A two day work week doesn't suck.

I could get used to this. Until the middle of October, I'm only in the office two days a week. I hope we get some great weather, because we plan on spending most of it in the woods and on the water.

Normally, when we go camping right after Labor Day, we never know what we'll find.

Well, let me rephrase that -- we know what we'll find will be disgusting, but we never know exactly what it will be. Sometimes it's piles of crap (human, dog, goose, etc.), sometimes it's used condoms, sometimes it's just a pile of empty beer cans or a pile of not-so-empty pampers.

I can see why you don't want to be packin' out the pamper poop, but why can't you carry out a can that weighs next to nothing empty when you carried it in full? And you have a canoe for god's sake. Take it with you. It makes me want to kill someone. Anyway, we've seen it all over the years.

Or we thought we had. This was entirely new:

Seriously, that's the nicest homemade pooper I've ever seen. Just sitting there in the woods. It was sanded smooth, polyurethaned, and stoutly bolted together. Someone clearly put some thought into this. I'm 99% sure most of that thought consisted of "I'm not walkin' all the way the eff up there."

I say this because there's an "official" state-sanctioned-and-installed pooper up the trail from the beach, not 500 yards from this one. Apparently that was too far to walk for the Labor Day crowd, because they brought their own and set it up within spitting distance of the campsite. Unfortunately, it was also within smelling distance. But, still. 'A' for effort on the construction. Solid 'F' for being a pack of lazy slobs.

I know it wasn't put here by the rangers because one, there was no hole. Well, on the top there was -- because otherwise it would have been a pretty bad design -- but underneath, no. It was just sitting there on flat ground, covering up a large mound of turds and paper. Secondly, it was only about 20 feet from the water, and any sudden downpour would have resulted in poop-slurry pouring directly into the lake. Rangers were not responsible for this. They'd have to clean it up, and they weren't going to like it, but they were not responsible for it.

Now lets talk about the wind. The wind never stopped. From the moment we put the canoe in the water to the moment the sun went down, the wind was blowing steadily at about 30mph. It was the sort of wind you'd normally associate with the jersey shore, except it was more like the jersey shore in November. It made it uncomfortable to sit and read, it made it hard to cook and made it a lot of work just to keep your canoe pointed in the direction you intended it to go. It was blowing hard enough that it was picking up sand from the beach and blowing it in our faces. It was not pleasant. It was not relaxing. The only good thing I can say about it is that it was blowing the pooper fumes away from us, so I never had to cover the box with a garbage bag or anything.

Something else happened too -- we think it may have been because of the wind, but a seaplane landed at the far end of the lake and then proceeded to take leisurely (and extremely loud) tour around the lake -- at about 4 knots. Normally this lake is very quiet, which is one of the reasons we go there. You might hear an outboard motor maybe once a day. I think they have a 3 hp limit on rowboats, but most of the people who use this place lean toward canoes and kayaks. Let me tell you -- a seaplane, even at trolling speed, is not a quiet machine. I kept asking my wife if she dared me to strip naked and strike a Bigfoot pose on the shore, but she wouldn't.

Because the water was so riled up from the wind, it was very silty. Because of this, it pissed off my water filter, which kept plugging up. It was taking me forever to get a liter of water. Unless you want to boil your life away, you have to filter your water because there are beaver dams nearby, and I'm sure the water contains more than its fair share of giardia cysts just biding their time.

We brought a small insulated bag cooler the first day, so by the second day, all those ziplock bags of ice were now ziplock bags of water. A short time later, we needed some water for cleaning something and had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: "Use some of the melted ice water in the bags."

My wife: "Good idea. We could use it for drinking too, if we have to."

Me: "Yeah, but it'll probably taste like freezer."

My wife, completely serious: "Well, that's gotta taste better than beaver."

OK, maybe it's funnier when you've been drinking Yukon Jack.

Sunset, September 13th


  1. Two things:

    1. That "taste better than beaver" statement is funny no matter where you are. Unless you have no sense of humor.

    2. I double-dog dare you to strip naked and strike a Bigfoot pose if that ever happens again.

  2. Well, I thought about leaving a comment before even reading just so I could be first, but shine is a douche! I'm with her though, I dare ya to strip naked. Hell, I'll pay your fine. Not your bail, the fine. I think just about EVERYTHING tastes better than beaver, but that's just me. Also, that poop thing looks like it was made by my kind of people. Lazy.

  3. They built a freeway five miles from my favorite inaccessible hiking park about ten years ago. Sometimes I really appreciate mortality.

  4. Depends on the beaver.

  5. Oh how I wish you'd have done the bigfoot pose...ahhhh, good stuff.
    Sorry about the wind- man that can screw up a nice kayak/canoe ride in a hurry!

  6. wait, when you camp, you aren't naked most of the time? either you're doing it wrong, or i have been doing it wrong for years

  7. Bigfoot and Beavers. Sounds like the name of a fetish flick.

  8. "strip naked and strike a Bigfoot pose on the shore"
    OH JV you're just too cool for school - I love it! :P

    And your wife is HILARIOUS. Did she even REALIZE the double entendre she was setting up? EEEEE!!!

    And the pooper? If you look at one of those in a magazine it usually has a 5gl BUCKET to catch the crap right? They left out the bucket? Gaag.

  9. Upstate Broad11:15 AM

    Hey, next September I want to go camping with you AND Jeff. I guess your wife can come too, if she wants.

  10. That brings a whole new meaning to the question "Does a bear poop in the woods?"

    The photo is beautiful. (the one of the lake and mountains, not the pooper.)

  11. Anonymous3:50 PM

    The official name for the "pooper" is the Thunder Box! I ran into these once when canoeing, although a hole had been dug and they were a safe distance away from the came site so you could do the duty in "private". Beats having to do the "tree lean" any day!

  12. the folks at the next cabin over brought their chainsaws with them last weekend. i swear they were clear-cutting their way to the next county.

    thank god i've never come across one of those lovely poopers. we've got the "unsanctioned dump sites", though. who bothers to lug a tractor tire five miles into the woods?

    oh, and the beaver comment - fucking hilarious even without the liquor.

  13. A view like that, along with 2 day work weeks, is totally worth wind, poop, planes, and a whole lot more. At least you didn't run into the boat race this year!

  14. Anonymous11:32 AM

    An oldie but a goodie...

    A bear and a white rabbit were taking a dump in the woods. The bear leans over and asks the rabbit, "Do you have trouble with shit sticking to your fur?" The rabbit replies, "No, I sure don't." So the bear picks the rabbit up and wipes his as with him.

  15. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Dude, you've gotta head out to the pristine Rocky Mountains where the only people who venture into the true middle of nowhere are those who respect it; where you can't bring any kind of motor or engine; and where you can go all weekend without seeing or hearing another human being.

  16. RE: your wife's comment

    Can you eat beaver?

  17. Well, it's not very nutritious...

  18. The pooper! OMG, I am laughing my ass off. What kind of moron. . . .oh, wait. The same kind of moron who take their babies to Wal-Mart at 3 in the morning.

  19. I thought for sure someone would make the comment that obviously needs to be said but since no one has, allow me...