After a couple of months in Charlotte of trying to make friends, keeping sane at my new job, missing my family, having a car wreck, buying a car and dealing with boyfriend problems, I was seriously stressed out. I hadn’t been to the beach in over a year, and I desperately wanted to get out of town. I had also been wanting to take a camping trip for a while, so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and camp on the beach. I did some research and found Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina. It was only about three hours away and it seemed perfect. I could get there, turn my phone off, sit on the beach all day, read a book and not talk to anyone at all. I was super excited. I booked it for that Saturday and Sunday night. I couldn’t stay Sunday night, but booking the night allowed me to stay as late on Sunday as I wanted. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to de-stress and get away from the city. I was SO excited.
I got up early(ish) Saturday morning, loaded my car and got on the road. Traffic sucked, but it didn’t matter. I was just happy to be doing something. The weather was beautiful the whole way down. I rode with the windows down and the sun in my face.
When I finally checked in around 2pm, I was already feeling better. I couldn’t wait to get to the beach.
I found my camping spot and decided to go ahead and set up my tent–I planned on being at the beach for a while, and this way I wouldn’t have to do it when I got back. I unloaded my car, got set up, changed into my bathing suit and finally headed over to the beach. I got a little lost on the way, but eventually found my way to the path that lead to the water.
I had been on the beach for about 45 minutes when it started to sprinkle. I didn’t think much of it since it was just a few drops of water here and there, but soon enough, it started to actually rain. So I packed up my stuff and started on the long walk back to my tent. I hadn’t gotten as far as the boardwalk when it began to pour. My only towel was getting soaked! But it didn’t matter. I was at the beach! Nothing could ruin this trip.
But something did.
I had just made it back to the trail that lead to my tent when I realized I hadn’t put the rain flap on it.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
Please excuse the language, but everything in my tent was soaked. SOAKED. Not just my only towel, but my bag that had all my clothes in it, my blankets, my books, everything. The tent had about an inch of standing water in it. Shit.
By this time I couldn’t even be mad about it. I laid down on the soaking wet blankets and tried to figure out a solution–all the while, it was still pouring down rain. In my tent. The rain didn’t show any signs of letting up, so I made the decision to pack up and go home. I dumped as much water out of the tent as I could, took it down and put it on the picnic table. I squeezed out as much water as I could from the blankets and took them, my cooler and bags back to my car and put them in the truck. Thank goodness for that floor/trunk mat-thing the car salesman was so happy to point out to me.
After getting my car loaded up, I turned my phone on and started telling the people who knew where I was about my utter failure. It was embarrassing, but all I could do was laugh about it. Hey, at least I tried!
On the way back, I started to realize that this probably happened for a reason. I had been feeling down and kind of pouty, but this was just the kick in the ass that I needed to force me to realize that things could always be worse. And despite everything, I was actually feeling better.
It was only when I stopped to get gas about an hour outside of Charlotte that I realized I’d left my tent on the picnic table.
By this time I felt like I’d lost it completely. I laughed about it and decided to have more than a few drinks that night to make up for it. So, when I got home, that’s exactly what I did.
I think I could use a Camping 101 class or something. Is there a Guinness World Record for shortest camping trip?