We Don’t Camp, but We Did Anyway

As I have mentioned before, camping is not our ideal vacation here in Sluiter Nation.  We enjoy air conditioning, a real bed, a private bathroom.  I know…it’s asking a lot.  I just like to feel rested and clean when I go away…not like a bug-bitten, squirrely-haired, greasey-faced hot mess.
However…each year Cort’s mom and stepdad take all of us “kids” up north to tent camp and canoe.  They all really enjoy camping and we don’t want to be the lame-o party poopers who don’t go.  Plus?  Cort’s side of the family?  Oh they bring the fun.  So I complain for a few days, but I pack it up and head in to the wilderness.  We DID get a new tent this year (thanks, Lynne!!!) so we weren’t in a little pup tent.  That was a BIG plus.
Especially because Friday night?  It rained sheets down upon us.  Buckets and sheets and cats and dogs. Saturday morning it was still pouring.  That of course meant that our trip to the bathroom equaled muddy flip flops and gross toes. And it meant no hobo pies for breakfast.

But we did improvise!  We all crammed in to the screened in tent and Ray made us our breakfast sandwiches on the little gas stove top. He made bacon and then egg, ham, and cheese grilled sandwiches.  YUM!

Since it was so rainy and gross, we were sort of thinking we wouldn’t be able to canoe until at least noon.  So we were all just lazing around.  Around 10:15am we got word that we would be canoeing at 10:30!  The mad scramble to get all canoe-ready began.

All ten of us got on the river around 11:00am.  We were told it was a three hour paddle.  But wait…who paddles?

As if I wasn’t already a big steaming hot mess after a rainy night in a tent, nasty feet from muddy flip flops, and no make-up, it was about to get much worse.

Everyone took turns “launching” their canoes.  I sad in the front of ours patiently waiting for Tom and Kristin to get their canoe off and floating.  I was sitting there minding my own business when…SPLASH!  I was gasping for breath as I came up from the bottom of the river!

Apparently, my superman of a husband thought he could shove us off and leap into our canoe all while not telling me what he was doing.  Um, no.  Now I was completely soaked, my leg was scraped up, and I had a bruised hand.  Even hotter mess than before.  But after I rung out my tank top and bandanna, I was in good spirits again!

After all, it was an accident, and look at that smile?  How can I be angry at that?  Plus, let’s be honest, he does all the canoe work.  I don’t have to do anything but ride along.  And sip my, uh, beverage.  I like that about canoeing.

See?  Sorry…this picture is sort of a hot mess.  This is what happens when I camp, fall in a river, and then smile really big while squinting into the sun.  Oh and that guy behind me?  Yup, I married him.  He is mine.

The river was higher than normal due to all the rain so there weren’t as many place to have pit stops as usual.  We did a lot of this:  Party Barging.  There I am with my girls!  Sisters-in-law MacKenzie and Liz and our friend, Kristin!  These girls are why camping?  Isn’t as bad as it could be.  And canoeing?  Is awesome.

We did find some places to stop.  I mean, we had to have bathroom breaks, right?  I am not sure what Tom and Cody are discussing here, but it reminds me of when my Mom-in-law said to Tom, “Hey Tom.  It’s pretty hot out here.  Why don’t you take your sleeve off?”  I mean seriously?  That was the funniest dang thing I heard all day.  My mom-in-law making a tattoo joke?  awesome.

There was lots more fun on the river.  Mom and Ray tipped in their canoe.  Cody and Liz tipped in their canoe (and then MacKenzie and Dave dragged Liz down the river until Cody could get the water out of the canoe and pick her up).  There were millions of turtle-sightings and even more laughs and jokes.

By the time we got off the river, we were all tired…and looking a little worse for wear.  We dragged ourselves back to camp, played some hillbilly golf, made some hot dogs, rested, and enjoyed being eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Yes, Sluiter Nation was sun burned, tired, achy, and did I mention tired?  We probably could have used a nap!

And aside from a brief panic attack on my part Saturday night (we had no phone service and I couldn’t call to check on Eddie.  Plus I mixed anti-depressants and some booze.  not good.  lesson learned), the weekend was very fun!  I was proud of myself from changing my attitude from angerball to happy pants. 

Even if by Sunday morning when we were packing up, I was sure I could smell myself.  I think that might just be the definition of a hot mess.

And as it turned out?  Eddie had a GREAT time at my parents’ house!  He was back to his old funny, silly, happy self when we picked him up Sunday morning.  Go figure.  I freaked out for nothing.  What else is new?

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. designHER Momma says

    I love camping. No, I really do. Totally jealous.

