Bacon and pancakes (finally). We walked the back fence of the Pagosa property this morning looking for property lines. Didn’t find any, but saw a cool, permanent section marker. Unfortunately, what with the coffee and the walking, nature unflinchingly called. And, no GoGirl was gonna fix this problem! What do you think they would call a device for that? A toilet?! Bummer on that, is all I’ve got to say on the subject.
We lolled around and Jen washed her hair with the new shower. Sublime. And much better than Dave heating water in the dishpan and sending me behind a tree, only
to take covert photos and post them all over the web. OK, so he didn’t post them on the web, so, I will ’cause I have it, it’s funny, and I look pretty damn svelte behind that tree:
Kids read. Jen fixed/fixated on the camper door that blew open and broke during the Incident of the Moth the night before. We packed up around noon (Jennie doing so reluctantly) and took the long way to Durango, thru Pagosa Junction and up past the Navajo Reservoir. Really not much to see, but pretty all the same.
Discord struck in Durango. I like the sound of that, if not the memory, so I’ll say it again: Discord struck in Durango when it was decision-making time for whether or not we were really going to go backpacking. [not sure how to write this section of the journal, as I switch in and out of present and past tenses, and 1st and 3rd person narration, due to extreme adrenaline levels, so bear with me.] [Present tense journal entry] I’m pretty pissed right now, so I’m not going to write much, other than to say, it’s lame when one person gets to make all the decisions for the rest of the group. Is it that hard to believe that I don’t like the idea of carrying our stupid, behemoth, Eureka, vintage 1990, 4-person tent and my toddler-sized, -30 degree sleeping bag five miles uphill with no idea where we are going? NOT TO MENTION the fact that we will have to drive the rented packs an hour and a half back to Durango when we are done, backtracking a needless three hours of our trip?! All for one night of backpacking? Still, I suppose it could be fun…[shift to past tense journal entry] Mind you, I didn’t actually say to Dave it might be fun, but I didn’t say no. What I said was, “Why don’t we just go on to Ouray and spend the time 4 wheeling over the pass to Telluride instead?” In my mind, that was the equivalent of saying “No. I don’t want to go backpacking.”
Anyway, on we drove, to the store, to check out renting the packs. Once there, I heard Dave and the store clerk laughing. When I walked up (and yes, I was sulking), the clerk said “So, I hear you don’t want to go backpacking!” I honestly don’t know if I have ever been so transparently mad in front of an innocent third party. Being a good Gemini, I like to appear sane and fun in public, reserving the most horrid and wicked personality traits for those I love the most — in private. At that instant, however, I leveled a look that unnerved this particular clerk so badly that he started trying to tell me why I would like backpacking: “It isn’t that hard.” and “YOU can DO IT!” These are the things I remember him saying to me. Truthfully, memory of the whole incident is colored by a literal white haze of rage. How DARE he assume I am not the king of fitness? The super-mom of adventure and fun? That was not the problem! But Dave, knowing I didn’t want to go — due to logistics and the lack of planning — throws me under the bus to make himself look good: A man taking his family on a backpacking adventure. And let me tell you. This deed will not go unrewarded.
Did I say something, nine paragraphs ago, about not saying much because I was too pissed? Yeah, well. I’ll stop now.
[later that day] My mood continued in this fashion until just before dinner time. I must say first, however, because this is our travel journal, and not just Jennie’s journal, that despite my murderous thoughts as I listened to my audiobook (in order to avoid any verbal communication with Dave, what-so-ever), the views and scenery as you drive north on 550 out of Durango rivals that of any other road. Simply spectacular all the way to Silverton and beyond. That said, things continued to get worse for us as the day progressed, even as the views got better.
Dave was driving and on task to find a camping spot described by a forestry officer he talked to on the phone. I had no further information on this as I, 1) was not speaking to him; 2) was pretending not to hear anything he said, and 3) refused to engage in any attempt by him to catch my eye. Between you and I however, I can tell you this: we were looking for one of “several nice spots to camp along the Cunningham River.” Although I had vowed to speak nothing; to react not-at-all, I simply could not help it when the gravel road became suspiciously 4WD-like and began to climb up, and decidedly away from, the river. Involuntarily, a short, snippy “Exactly where are we going?” escaped from my mouth (dammit!) Dave admitted, “This doesn’t look right, does it?” Just then, a Woody Haralson look-alike on an ATV happened by (every 3rd guy out here is a Woody Haralson look-alike, btw) and Dave asked him where Cunningham Creek and the trail head was, which of course was, “Way back where the road forked…. blah blah blah.”
The road was so narrow we had to unhook the pop-up to turn around. We made our way back to the described fork and headed up an equally shitty road. And yes, you guessed it, I was moved to speak again: “Who told you there were places to camp on this road?” followed by an “Are you sure?” This attitude of mine went on all thru the camp set-up in a ridiculously ugly spot — the only place we could find to put the camper — along the stupid creek that crossed the “road” preventing us from exploring further camping spots. [I would like to point out, that this would be our fourth night camping in a spot with nary a bathroom, outhouse or designated pit, bringing a whole new sub-definition to my self-proclaimed supermom status.]
Ultimately, it was poor Charlie’s distress at my mute campaign that caused me to end it with one final and satisfying verbal barrage with (OK- at ) Dave. That behind us, I decided to embrace the camping spot and the idea of backpacking. The weather was threatening, as it had been all afternoon, and everyone was excited to finally have the much-requested spaghetti that had been lurking at the bottom of the cooler. The kids roasted our stale baguettes in the fire and we raced against both the dark and the rain. We achieved neither. I brought the table in from outside and we ate in the camper while it rained. I think we have only eaten in there three times and I think that each time it has been spaghetti. How weird is that?
The rain let up long enough to make a fire, roast a few marshmellows and then to bed.