Opt-Outside

REI Geese with Real Down

This is the front of the Saint Louis REI store, home to all of our outdoor needs. Now that we are well on our way to senior citizenhood, with regard to tent camping, we are well outside the normal demographic, by several standard deviations. In order to persist in this endeavor, we venerable campers require all available accoutrements not just to facilitate camping, but enough for glamping or glamor camping and REI has it all for us.

Most people our age have succumb to mobile homes, either an RV or a trailer. While our tent cannot compete in comfort with even the most basic of these alternatives, it does offer its own rewards. This is in addition to being able to tour America in our Prius and still get 50 MPG, with our much smaller footprint.

I’m thinking back to our first night of camping this year. It was also the first night of Cycle Zydeco. We had ridden in the rain and had arrived at la Place de Chauntecler or the last legal cockfighting arena in America. The grounds were muddy, from the day’s rain, but we found a concrete pad with awning to set the tent up on. Our Therm-a-Rest cots and mattresses cushioned our aging spines, quite nicely. We were at the far corner of the camping grounds and I could hear the frogs croak all night, in the neighboring swamp. There were four distinct species. Our enjoyment was only made fuller with a shot of schadenfreude, when we learned the following morning that Padre’s Cycle Inn, purveyors of pampered glamping, had set up their tents on a field of flooded fire ants.

We had Gyrotonics and while we were in Louisiana, our instructor Shannon had been in Colorado. She had gone to Rocky Mountain National Park, where we plan to camp next, but had been shutout of the park, after only one day, by a foot of snow. We are not going for a little while yet, but even the long range forecast doesn’t look that hospitable. We may need to revise our plans and get a motel. 

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