  2. Looks like fun! I have to admit, the idea of "roughing it" for me is the Motel6 instead of the Holiday Inn!


  3. Booyah's Momma says

    I'm not a big camping fan, either… but you honestly make it sound fun. Even with the hot messes.

  4. Grace @ Arms Wide Open says

    how fun to have some time with friends and not be chasing a stinky toddler around! 🙂 i hear ya about needing the sleep. and the cleanliness. looks like fun though!

  5. Funky Mama Bird says

    That tattoo sleeve joke is hilarious. I'm so totally ganking it and using it on my brother.

  6. Blair@HeirtoBlair says

    Seriously, I LOVE camping &^ it sounds like you had a fun time!! I would totally go canoeing with your fam.

  7. makemommygosomethingsomething says

    I LOVE camping. In fact we are headed to the great Canadian North soon. We go every year! We don't rough it like we used to with tents because of my spine…so we borrow a camper. I would much rather be in a tent though.

    Ok, now that I bored you…just wanted to say that I am so glad that you gave it a whirl and had a good time. PS. You look dahling!!

  8. Pumpkin and Piglet says

    I've only been camping a couple of times and I'm not a major fan but that looks like it was a lot of fun!

  9. Even with the rain it looked like you guys had a wonderful time. I used to be a huge fan of camping. Mike has never gone so maybe when Miss P gets a bit older we will go.

  10. WTH am I Doing? says

    I'm so glad you had fun! I think I would've beat Hub's a** if he'd dumped me in the river! I'm not sure he could pull off cutely apologetic adequately…LoL

  11. I actually love to camp. The worst part is definitely having to trek to the bathroom,though. Looks like a good time!

  12. Kudos to you. I have never been into camping, its not something we ever did. My idea of camping? Hampton Inn! 🙂 But it looks like you had fun!

  13. Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year says

    Yeah, I'm not so much a camping fan. I'm more of a warm bed, hot shower, and hair dryer kind of girl. But you just made it sound fun. Glad you had a good time!

  14. Mungee's Ma says

    That looks like a lot of fun! DH and I have talked about camping. We have some friends who are pros, so they could show us how it's done. As long as there are real bathrooms, I'm cool.

  15. I give you so much credit. I wouldn't go camping. No matter. And you seem to have such a good spirit about it!

  16. lila bro says

    Can you say hotmess times 300? I mean Damn Sluiter Gir can you even get those tracks put back in? Did you even think of wearing a swimming cap? Oh wait, you won't get that joke you haven't seen BAPS.;) LOL you know I'm kidding. You looked top model ready with that real beauty.:)

  17. My husband and I just recently went camping with some friends while my daughter stayed with my mom at home. It reminded us of how much we love camping and hiking, and that we'd really like our daughter to share that with us when she's older.

    Oh, and just so you know… The heat doesn't have to kill you. When we're parked at a camp site (rather than backpacking), my husband rigs a box fan to hang from the ceiling of our tent and we bring the Aerobed and real sheets along. We were actually freezing at night. 😉

  18. OH my. You make roughing it look like so much fun. Love the pics. I'm so incredibly behind with my bloggy friends. Sorry. You should be proud you went and had a fab time.

  19. I'm so with you on dirty camping feet, I think it's my least favorite part. I hate waking up dirty, but once you get going and beveraging camping can be ok. Your canoe trip looked like a lot of fun!

  20. Lindy Leigh says

    Very funny story 🙂 I used to love camping…hot, sweaty, mess and all!

    Visiting from Mama Kat's!

  21. torie@Life With Rylie says

    Haha awesome! You are definitely not a hot mess…just hot 🙂 I'm not too big on camping either, but my hubby is. Looks like you guys had a great time!

  22. I felt so bad that you guys tipped so early on. But I do love my super heroes….so I liked Cort's leap!

  23. Michelle@DomesticationoftheSingleGirl says

    I LOL'd at the sleeve joke. Bwahaha.

    Paddling? PADDLING? ZOMG. I am the biggest wuss and my upper body strength is non existent. You held up way better than I would've.

    I haven't CAMPcamped ever.

    Thanks for the bloggy ♥

  24. I like to camp…except the being dirty part, sleeping in a tent part, no air conditioning part, dirt everywhere part….Come to think of it, maybe I don't like camping!!

    Looks like you guys had fun 🙂

  25. SkyWaitress says

    That looks like it was so much fun. Personally I love camping. Except of course for the bugs and heat and dirt and all that, ha.

    Also? I hate how pretty you look without makeup. Ugh, where's my paper bag?

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