Next weekend I will embark upon an adventure with my husband, Mountain Man. You see, he typically goes "hunting" around this time of year - sometimes for elk or deer or, in this year's case, grouse. Because his big-game pursuits have yielded less than stellar results (for him, anyway....I tend to cheer for the game!) in previous years. And last year, snow foiled the plans and led to an early departure. So, this year he and his mountain man friends decided they would go grouse hunting in late September.
Mountain Man has taken to calling his hunting adventures "walking in the woods with a gun" because rarely is anything harmed. He enjoys the outdoors, gathering around the campfire, and spending days on end with no plumbing or electricity. I, myself, delight in WiFi and flushing toilets, so I have never joined him in this "hunt". But this year he has convinced me to jump on the bandwagon and spend four days in the great outdoors.
As a result, I have lost an inordinate amount of sleep worrying about the potty situation.
For the past decade or so, I've regularly risen at least once per night to use the bathroom. I stumble in the pitch-black to the familiar cubicle and do my business without worrying about mosquitos biting my bum, a bumbling bear interrupting my bathroom business, or tripping on a root and having a dirt snack. And I'd really like to keep it that way. So, the thought of trekking several hundred yards to the community pit toilet, carrying the TP and hand sanitizer with me so as to signal others that I'm the one using the items missing from the coffee can at the end of the trail, and squatting over a primitive toilet, gives me nightmares.
Mountain Man, bless his heart, has agreed to bring our portable potty seat (basically a camping chair with a hole in it and a velcro cover designed specifically for the purpose of pottying outdoors) and a pop-up cover so I can do my business in our own version of a vinyl outhouse. He says he will dig a deep hole under the camping chair. Which also gives me nightmares - we all know a great number of small animals enjoy living in holes. Maybe not ones with potty business in them, but still. He assures me this portable poop house will be near enough to the minivan that I won't have to trek far in the night, but also far enough away so any errant odors are contained (I plan to bring PooPourri).
We will sleep in our minivan and I've purchased a nifty camping pad with inflatable pillows with which we will make a cozy nest. Mountain Man planned to bring his entire primitive tent set-up but has since reconsidered due to space constraints. We will also need to bring sleeping bags, warm clothing, food for four days, and enough water to drink, wash and cook. I will need to bring many things to entertain me, as there is no WiFi, nor cell service (gasp!) and I may be spending long periods of time alone at the campsite as others go on their "hunts". Sure, I can join Mountain Man whilst trekking through the woods looking for tiny, innocent birds to ambush, but hunting isn't really my thing - I'd rather shoot pictures than bullets, so I will be exploring solo.
Which brings me to other dangers that keep me awake at night. Cougars, for one. Yes, it's extremely rare to even see, much less be attacked by, a cougar, but it's happened in our area twice just this summer so I'm planning to keep my eyes wide open. And perhaps carry a firearm. Also, the woods are the perfect place for crazed killers to prey. Who's to say I won't encounter a serial killer on the trails? Bears enjoy foraging for food in the woods, and I'll technically be in THEIR house so what are the chances one of them will give chase? Honestly, I'll probably just stay safely locked in the minivan, perhaps hiding under the covers in the back with the safety of the tinted windows.
Why am I even going on this trip? For one thing, I love road trips with Mountain Man and this trip takes us almost to Canada on the East side of the mountains so the adventure involves quite a drive. Second, he has promised me picturesque scenery and perhaps some fall foliage photo ops. We also plan to drive by a gorgeous lake I've always wanted to see. He expressed how much he's always wanted my company on one of these trips and I now have the flexibility in my job to join him. And I get to see a side of him I rarely get to witness - his interaction and involvement with his fellow mountain men.
It would be so easy to just say no. To stay home in my warm house and fritter away a weekend doing nothing or lots of things. But I'm all in. Even though I'm super anxious about the whole thing. Four days of no shower, an icky potty, no makeup, no WiFi, lots of alone time........it's enough to put me into a full-blown frenzy. But I aim to embrace it, to disconnect and see where it takes me.
Even though I'm losing sleep over it. To adventure!