A couple of summers ago while over for supper with us Martha mentioned that she would like to go on a camping trip with me to Kaleden. Her brother kept his trailer parked in a trailer park that had been carved out of a retired apricot orchard. Here he would bring his wife and two sons up to camp out a week or two at a time; they rented the camping spot for one month every summer. Martha had the campsite for five days this particular July. Did I want to go, she asked?
“You’re out of your mind asking G to go camping with you” warned Rumpole as he attacked his steak. “Martha, you have no idea at all how awful it is to share a sleeping space with her! Be warned -you’ll be sorry!”
With that he launched into a painful description of the last camping trip we had taken together at Cultus Lake, where he had to spend nights sleeping on the deck of the pickup, while I peacefully slept inside our little travel trailer, oblivious to his mounting irritation with my tendency to snore. “Unless we have separate rooms, I will no longer travel with G” he stated. “Even then, it’s like sleeping next door to a hibernating bear. You cannot imagine how awful her snoring is.”
“So does this mean our romance is over?” I asked, sarcastically, tucking into the Greek salad with gusto.
Martha reassured Rumpole that her brother’s trailer was large and allowed for sleeping at long removes at either end. “Besides which, I sleep like the dead.” she added.
“Well, just be sure to fall asleep before G does.” warned Rumpole. “Anyway, don’t ever say I didn’t warn you, Martha!”
So, off Martha and I drove off on our “Thelma and Louise” road trip. We sang along with the car radio, gawked at unfamiliar terrain, felt the wind whip through our hair (Martha’s car had no airconditioning so open windows were necessary).
We arrived in the early afternoon at the campsite in Kaleden and found the trailer battened down under a couple of mature apricot trees. They were full of ripe fruit! We unloaded the necessities from the car, checked out the swimming pool at the site, stocked the fridge with our groceries and decided to head to the beach at Kaleden to refresh ourselves.
At early evening, back at the trailer, we cooked dinner on the barbie, set up the lawn chairs to take in the view on the opposite shore and watched the skies darken.
We were quite pooped and decided to turn in relatively early. Martha reminded me to stay awake until I figured she had gone to sleep in the bedroom on the opposite end of the trailer. No problemo! I had a good book to read, and read until quite late, to allow enough time to elapse for Martha to fall into a deep sleep. I took my glasses off, perched them on the bedside table, shut the light off and drifted into a comfortable sleep.
Came morning, I woke up in a silent, bright and hot front bedroom. I puttered around getting a glass of water from the fridge while getting the coffee ready. Martha’s curtain was open and her bed unoccupied. Boy, she is an early riser – I mused, as I stepped outside into a hot sunny morning bearing the coffepot and a couple of mugs. I figured she was off having a shower and would appreciate a cup of coffee on her return to the campsite.
The apricots looked ready for picking, so setting down the coffee stuff on the campsite table, I wafted about in my voluminous white cotton nightgown gathering apricots for breakfast. I came upon a blanket swaddled figure scrunched down in the lawnchair and said a cheery hello. Martha emerged from her blanket cocoon, bleary eyed and looking decidedly displeased.
“Good morning!” I chirped, stretching. “boy, did I ever sleep well!”
“Well,” muttered Martha, “at least one of us slept! I’m sure none of our neighbours did!”
“Have a cup of coffee” I urged. “I promise to sleep outside tonight.”
“Nah, you won’t need to” she replied,”I’ll probably sleep like the dead tonight.”
Except for Martha’s inability to sleep, we managed to get along quite well and did have a lot of fun on our trip. However, on the way home, as we were speeding along the highway, Martha did say she would never admit to Rumpole that she got little sleep on this holiday. “He’ll just say ‘I warned you so!’ and I’ll never hear the end of it.”
I’m not at all surprised that Martha has never again asked me to go on a road/camping trip again. It is a good thing I am getting older with no more prospects for camping trips with anyone – husband, friends, children- for I fear solitary travel is now my lot!