So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about camping lately.
I used to camp a lot. Tent camping, I’m talking about.
I lived on the west coast of United States, and I would go with my family tent camping all over the state. Before I had kids I would go camping with my husband.
I remember one two week camping trip we did on the lost coast area of Northern California. We camped in Humboldt State Park. The park was in an area of redwood forest—spectacular towering trees that meant that even in the summer, the campsites were cooled by the perpetual shade.
We had mountain bikes and we did a lot of mountain biking during that camping trip. One day we took the bikes on a trail ride. It was a spectacular ride that took us on a track high up into the mountains where we enjoyed spectacular views. I worked up a giant appetite, and when we got back to the campsite, I wolfed down an entire bag of Fritos corn chips.
In the middle of the night, I could tell that eating all those corn chips was a big mistake. My stomach was rolling. I told my husband that I thought I was going to lose them.
He unzipped the 14 tent flaps between me and the outside in like ten seconds, and not a minute too soon. As soon as the flaps were back, I lunged for the opening and puked every last Frito right outside the tent. So that is my final memory of that bike ride.
There was a little town called Ferndale right on the coast. We would drive over there and just walk around the town. It was a town full of Victorian building and a large artisan community.
There was a little theater and one night of our camping trip we went to a production in that little theater. After we went to the play we drove back to our campsite and crawled into our tent and went to sleep.
While we were in Ferndale, one of the local artists told us about an annual race that the people of the area have. It started in a neighboring town and ended in Ferndale. It was a race of vehicles that people had to design and build and power only with humans, and the vehicles had to go across sand, mud, hills, a river, concrete, and over the bay.
It was called the World Championship Great Arcata to Ferndale Cross Country Kinetic Sculpture Race. Now I guess it’s called the Kinetic Grand Championship, or the Triathlon of the Art World.
Anyway we got to see a warehouse-type building where a whole bunch of these kinetic sculpture vehicles were stored. Some of them were twenty feet long and eight feet high. They really were amazing to see, even just in that building. It would have been fascinating to see them actually racing!