Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mountain Oma

Art by Lucille Patterson Marsh

Annie, of Annie's Song fame, told how she and her husband (John Deutschendorfer) spent a night camping in the Rockie Mountains with friends. Away from the city lights, they watched a meteor shower, and John penned the words, ♫ "I've seen it raining fire in the sky . . . folks around a campfire, everybody high . . . Rocky Mountain high . . ." ♫ He was John Denver when he sang it to us.

Although I've lived my whole life less than five miles from the mountain tops I've never thought of myself as an outdoor person. I don't like dirt, bugs, bees, buzzing, raccoons, rocks under my pillow or ashes in my hamburger bun. Natural is not a look I look good in. Bathrooms with spiders building webs and moths flitting in the corner are not where I want to go.

But I understand a Rocky Mountain high. I've got one! I'm packing for our annual 4th of July Campout, and I just calculated that I've been camping every summer (except four) since 1980! That's a lot of dirt under my fingernails. In a pinch I know I could pitch a tent, start a fire without matches, and dig a latrine, because I have. I've cooked a turkey in a pit, slept directly on the ground and hiked 26 miles pushing a handcart even though I was out-of-shape, old and cross.

These are the lows that contribute to the highs. Although there's dirt on the ground, the air is clean and crisp. It's quiet enough to hear a raccoon rustle in the bushes and a bee whirring in the wildflowers. After listening to wood crackling and loved ones laughing, their chatter soothes me enough that I don't care about the boulders beneath my shoulders.

Mountain kids wash up, 2008

I can't wait to unpack my Oma tent, and have a dozen little grands buzzing around my campsite. Maybe I've turned into a Mountain Mama after all!

Happy 4th of July!
(See you after the fireworks.)


kenju said...

I'm not a camper either, but all those sweet children around might make it tolerable! Hope you have a great time.

Christie said...

One of these years, we are going to make it out there for the camping trip. It looks so fun!

Grandma Shelley said...

Have a fun and safe trip. I don't think we are going to get a camping trip in this summer. Lucky you!

polly said...

have fun with the little one in the mountains!

Heffalump said...

Have a great time!

Susan Adcox said...

I do love to camp, although it is a lot of work. But there's nothing that can beat the combination of being outdoors with the grandchildren.