At the outset, I'd like to acknowledge that this is a bit of a desperation post. I was in California most of the week (more on that in a second), I'm busy all day today and then Super Bowl shenanigans get underway. Suffice to say, the 52 Posts in 52 Weeks Challenge is hitting its first major obstacle, and that means its time to do what all great writers do under pressure -- pull something out of my ass and regroup next week.
This past week, I went to California, about 40 miles south of Half Moon Bay, for a working "retreat." I was informed well in advance that the chosen venue for this experience would be an "eco-resort." A week or so out, I decided to do a little research, and what I determined was that "eco-resort" meant "you'll have to walk to the bathroom." I also learned that the eco-resort in question was owned by the nice folks at KOA campgrounds, where I spent a lot of nights in less-than-sterile conditions as a young person. Suffice to say, I was troubled.
Now, as it turns out, the eco-resort in question was actually quite nice, and after I figured out that one could, in theory, pee off the back porch in the middle of the night, the fact that the outhouse...sorry, "comfort station," was located some distance away became less of a concern. Still, the experience gave me time to reflect on one of life's inarguable truths:
It just does. For years I said "I don't like camping," as if the problem with that activity stemmed somehow from my inability to enjoy it. Well, no more. Camping objectively sucks. It sucks the way canker sores suck. Some deviant minds may enjoy getting canker sores, but that doesn't make them suck any less. Ditto camping.
I love nature. I love the outdoors. I visit them every chance I get. But in this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why you can't visit nature, commune with the bears, swim in a stream, whittle, whatever, and then return in the evening to a comfy bed, in a climate-controlled room, with a functioning bathroom a few steps away.
In fact, I think making the affirmative choice to sleep on the dirt, in the elements, with only a nylon sheet to separate us from the bears and the howling wind, is the moral equivalent of pissing on the graves of our ancestors. Generations of people suffered, battled and innovated to claw their way out of the dark ages, developing indoor plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, orthopedic beds, and we want to jam our collective thumbs in their collective eyes by going back to sleeping on dirt?
Count me out.