Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Bunch of Frozen Turkeys

Many years ago when I was oh, twelve or so, Dad thought it would be a fabulous idea to go camping on Thanksgiving. It sounded like a great plan actually. We'd grab the tents, head out to Kodachrome Basin with his extended family and have a Thanksgiving adventure in the outdoors. Complete with dutch oven Thanksgiving dinner, of course.

Truth be told I don't remember a whole lot about the trip. Except for the fact that we all almost died from exposure. Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was close.

You see, in November it is not uncommon to see snow. And sometimes it's also windy. On our camping trip we had both of those things. The day we got there we set up our tents and tried to explore the surrounding area. This is a little difficult to do when the only place to hike is up the side of a steep mountain on a trail the size of a walnut which is also soaked with snow and muddy and slippery. So instead we spent the evening melting our socks on the campfire, trying to keep the frostbite away.

That night was the worst night of my life. Mom and Dad were snuggled in their tent and my sisters and I were in another tent. We each had our own separate mummy bag in which it was simultaneously impossible to move and to keep warm. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if the zipper on our tent wasn't broken. It only zipped half-way down which meant that the snow was blown into our tent by the hurricane-like wind. I spent the night swapping between a suffocating airtight cocoon with my sleeping bag pulled over my head, and leaving the top of the bag open to breathe while my hair froze to my scalp.

The next day was Thanksgiving. Praise the Lord, at least we'll get some food. Somehow cooking a turkey and Thanksgiving meal in dutch ovens actually worked. I had to put my gloves on in between bites to keep my fingers from freezing off, but that was by far the most delicious Thanksgiving meal of my life.

As soon as we'd eaten everybody decided they'd had enough of cold weather camping and went home. I'm pretty sure the trip was cut short by at least a couple of days. While this was probably the worst Thanksgiving ever, it was also the most fun and memorable. Breaking tradition doesn't always work, but it sure makes things more interesting.


It's Me said...

You are right about being able to remember that Thanksgiving over an others! I don't remember the cold being too bad until that night when we went to bed. It was a terribly long, cold night, but I didn't realize that zipper was broken on the tent the snow/wind was coming in until the next morning. I do remember Mom and Dad said the next day that their tent was nice and cozy! I also remember after eating our Thanksgiving meal Dad asking if we wanted to stick around and explore. I felt so guilting wanting to go home, like I was proving what a wuss I was. Still didn't change my mind!

Rachel said...

Haha! That is a fabulous childhood memory.

Budsly said...

I think I sat so close to the fire, I almost burnt my shoes a couple of times! It was cold, it was memorable, it was a long night, and you're right, the best food I've every had.