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I am pleased to announce that I survived the weekend in the wild! I knew I would, it's not that I can't handle the wilderness, it's just that most of the time, I choose not to. I'm not a complete girly-girl. When I was little, I used to create entire neighborhoods out of my Barbie furniture and the muddy substance that collected in the gutter at the end of our street; I even touched a bug once. I used to love camping, as mentioned earlier; I just haven’t done it in awhile.

Once we got out of Cedar City, we took the scenic route through Cider Breaks up to the campground. It was so beautiful. I forgot how much I absolutely love Dixie National Forest. The green foliage, the billowy clouds, the radiant red rocks and beautiful sun kissed lighting; I couldn’t take enough photos. When we got to Panguitch Lake North Campground, it looked like a campground… There was a little driveway into our “lot”, a long wooden picnic table, a cast-iron fire pit, and 3 flattened dirt surfaces for tents. Practically all the amenities of home. In all honesty, it wasn’t what I expected… I don’t know what I was envisioning, maybe I subconsciously thought our campsite would look like a 3 star hotel, at least I hoped…

Playing with my autofocus : Grif




As we started to unpack and set things up, I found that I was incredibly eager to help, very unlike me. I helped build both tents, blow up air mattresses, organize the “kitchen” and set up everyone’s sleeping areas. What? Who was this person? I couldn’t get over how excited I was to be there. The air was clean and cool and smelled like crisp pine and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I’m not sure whether it was all the excitement or the high altitude but amidst all the effort of domesticating our temporary living quarters, I got a migraine. Of course no one thought to bring drugs, so I pushed it aside and thought to myself, “the pioneers didn’t have Excedrin, I’ll be fine.”

After the “chores” were done, Griffin, Grandpa, and I gathered pinecones and dry pine needles, kindling, to start a fire while Evan and Colby went and bought some firewood. Yes, in a forest surrounded by thousands of timbered trees, we paid for wood. I decided right away that to pass the time I was going to widdle. I used to do this when I was younger, and I remember I was quite good. I found a great stick and began grating it like it was a carrot to get off all of the old bark. I then chipped a little here, cut a little there, smoothed out a section or two and within an hour I had the most remarkable marshmallow roasting skewer you’ve ever seen!


It got to be about dinner time, and we had brought hobo stew. The recipe includes:
Ground beef
Quartered potatoes
Green beans
Lots of salt, pepper, garlic and onion
Wrap in tinfoil and put in coals of fire for 30-45 minutes.

It was delicious. Only later that night, due to my horrible migraine, I got sick, and didn’t even get to fully enjoy it…

We roasted marshmallows and then it was off to bed around 11. I didn’t sleep, at all. Between the freezing weather, I was unable to get warm no matter how many layers of clothing I put on (I think I woke up with 4 layers total, plus a sleeping bag and 2 blankets); two brothers who’s snore is reminiscent of the sound of a moose dying; some crazy man standing right outside the tent yelling for “WILL?”; and the two owls who mocked each other’s hoots, there was too much going on for me to sleep.

Oh no, Grandpa's marshmallow is on fire!

Morning came and immediately I wanted a shower, and a bathroom. Our campsite had a water faucet, so I used it to brush my teeth, and rinse off the remains of my Oil of Olay Cleansing Cloth. I also used the baby wipes I purchased and gave myself a quick rubdown. I felt better, but not good enough. I asked Evan if it would be completely ridiculous if I washed my hair in the lake. He replied, “no, but the water is really cold.” “Well I can tough it out, how bad can it be? Like 80 I can handle, I’d even venture 75,” I replied. Then all 3 brothers and my grandpa simultaneously replied in some form or another that the water in the lake was about 40 degrees. I decided to wear a hat that day.

We decided to have a lazy afternoon and drive down through Panguitch; we ate lunch at the Burger Barn, and then head back to camp. I read a little of my book, and Evan Griffin went fishing. Colby took a nap, so Grandpa and I went on an adventure hike down to the stream. It was fenced off, so Grandpa, being 76 years old (his birthday was that day, Saturday) taught me how to break open and crawl through a barbed wire fence. We hiked a while and saw heaps of beautiful scenery. When we got back, Ev and Grif were just returning. “How was fishing?” I asked. “Well, now we know why they call it fishing and not catching they replied.

