I have slept out under the stars hundreds of times. When I was a child it was a briny bait box left in the lobstering neighbors back yard. Iridescent flakes of fish scales would catch in my hair and stick to my skin. Later, in throes of teenage angst it was dark caves off the coast of the DT Sheridan. The wind would whisper in the pines to lull me to dreamless sleep. In high school it was an exercise of survival. Here’s your tarp, your rope, your wilderness. Figure it out.
I have slept outside often enough. But, here’s the catch – never in a tent. Never in a store-bought, man-made, honest-to-goodness tent.
Kisa and I scored a tent by accident from a festival we didn’t go to, celebrating music we didn’t hear. We had somewhere else to be so we weren’t there. We weren’t listening. Friends came back with a muddy garbage bag explaining its worth. I didn’t believe them. Didn’t touch the bag. And so it sat. There in the basement for nearly six years. Still caked in mud. I began to refer to it as “Thing” in my head. When we moved, 16 months ago, Thing didn’t come with us. We left Thing behind thinking it was as worthless as the mud caked bag that wrapped it.
Until Maine. We are camping. Somewhere between hardcore and pampered. Not wilderness style with only a roll of biodegradable toilet paper and a gallon of bottled water and not RV style with electricity, running water and television. We won’t be spearing fish in the river or turning squirrels on a spit; we’ll eat out in real restaurants. We won’t rub two sticks together but we will have music. We won’t have a queen sized bed with sheets and giant pillows; we’ll have an air mattress. And. And, we will sleep in a tent. A brand new, instructions still included, all parts present, Quest tent. Go figure.
Monhegan might be cut short, so learning to like this camp stuff is the next best thing. Will I find my new island; my new home away from home? I’ll find out in this tent for two.