The turtle people are coming   22 comments





The turtle people are coming.  They are arriving en mass to partake in the annual ritual known as camping. I call them turtle people because they tow their houses, children, pets, cars, boats, and various other things, to places far and wide to commune with nature.


I often find myself trapped behind caravans of them as they travel the highways at a pace that can only be described as a meander. Good for them that they have nothing but time to cruise at the speed of a glacier ice melt. Not so good for me when I am stuck in a parade devoid of marching bands, clowns or balloons.


The thing that I don’t understand is the need or desire to live outdoors. I’ve camped before and, quite frankly, I can see why mankind chose to climb up the evolutionary ladder. I would also hazard a guess, and say, if Neanderthals could see us trying to devolve and be one with nature again they would probably be very confused. After all their hard work and sacrifice to better themselves! I’m pretty certain chasing the wooly mammoth and discovering fire was no day at the beach for them. Yet here we are thumbing our noses at convection ovens and flushing toilets and blatantly turning our backs on progress to embrace the same archaic behavior that made their entire species extinct. It’s a bit of puzzler.


The last time I went camping was the last time I’ll ever go camping. With only two weeks off a year, the very idea of spending it in the woods, devoid of any convenience is tantamount to torture.


How do I hate camping? Let me count the ways…


1. Waking up in the middle of the night and playing deal or no deal with your bladder because the very idea of using an outhouse that has been host to more asses than Parliament Hill is too horrifying to comprehend. This, of course, does not even begin to describe the odour that emanates from within and I’m pretty convinced it’s what Hell itself must smell like.


2. The bugs … do I really need to elaborate? Okay, I will. I generally look like I have small pox after one or two very passionate and committed mosquitoes have dined on my life’s blood all night long. The good news is that I now reek of sticky bug repellent, and the lineup for the community showers is longer than my last cue for a ride on Space Mountain.


3. Dirt. It’s everywhere in nature. Which is why I live indoors. I really have nothing more to say about that.


4. Cooking on a campfire is ridiculous. People have died for less. Nothing about camping is food safe. The whole idea should be prohibited by law. Roasting wieners on sticks until they are charred and caked with embers is carcinogenic … there is actual scientific research to back this up, and yet the turtle people dine on them with reckless abandon. If you take nothing else from this, please make a mental note that 1.6 people in North America die from choking on hot dogs every year. I’m not sure how the .6 person made the statistic or what .6 of a person would look like, but it’s obvious to me that wieners are not the fun food that Oscar Meyer makes them out to be.


4. The weather. I could be camping in a desert that has been devoid of moisture for the better part of forever, but if I pitch a tent it’s pretty well guaranteed that six inches of rain will fall overnight. The second to last time I was one with Mother Nature, she decided a simple rainstorm was a little generic … so she brought forth an actual tornado. Gotta love camping in central Alberta! Not.


So to all you turtle people I say this: go forth and convene with the vast uncharted wilderness, channel your inner caveperson and throw caution and convenience to the wind. I may not understand your customs nor wish to partake in them, but I applaud your spirit. If you ever want to find me on my vacation, however, I’ll be relaxing poolside at an all-inclusive resort sipping margaritas and basking in the afterglow of my morning at the spa. I like to believe it’s how the Neanderthals would have vacationed had they survived the climate change. So I guess in a way I do it for them.


22 responses to “The turtle people are coming

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  1. I love ‘turtle people’. Most appropriate. I’m with you regarding camping. I’ve been half-drowned, almost frozen to death because of the weather and have been eaten alive by pesky mosquitoes. No Deep Woods or any other spray exists that deters the pesky critters from dining on me.
    Alberta, you say? Hiya. Nice to meet another Canuck.

  2. Back in my younger days I used to enjoy camping out and communing with nature. But now that I am older and can afford to sleep in a comfy bed in temperature-controlled, relatively bug-free environment, I have abandoned communing with nature except when it comes to walking my dog. That’s enough communing for me.

  3. I am so laughing, at the title! Love it. Never would gave equated a Turtle to a camper. 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing, I too prefer less bugs.

