Saturday, September 12, 2015

May Day Camping Chaos 2014

If you want something done right, do it yourself... right? That was the thinking behind this camping trip. I was doing an unpaid internship and was supposed to be finished by the beginning of May. Somehow, they convinced me to stay another month at the last minute, but I agreed only under the condition that I would get a couple weeks off!

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I was originally going to go somewhere new, but no one else was feeling adventurous. I can't really blame them... the last time I picked out a random new place to camp for the group, there were a ridiculous amount of snakes, and we ended up having a walk-in with a baby rattler. So, icehouse it was - that easy spot that I had been going to my whole life. I say it's easy because there is lots of land for dispersed camping, and also lots of camp sites if you want to spend time with people who don't know how to camp. 

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This is usually what pops in my head when I think of one of those camp 'sites' with showers and toilets.

I'm a bit of a camping elitist. I'm sure there are people who are more elite than me, and would consider my camping (next to a car, with no hiking, not in complete isolation from humans) to be wussy stuff. But for me, camping means no running water (unless you're by a creek/river/stream), no electronics (except maybe a radio once in a while), and no trailers/RVs.

I wanted to go camping for the beginning of my 'vacation,' but none of my friends seemed to be able to time it for that. SO, instead, I decided to go visit my High School friend in Reno. There honestly wasn't a whole lot that we did there. We caught up, did arts and crafts, cooked amazing food... best friend stuff. It was super relaxing, and I had a bunch of fun going out drinking all night into the morning with her and her boyfriend.

After that, I was expecting to go to the woods, and celebrate my birthday and Beltane (which had both already passed at that point due to the aforementioned scheduling conflicts) in nature, together with my lovely friends.

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Naioka Gray-Sheavly

Somehow, once I got there, it was like I had barged in and interrupted someone else's camping trip, however. 

Two of my good friends, we'll call them the Vintage Girls, were already there, and they had a lot more bud than I did. As I had stated, I was near the end of a 6 month run of doing an unpaid internship, so I was scrounging for cash, and didn't have enough money to buy a bunch of weed for the trip. When the fact that I was packing bowls so much less frequently seemed to cause some tension, they just started smoking by themselves... It's not that I felt entitled to weed on my birthday; I just felt like they were probably the only two friends I had that would ever do that. I loved them, and I didn't want to judge them... but it definitely affected me. This trend of exclusion just seemed to intensify after both of their boyfriends showed up. 

Eventually lots of others showed up. One friend got everyone to sign a card, which was so sweet. She also gave me a nice smelling bar of soap. One of the friends of friends who came (who I didn't really know very well) gave me a bottle of good tequila. That was what I focused on drinking that night, and it lasted until the middle of the next day. A friend that was growing at the time had a big jar of weed he donated to the camp, calling it the 'free jar.'  Thus, the bud-based tensions eased.

The guy who brought the Tequila also brought some party powder... Which probably got more people to come to the trip, but was also completely unexpected. I didn't know that people would use my birthday camping trip as a random excuse to do some partying... I felt kinda unimportant. Like my shit was totally overrun.

On top of that, our Techie friend brought something I had never, ever, EVER brought on a camping trip: An electric generator. I kinda felt like maybe this wasn't a camping trip anymore... maybe it was something else. The camping elitist in me was very unhappy. The reason for the generator was to run the massive speakers he'd just bought and wanted to try out. I liked his taste in music, and they were amazing speakers, but it just seemed weird for them to be there during my camping trip. Maybe if we were doing some kind of music festival in the woods, that would be fun! But I was starting to wonder what kind of twilight zone I had stepped into.

It was stupid, and frustrating, and I was old enough now to be able to identify what was going on before things got too out-of-hand. I was feeling sorry for myself already because of the weird vibes and possible tension between me and the Vintage Girls, and now I was starting to take everything personally. I knew I shouldn't have. How many parties had I been to where I knew that so-and-so's birthday was just an excuse to party? This was karma, bitch! My shit was being taken over - turned from the sweet, calming Beltane celebration I had been looking forward to - into an actual COOL raging party. The powder, the sound system, the group of people, the booze. It was a good party. I had fun, in spite of myself.

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After living in an all-vegan household for 6 months, I was kinda weirded out by the mac n' cheese and things. Then, I was totally mortified to see a steak grilling on the fire right in front of me, smelling the searing cow flesh. Cows are my personal mascot (as a Taurus), and here was a hunk of a dead one burning up right in front of me. It was probably supposed to be some kind of proof of manliness, but it only reeked of greed and gluttony to me. Now, I have been re-desensitized to seeing and smelling these things - but then, this was outrageous. Especially since (my Leo-ascending sign said) this camping trip was supposed to be about me! So, I said something that was really rude, but really funny to me. I am still impressed by my wittiness, but... it was very rude. "Why not just let it finish cremating?"

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Where I personally feel like beef belongs when it isn't on the cow...

Despite me feeling sorry for myself, and not really observing Beltane in the way I'd imagined, I still had fun, and my friends totally showed me their true colors by throwing a kick ass party for my birthday. When all was said and done, I couldn't really ask for more. The only reason it seemed chaotic and irritating was because I had a certain image in my head that I was stubborn about creating. Instead of accepting things as they were happening, and going with the flow, I was trying to make something happen that... just wasn't going to happen. I had a choice to enjoy myself or be upset, and I almost let myself have a bad time. A good lesson for any occasion: Go with the flow and enjoy yourself. Don't be so obsessed with the vision in your head that you refuse to see what is right in front of your eyes.

Photo Credit: Kay Steventon