand me a bit better.
1. I am 5’9…well, I used to be, but now I am probably a hair-tad under 5’8 due to the rigorous work that I do…hard work makes you shrink.
2. I have blue eyes.
3. I am “husky” which means that according to the government Height/Weight charts, I am obese. But according to my viewpoint, I am a handsome hunk…also, I can run straight up a 1000′ steep mountain with a chainsaw on my shoulder–something that many of those lovely skinny-boys cannot do, so suck it Government Chart-Writing Agency People!
4. I name objects and vehicles…My black Chevy truck’s name is El Jefe; my old skidder’s name is Nagatha. Sometimes I can’t remember my own name.
That’s enough background. Now for the blog.

Have you ever had one of those trips on which everything that could possibly go wrong did? I am sitting in El Jefe at the moment and we are heading back home from one such trip. We are dragging our newly acquired pop-up camp trailer behind us (she doesn’t have a name yet and now is not a good time for coming up with a name as it would not be a nice one). I sold one of my junker boats to get this trailer…I think it is going to work out, but this maiden voyage showed us the parts that don’t work too well…like the cable system that pulls the roof up and down. Apparently there is a weakness in this cable system that allows it to snap apart when the trailer top is half-way down, causing the roof to sag sharply on one corner while freezing tightly on another. This causes the husband (in this case, we shall call him “Abe”) to walk around kicking things while he “thinks” and causes his wife (we shall call her “Jolene”) to quietly offer suggestions and stay out of the way of the shovels and axes that are being thrown around and the dog poo that is being kicked out of the way of Abe’s stomping shoes.

This trip was one of those sort of spur-of-the-moment decisions that happens on occasion. We were packed and ready to go to a family reunion a scant 1,000 miles away in sunny Los Angeles County. But impending doom in the business arena reared it’s head and a snap decision was made to deal with these issues while bringing the family along on the beautiful Oregon Coast. After all, we had a pop-up camp trailer filled with tasty food, clothes, and sleeping bags. The kids were primed, the wife was super-duper excited (sarcasm to be used at this point), and the dog was wagging his little tail in anticipation of camping fun and sandy beaches to run circles on. 

There was a fatal flaw with this plan, but neither of the adults involved realized it–you can NOT drive to the Oregon Coast in the summer and find a camping site. The State instituted a reservation policy allowing all y’all jerks from out of state to take up all the spots before us locals can get there. When we arrive with our trucks packed with kids, dogs, and wives (only one per man, that is a State law), our passengers are reduced to tears by the lack of spots available. After 5 hours of travel up the coast, the tears turn to anger and the crying turns to insults. After 12 hours of travel, even the dog is whining. After 24 hours of driving, the trip is canceled, the family ditches all plans and sanity, and attempts to find a motel room in a coastal casino town and takes the last remaining room in the whole city–a “recently renovated” smoking room that stinks like an ashtray and has a toilet stuck in a closet so tiny that one cannot sit completely down while doing business.

Ah well, a family that travels together is a family that argues together is a family that arrives at Wally World in fine spirits only to find it closed, at which point the father flies into a fit of rage and holds up the security guard with a BB gun…I’ve seen it happen.

Happy Vacations to all y’all!




  1. Well that certainly rates kind of high on the suckage scale. Bet you it’ll last in your children’s memory for a lifetime though. So there’s that. 🙂

    • A year has passed and we can all laugh about it now. For awhile I was the only one laughing…under my breath, of course.

  2. Y’know, these are the kinds of things you can only make it through by repeatedly saying, “One day we’re going to laugh about this.” It’s good you’re already there.

    Hope this year’s vacation is better!

    (I’m shrinking, too. I thought it was the result of years of hunching over to make myself seem shorter, but hard work makes sense, too.)

    • Apparently, our bones compress with age. This is especially true if our jobs require sitting or standing. Those lucky enough to have jobs that require laying down constantly (mattress testers, floor wax inspectors, break dancers, etc) may enjoy taller days when they are long in the tooth.

  3. This was great! If you read this aloud, with a blues band in the background you’d go straight to the top of the blues chart.

    Is there a blues chart?

    • What a great idea! I’ll sing to a B flat blues progression.

      • I hear an audio post coming on!!!

        • The family campin’ blues

  4. […] over there on Abe’s Blog, Omawarisan suggested that Abe’s woes would be good set to blues music, and since Abe is a […]

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