  4. OMW Jany! I’m heading to Cochrane today and I know that I will behind turtle people! I’m so with you on camping. I used to love it, but then I had to live in a tent for 8 months while we helped by boyfriend’s (at the time) sister build a house just outside Kamloops some 20+ years ago. I haven’t camped since!
    Diana xo

  5. I have no trouble camping, communing with nature, etc but I told my husband that my tent needs to be a 40′ trailer with shower, stove and fridge! He’s smart enough to have stopped asking me to camp now!

  6. Isn’t it amazing that people, under the pretext of getting into nature, will place themselves in far closer proximity to other human beings that would be encountered in the tiniest apartment block? At least when we were bitten by that bug there were times when the nearest other human was probably fifty miles away.

  7. “The thing that I don’t understand is the need or desire to live outdoors.” I’m with you on this one. How do I hate camping? Let me count the ways… I’m going back to read and have myself a very good laugh 🙂

  8. Great post. My daughter was complaining last week that she’d never been camping. There’s a good reason for that! I like a bed and a loo nearby. 😀

    Rachel's Ramblings
  9. My husband and I are both camping haters and we raised two of our very own camping haters as well. However, I somehow still signed up to go camping with some friends this summer. My plan is to start drinking Thursday night and not quit until Sunday. This may hinder my ability to stay upright on our bike rides (the whole point of this excursion) but at least I “might” be able to sleep on the rock hard ground and if I get carried away by mosquitos or bears, I probably won’t even mind. Funny post – live the turtle reference. 🙂

  10. We went camping with our children, dog, and a good deal of household goods in a little pop-up camper from 1994 through 2003. We had a good time part of the time, but it was a lot of work. I wouldn’t trade it. I do like sitting around a campfire with lots of other people sitting around their campfires in lots around the campground. However, our little pop-up has been sitting in our garage for 10 years because our kids are no longer interested, and we have discovered vacation rentals (houses) near lakes are much more refreshing. Especially since they wash the towels, provide beds with clean linens, and we have a real kitchen. All the comforts of home in real home. 🙂

  11. “turtle people”?!” Hilarious!

    I feel you with the camping. The closest I’ve come was a cabin in the woods and even then I was ready to go. 🙂

  12. I gave up trying to persuade myself that I enjoy camping some time ago. I did like it when I was a kid, and my own kids seem to enjoy it too, but I leave it to their grandparents to take them once in a while. I think children tend to like it because they don’t have to do most of the hard work like pitching the damn tent in the rainy typhoon that inevitably sprints up from nowhere the moment you begin, then dismantling, cleaning and trying to dry out said tent at the end of the holiday, not to mention trying to force it back into a bag that’s demonstrably for too small for it. Then there’s the cooking and washing up, both of which are exponentially more difficult and time-consuming activities in the absence of the mod cons of home.

    And yes, the middle-of-the-night bladder battles are a pain. And in the UK climate, cold and rain are a given. Not fun.

  13. Good reasons all, but why do I still so enjoy being in the deep woods without a hundred people making noise? I’ve never been interested in camping, but we’re going to try it to save a few nights of lodging during a long trip this summer. I’m wishing myself good luck.

  14. This was hilarious! I almost choked on my drink when I got to the lethal hot dogs. Thanks for the laugh.

    • I’m pleased to hear that you survived your near death experience….sorry that my blog any part in causing you discomfort….thank you for reading and I’m glad it have you a giggle.

  15. I thoroughly agree with you! We live in a log home in the woods with a campfire pit in the back yard. And a cozy King-sized Sleep Number bed inside with air conditioning and hot water. When I go on vacation I want luxury!

  16. It’s sad but good to know that camping wherever you go in the world, is just as soul destroying. I totally empathise with the whole bladder/ toilet debacle. Oh, joyous. Deciding whether to attempt the 1/2 mile trek to the loos in the freezing darkness or peeing in a not so discreetly placed bucket in your (slightly) warmer tent. Decisions, decisions.


    Best wishes
    first time blogger uk

  17. I think I’m with you. I can take camping in small doses – say one or two nights – but then it hardly seems worth the effort of wrestling with the damn tent to get it up and down for that short a time (and for me camping means a tent – we don’t’ have a caravan). Good weather definitely helps – but you don’t want it too hot, because if the sun’s out for more than an hour then the temperature inside the tent starts to resemble the centre of a volcano in the Sahara. All in all, the best thing about camping is that it makes you truly appreciate all the comfort and convenience of home … but maybe there are easier ways of doing that …

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