Is it bad that I love the man-made world so much?

I spent about four days last week up in the mountains, up at Camp Frontier.

While there is nothing particularly new about my camping, the nature of the camping and the location rather gave my system something of a shock.

You see, I had no paved roads. Several times I was quite frightened that my baby (a sweet, sangria red mica 2009 Mazda 6) would get stuck–and I really felt pain when it bottomed out three times. Like, I mean real pain. A tossing in my belly.

Know what else? At the camp, I had to . . . how do I put this delicately . . . defecate in a hole. One that did not include flushing afterward. I cannot describe the smell. Well, I might be able to, but then you probably wouldn’t want to return to this blog. Ever.

Furthermore, I had no hot running water–although thank the heavens we did have cold running water a short ways off, and at dinner time they did give us hand sanitizer. That made me feel somewhat better that perhaps I wouldn’t die from any number of diseases I might have picked up at the kybo.

And–get this. No heat. Yeah, I know, it’s late June, but up there it got pretty cold at night, and–get this–there was no way to stay warm except with my body heat and the sleeping back I slept in. I would like to say that I didn’t curl up into a fetal position, pull my hoody up over my head, nearly suffocate myself with the sleeping back, and whimper. But, I can’t say I didn’t. In fact, I did all of those things, and then I couldn’t move because my feet might extend to a part of the sleeping bag that wasn’t hot from my laying on it. Yeah, no extending my legs out. Every move was like dipping myself into freezing cold water. Holy cow.

And, know what else? No electricity. Yeah. I know, right? Downright abominable. My phone/camera RAN OUT OF BATTERIES. I cannot express the relief I felt when I had the opportunity to drive out to Evanston, WY, because it gave me a chance to re-charge the batteries with my car running.

Oh, and said phone/camera? Really it was only a /camera because there was no reception out there. How many times did I, out of sheer habit, pull the phone out of my pocket wondering why the devil I hadn’t heard from anyone in so long. Or, wanting to send a message to someone (usually my wife). Have you ever felt cut off? I mean, like you WANTED TO DIE, cut off? Scary.

Anyway, it really made me realize how fabricated is the world in which I live. All day, every day, I am surrounded by man-made things. Roads, screens, grocery stores, toilets–please, let’s not forget the toilets. How removed from the “real world” am I? How far removed from “things as they really are” am I? And why–oh why–do I love this fabricated world so much?

Well, that last one is easy to answer.

When you go camping–I mean real camping–what do you miss?

Ode to milk and cookies.

Today I ate some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Baked by my wife. She has a special talent for baking cookies. It’s something else.

As I stood there, leaning against the counter, just relishing it. I thought, “What is it that makes milk and cookies so fantastic?”

Well, I’ll tell you.

A warm cookie, fresh out of the oven, dissolving in my mouth. Sugary. Chocolately. A little of the crunch of baked oats, and the flavor that can only be described as “oatey.” Even a single bite brings thirst.

So I get a glass of milk. And how it washes over my tongue with chilling goodness is the perfect way to eliminate that thirst, the flavor of that cookie. One swallow. Two. Three, and I’m ready¬† to get thirsty again.

Wow. I just love milk and cookies. It may be my new favorite food.