My first thought, upon waking, was someone had murdered a chicken.Â Tufts of feathers drifted across the floor with each puff of morning breeze, effectively coating my clothes, my backpack, and my camera equipment.Â To be more succinct, anything and everything I didnâ€™t want covered in feathers was now covered in feathers.
My husband, amused, claimed he didnâ€™t remember the sleeping bag had a rip when he tossed it at me the night before.Â That was right after he said he couldnâ€™t remember how many years heâ€™d been using it on camping trips, but it was a long, long, time.Â The way I figured it, that was a lot of â€œnot rememberingâ€ as he wiggled comfortably in his NEW sleeping bag.Â The soft puffy one without the geriatric fabric leaking down feathers like a fire hose at a five-alarm fire.
Please understand, Iâ€™m not the person waving her arms in the air squealing, â€œMe! Me!â€ when asked, â€œWho wants to go camping?â€Â No, Iâ€™m the one staring at the floor saying, â€œAh, camping?Â Again?Â That is not my idea of a vacation.â€Â But I eventually acquiesce because I know how much my husband loves Isle Royale, a National Park in the northwest part of Lake Superior.Â Heâ€™s made the trip perhaps a dozen times in his adulthood, and was craving another visit.Â So, there we were in a rustic shelter on Isle Royale doing the mosquito slap dance and floating in a sea of down feathers on a bright, brisk, morning last week. Â It was my third experience at the Windigo area of Isle Royale.
On the one hand we were relieved/delighted to have gotten a wooden shelter along Washington Creek.Â There are only a handful of them, and the park doesnâ€™t take reservations for them.Â My husband had brought along a two-person tent just in case, but not only is the tent as old as the sleeping bag I was using, but whoever determined how much space â€œtwo peopleâ€ need was badly mistaken.Â Maybe, MAYBE, two hobbitsâ€”skinny, shorter-than-normal, onesâ€”could fit into his tent, but two actual life-sized people?Â No.Â Nuh-uh.
Iâ€™ve decided I learned a lot about myself on our camping trip and will be sharing some of those thoughts over the next week or two.Â For now, let me leave you with this since it is supposed to be a blog about aging:Â the wooden floor in the shelter does NOT get softer with age.Â Also, watching my husband get into his sleeping bag in the middle of the night after a visit to the outhouse was priceless.Â Heâ€™d step into the bag while standing up and then hop around until it was up to his shoulders.Â The flashlight in his mouth provided a brilliant laser-light show worthy of much pricier celebrations.Â Then, once fully cocooned, he would try to bend his knees to gently let himself to the floor.Â You guess how that turned out.Â Hint: there were sounds like, â€œWhoompfâ€ involved, followed by more muffled flailing.Â Gee, I canâ€™t imagine why he needed a new sleeping bag.