The Joys of Primitive Camping ~

Being from the South, with the Southern Belle image to maintain, primitive camping is unheard of for a lady. Something about sleeping outside at night, listening to the constant buzz of the villainous mosquito, the sound of crunching leaves as some critter stalks around in the darkness, and the real possibility of no shower, much less a bathroom! Yet somehow, through it all, you might realize this stuff is just for you.

Take the family outing, for instance. Several families all load up with everything under the sun, including the kitchen sink, just to go camping and fishing on the river. Fun and happy, oh joy. You sit on the pier and do some chicken-neck crabbing (yea, we really do that) for some stewed crabs and set the net for some fish to fry. Meanwhile, all the cousins are playing around in the water, yelling and splashing and getting mad at one another occasionally. One of those sweet, innocent cousin’s gets really mad and wants to teach you a lesson – by holding you under the water! It’s on then, as you grab her legs under the water and she has to let go. Payback time, sister. So you push her head under the water and, what do you know, every single adult on shore see’s YOU hold HER under the water and they start yelling ‘Let her go! Let her go!” Good grief, they didn’t see her try to drown you! Both survived that day, and nobody received a butt-whipping either. But it was fun.

Then there’s the issue of injury. Mom, the Southern Belle, and Son go on a camping trip far up into the mountains. Yea, it’s primitive. Never play in a creek without shoes on, the very first rule ever. Son plays in the creek with no shoes on, and cuts his foot on a piece of glass. Deep. And it’s bleeding like a stuck hog, pouring blood. Good grief! That needs more than minor first aid and, wouldn’t you know it, there was no doctor to go to. So Mom wraps a towel around his bleeding foot and rushes him to the truck, where they travel miles back out to the main road to get to the local emergency room. It was bad. The doc was nice, fixed him right up, and told Mom to take Son back camping. He was good to go. And they still had fun.

And then there’s the wildlife, more specifically, snakes. As in those slithery, ugly, mean looking things that startle you enough to do the snake dance in front of anybody. Hiking. At Monte Sano mountain in Alabama. Son walking about ten feet in front of Mom. He turns around  because he heard something, looked down and his poor eyes widen in shock. Oh no! Mom is already two-stepping it. “What is it?”, like she doesn’t already know there’s a SNAKE in the path. By the time Son yelled snake, Mom had already cleared the ten feet in one step, just like a true Southern Belle. When she turned around, the snake was gone. That was a good thing! And it was just plain funny.

Storms, aka gully-washers to a tent camper. Goose Creek camping. Super violent thunderstorm. Mom had Son and several of his friends on this adventure. Set up the tent and went to play in the pool but a storm came out of nowhere, quick. Sharp cloud to ground lighting, settled right overhead and showed no signs of letting up anytime soon. Hurricane force gusts. (If you don’t know what a hurricane force gust feels like, just pretend you’re Dorothy). Too dangerous to stay there so the troop headed to the entrance of the campground to get inside the building. Apparently others had the very same idea. Mom stood at the door and watched the intense light show Mother Nature was providing. With all the wind and rain, she knew it wasn’t going to end pretty but she had heart, just like a true Southern Belle would. Forever and a day later, it finally quit so they packed up headed back to the water. Good grief! The tent had come unhooked and was partly in the outhouse. The sleeping bags were soaked, Everything was beyond wet, with no hopes of drying out for the next two days. Mom and friends all looked at each other and silently agreed this weren’t the weekend for them. With no second thought whatsoever, they packed in all up and headed on out. And they had fun on the ride home because they planned the next big adventure.

Might be safe to guess that any lady from the South would be a Southern Belle, but maybe they’re not a true Southern Belle unless they can enjoy primitive camping.


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