There I was… laughing. Rico was a mummified unhappy camper, wrapped from head to toe in a weird combination of his busted sleeping bag, the dilapidated tent, and a small little throw blanket.
From his cocoon, he said, “I’m glad you can laugh.”
I knew he was in no mood to entertain my optimistic thoughts at the moment, so I suggested that we get the heck out of Assateague. He readily agreed.
After he kindly helped me get dressed and into my shoes so I could schlep across the sand to the toilet, he began the arduous task of hauling all of our camping gear back up the beach to the car/trailer in the parking lot.
Our kindly neighbor for the night, Shamus, meandered over and expressed his condolences about our now destroyed tent. He had given Rico a couple of beach camping tips the night before (something about the kind of tent stakes to use, but I wasn’t listening) and he reiterated those points again. We thanked him for his help and proceeded to try and wrangle what was left of our tent back into the bag from whence it came.
(I would have taken some pictures, but all of our devices were dead at that time)
After snapping at each other and at the poor, bedraggled pups, we finally got the tent secured, the stuff hauled to the car/trailer, and the dogs safely stashed in the car out of the wind and cold.
I took on the task of packing the Mini Cooper, and Rico tackled the trailer. However, somehow, our stuff had grown. We could not, for all the pushing, stuffing, and pulling, get our crap back into place. It wouldn’t fit.
We were both exhausted and pissed off and talking again about just quitting and heading to Texas. Curse words were flying freely from both of us, and the humor I had felt earlier was gone with the wind.
We switched tasks, and I attempted to get it all (and we have a lot of crap) back into that 4×8 trailer. It just wouldn’t fit. No matter how I rearranged it, there was no getting it all back in there.
I finally made an executive decision and tossed some things into the nearby dumpster. Towels, a stupid little fan I’ll probably miss a lot later when the weather turns warmer, and all the remaining copies of my book. That was the hardest part for me. That book represents ten years of my life, and I had over twenty copies I was planning on giving away. They went into the dumpster…
After that, we got the trailer closed and hit the road. We stopped at the first breakfast place we saw that had enough room for me to park the Mini and the trailer where I could just pull out (I can’t back the trailer very well yet). After we ate and charged our phones, we both felt a little better and began to try to formulate a new plan.
Suffice it to say, we’re not quitting… not yet. We will get through this, despite all the things Mother Nature hurls at us. We will learn, we will adapt, and we will eventually begin enjoying ourselves!