By the time we piled off the bus after our rafting trip and hiked (or drove, in some cases) back to our campsite, we were all extremely hungry. The men went to get more firewood and my sister and N. set about locating the ingredients for our dinner menu that were scattered between a half-dozen coolers.
I ducked into the tent to change my clothes and when I came back out, I was greeted by gasps of shock at the sight of my oddly-sunburned back. I had applied sunscreen early and often throughout the rafting trip, but had not gotten quite close enough to the edges of the top I was wearing. This left me with angry red lines in half-moons around my shoulder blades and in a slash across the middle of my back. I'd brought sunburn gel just in case something like this happened, and my sister was kind enough to apply it for me.
I then pitched in to help with dinner and I have to take this opportunity to again praise my fabulous Keg-a-Que propane grill. I bought it four or five years ago planning to use it for tailgating, but we haven't really been tailgating since. Thus, the grill sat unregarded in our garage until this weekend, when I discovered just how great it is. I used the grill to cook a big package of bratwurst and warm up baked beans in an aluminum loaf pan, then turned it over to my sister so she could cook hamburger patties.
I wolfed down two hamburgers in a row, which is a lot of food for me. Then N. remembered that she'd brought corn on the cob, so she shucked the ears, broke them in half, wrapped them in aluminum foil and dropped them in the campfire to cook. Somehow I managed to eat one of those, too. (I don't recommend that cooking method, incidentally. The one I ate was hot but mostly raw except for where it was charred.) I was stuffed with food by then, but that didn't stop me from having just one s'more for dessert. After that, I didn't care whether I ever ate or drank anything again as long as I lived.
After the meal I decided it was time for a shower. I bummed some shampoo, conditioner and quarters from my sister, hiked up the hill to the one source of "indoor" plumbing on the campground, and paid 25 cents for five minutes or so of warm, clean water. It shut off before I was quite finished rinsing the conditioner from my hair, but considering how bleached, sunbaked and frizzy my hair was to begin with, I figured that would probably be a plus.
After my shower, I changed back into the only pajamas (t-shirt and shorts) I'd brought, which made me smell like campfire smoke, just like everybody else. While I was in the tent, I fiddled around with my sleeping mat some more and actually managed to get it to inflate a little bit. I lay down on top of my sleeping bag for a while and realized that I could still feel the motion of the current. It made me want to close my eyes and just go to bed for the night, but it was still early and my niece kept popping her head around the curtain to see what I was doing, so I got back up and rejoined the group.
We were all pretty subdued by our active day, impressive alcohol consumption levels and shark-like feeding frenzy. I didn't want to be the first person to turn in, but the minute my sister's friend A. announced that she was going to bed, I immediately leaped up to do the same.
Tomorrow's final installment: What am I doing up at 3 a.m.?!?