Apparently calories don't exist above 8000 feet....
This is not true

Teaching me to tresspass

Later that evening Evan and Griffin were determined to make fire the caveman way, by rubbing two sticks together. They had numerous theories on how to create a device that would work. It started with hand rolling a pencil shaped stick into a flat log, the way you see in movies. But hands and shoulders grew tired so a Bow was fashioned to roll the stick, however the stick portion needed more support so we needed another piece of wood on top of it. But that didn’t work so Colby suggested cutting a circle in the top supporting piece so the “stick” would stay stable. Hmm, that just might work… In order to put this circle in the top piece of wood, one would think to use a pocket knife, or Leatherman’s tool, but not the Green boys. They are smarter than that. Evan decided the most effective way to cut a circle into a log would be to place the wood in between his legs and hammer just the end point of a hatchet into it. Genius I tell you. Needless to say, our attempts were futile, and Grandpa was the only one able to make fire. His age and wisdom gave him the advantage… that and the matches…

Making Fire

I tried the bow method while Ev held it steady


We roasted hot dogs and were just starting to enjoy the evening, when it started to rain. We scurried to put all foodstuffs and anything that wasn’t waterproof in the car/tents, and then, with no other choice, it was off to bed, at 7:30 pm! I fell asleep after about an hour, but was awake again by 1 am. It was still raining, and so I decided to listen to Colby’s cell phone. He has an Audiobook that he just finished and Griffin started. Both of them crack up hysterically while listening, so I decided to give it a try. Not only was the author/narrator a total douche bag, he had at least 2 speech impediments that I could identify. I almost couldn’t stand to listen, but my desperation left me no other alternative. I could, however, see how boys could find it amusing… I finally fell asleep about 4 am and woke again at 8. This time everyone else was up too, so it was ok.

Griffin made a flute out of a pickle... A pickle-o

I really, really, really had to go to the bathroom. Throughout the weekend, I had held my bladder closed until dark, and then just gone behind a tree, but now it was morning. The campsites were fairly close together, and I decided no one needed to see all-of-this doing any kind of business. Colby told me that there were restrooms, but they were “like gross latrines.” He mentioned something about squatting over a big pit, and being careful not to fall in. In my mind flashed dreadful images of little green soldiers being blown into bathtub water by a little boy who delighted in making screaming sounds. Amidst my horror I told my grandpa I was going to walk up the street to the General Store and go pee there. He gave Colby a look and told me that there were normal restrooms a few hundred yards away, so I went there instead. These bathrooms were located in a wooden building, very much like normal “campground” latrines I’d seen at Girls Camp. Only when I opened the door, *cue angels singing music*, they were magnificent! White tiles covered the floor, and even the grout between them was white. The dry walled ramparts were painted a lovely ocean blue shade, and there were two stalls, both cleaner than any public restroom I’ve encountered. The smell of bleach and cheap air freshener filled my nostrils. The toilets flushed and sink and paper towel dispenser worked and everything! Had I known about this Friday, I would have set up my sleeping bag and stayed here the whole weekend!

On the drive home, I was nervous. I have a relentless case of “backseat” driver, only my instructions come more in the sounds of shrieks and screams than actual advice. I’m not sure if this is due to a need to be in control or the fact that I’ve been in 3 car accidents. However, I tend to get severe anxiety whenever someone who is not me takes on the role of chauffer. As I said, I’ve been in 3 car accidents, none of which was my fault. I know that everyone uses this excuse, but really, I was not responsible for any of those because I was not driving, hence my not-in-control-panic-attacks. The one wreck I was in while I was behind the wheel was also not my fault. I was stopped at a stale red light, when I was rear ended by a guy whose excuse was, “It had been red for so long, I thought it would be green by the time I got up here.” Are you kidding me? Stupid Hyundai drivers. Evan was driving home from this trip, and most of the time I was gripping my “Oh shoot” handle debating on whether or not I should comment on his speed. I knew he was going fast, but I couldn’t see the exact speed, as I was sitting directly behind the driver’s seat and the odometer was out of view. I was able to rest assured when a silver Toyota Solara passed us like a bat out of hell. Its contents were an elderly couple leisurely eating ice cream cones.

We made it home safely, and my only concern was dumping the car’s contents into the washing machine, and then washing myself. After about an hour in the hot water of my shower, an entire bottle of body wash, and a Brillo pad, I no longer smell like barbeque. Now it’s time for an at home mani-pedi, and face mask. Then I’m off to bed as I start school tomorrow. All in all it was a great trip. I’m glad I was able to spend quality time with my grandpa; it’s been too many years since that has happened. I enjoyed being outdoors, but I think it will be a while before choose to do it again.

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