I went into absolute crisis mode, barking orders like a general walking through artillery fire. “Get those bags in that tent! This tent is ruined, you’re sharing a tent with these guys now! Overturn those canoes and stow the food underneath for protection!”
Finally, one of the tents collapsed on poor Arwen, and Adam and I freed her.
“Help me drag the canoe on that tent! It’ll keep it from blowing away!” I yelled. It was my tent, and already destroyed so I might as well have let the Gods of Wind and Rain take it. Finally, all was as secure as possible, and I leapt into Graham’s tent.
We both looked at each other. And started laughing our asses off as the wind beat the side of the tent down on our heads.
Realizing we’d need to find out how long it would last, we tried to check out our weather apps on our phones but we were out of data range. I called Karen, who was at her bachelorette party. She picked up the phone, having already had quite the amount of alcohol. In fact, the amount we should have had had we not upset some pagan deity.
“No boys allowed!” She was yelling and laughing.
“WE ARE GOING TO DIE OUT HERE.”
The rain is due to pass within an hour. When it does, we survey our destroyed campsite. Our enthusiasm for doing anything but sitting by a fire had been extinguished. After a new fire was built with the dry wood we had been able to cover, we sat and slowly drank beer, talking. Adam fell asleep on Arwen, and was so tired he didn’t remember standing up without saying a word and walking into his tent to fall asleep midway through.
Slowly, we started to drift to our tents. Graham had an extra pair of pajama pants, luckily enough, as my dry clothes consisted of my t-shirt and swim shorts. He opened his sleeping bag like a blanket which was great, because it got down to 40 that night.
The next day we packed up and headed out, arriving back at the pick up point sore, tired, and sun burnt.
On the way home the guys apologized profusely about the weather. How they hadn’t known it would do that.
I told them to knock it off, because I really did love every minute of that trip. I always tell Karen when something goes wrong that, “At least we got a story out of it, eh?” She hates that, but this is the truth. I would do it again, and that tent lifting off or seeing that cooler float down the river are some of my fondest memories. I loved it so much we did it the next summer.
Not much changed.
Total casualties: my sleeping bag, tent, and tennis shoes.