Camping with Sexy Beast

Sexy Beast is back from the body shop after taking a vicious hit to the back quarter panel from a driver backing out without looking.  Very traumatic but she is now as gorgeous as ever and raring to take an adventure, so off we went to camp this weekend on the coast by the Olympic National Forest.

Sexy Beast goes camping

“This looks like the trail” my wilderness wannabe hubby boldly proclaimed as he proceeded to lead us into the dark forest as sunset approached on the very trail where cougars had been sighted earlier, a warning that folks smarter than us had heeded as we saw no one else on the trail.  However as the trail abruptly ended and we pondered our next step, I suddenly had a new appreciation for those hikers I had previously labelled as “stupid” who get lost in the wilderness and need to be rescued.  It can happen.  Did we pack water, snacks, bear repellant, etc. when we set out for our hike?  NOPE.  After we decided we weren’t on the “real” trail and instead had ventured down a game trail that the deer had made, we bushwhacked out with me growing ever more hysterical that we would not make it out alive.  Finally, sweat pouring off us as we jumped downed trees and scrambled out of the thick fern undergrowth, we emerged onto the road where not 20 feet away was the sign for the real trail, which I chose not to take back to our tent and instead we hiked back to our campsite by the roadway.  Sure, we could get hit by a car but at least we wouldn’t have a cougar rip our throats out.  Win.  Who knew camping was this fun?  Glad I bought that flask which I put to good use as soon as we got back to our tent.

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Drinking Cab from a flask..not elegant but works

My NYC born and bred husband has always been fascinated by the great outdoors.  We even lived on a mountain for a while in Idaho (his dream) and he got to camp to his heart content, hiking up into the mountains to fly fish on a regular basis.  By himself, of course.  I on the other hand, a Hoosier raised in the heartland of Indiana, have never embraced the camping culture.  Sure, I appreciate the great outdoors from afar but sleeping in a flimsy tent with strangers close by and animals wandering around who could select me for a tasty meal has never been attractive as a vacation alternative.  Roughing it for me is a 3 star hotel.  But love conquers all and Thom likes to camp so I thought we would give it a whirl.  Life is short and all.  So, I got a used tent from the company buy/sell site and picked up 2 sleeping bags at Goodwill, not wanting to invest a lot in what could be a one and done experience.  Getting an awesome camping site is quite difficult so when a guy was selling his reservation at work that he couldn’t use, I paid the $56 for 2 nights and considered it fate.  Time to camp!

Come to find out, that dirt forest floor is damn hard.  We had taken yoga mats to put under the sleeping bags (city folk) and no pillows as we had little space for supplies since we were driving Sexy Beast.  There would be no stove to cook food or make coffee.  Thank God we are not foodies as sandwiches were on our menu for the next two days.  Yes, people in the Salt Creek Campground on the Olympic coast were walking by our campsite staring at our teeny tiny car and wondering who would camp in such a vehicle, most of them driving the more sensible option of a Subaru or truck.  Not us!

The first night was rough needless to say ending in the morning with my pronouncement that we would either go pick up air mattresses and pillows in town or leave immediately.  Off to Wal-Mart we went to the monster big box, which I hate to patronize but desperate times call for desperate shopping.  Inflated and filling up the entire tiny tent, we slept so much better the second and final night-my max camping experience is limited to 2 nights.  One can only eat so many s’mores and take woodland hikes of terror.  Yes, it was mighty beautiful and we had a great time but I do appreciate my view apartment with indoor plumbing and our memory foam mattress even more now.

On the way home, we stopped at a lovely lavender field near Sequim and blared the Black Keys as we drove with the top down and enjoyed the sunshine.  Heaven!  One odd sight while we were still driving in the heavily forested area was the preponderance of Elk Crossing signs.  Now, I’ve seen lots of deer leaping signs but not many elk ones and after we saw a few, we actually came upon one that was flashing warning lights.  WTF!  Do the elk hit a magical forest button when they are approaching the highway so motorists will stop for them as they cross?  Is there a Kinect hooked up that scans their body type and sets off the alarm?  Really, I want to know what/who activates those flashing lights for the elk???  I will have to investigate and find out the story behind those flashing lights.  Someone has to know the woodland creature warning back story.

Now we are home and enjoying having James back from Madrid and the start of the Dem Convention.  Go Hillary!


Welcome to My Midlife Crisis

Oh hello Sexy Beast  Yes, that is the name I’m giving my Midlife Crisis and it materialized in the form of a sleek black BMW Z4 Roadster.   I haven’t even LIKED driving since the Subaru was totaled a few years ago.  And spending my hard-earned money impulsively when my motto is: Save ’till It Hurts?  No. Way.  Then my totally impractical and beautiful Sexy Beast appeared on the Sell/Buy company internal site and I was a goner.  SOLD!

And for those smart asses that might be thinking “She’s a little past the midlife stage” may I remind you that the women in my family live a very, very long life.  Grandma Hannah was 99 and still living on her own and my mom is kicking it strong at soon-to-be 91 so, yes, I’m still somewhat midlife right now.  In my mind.  Shut up.


Why a midlife crisis now?  Over the long winter months, I started a new job, which I love but, let’s face it, all new jobs are stressful.  Health issues challenged me from a freaky frozen shoulder that has lasted now almost a year and shingles on my head which, believe me, was just as awful as you would think that would be.  Getting old SUCKS.  Totally.  After years of not even knowing what my natural hair color was other than I knew I had skunk-like streaks of white (thanks Mom!) and dark (thanks Dad!), I ripped off the band aid so to speak after a strong Old Fashioned cocktail and took my still recovering head to the barber and told him to shave (#4) it off.  Every follicle on my head hurt from the shingles and there was absolutely no way I was going to layer toxic chemicals on top of it so off it went onto the floor and I’ll be going au natural from now on.   Ahhhh….relief.  After the initial shock, I’m now liking it.  I’ve been told it looks badass, sassy and fierce.  Yep, that’s me.  And-bonus-it only costs $10 for a buzz cut.  Now I can afford gas, a parking space and insurance.  Winning!Melinda [77532]

Now, let the fun begin.  The shoulder is slowly but surely unfreezing and the shingles, after two rounds of meds, have healed.  Time to hit the road and see the Pacific Northwest in our Sexy Beast!

In the three days we have owned SB, the weather has been amazing and we have visited new pockets of Seattle including the largest beach we have ever seen in Seattle just north of Ballard, Golden Gardens.  There were THOUSANDS of people there on a abnormally warm and sunny Monday evening.  Who knew?  I can’t wait to take Mia there and let her run in the sand.  Next night we roared around the curves in Magnolia admiring the fancy view homes and then swung downtown to walk Pier 66 where we happened upon the Clipper Round The World racing yachts.  The Danang Vietnam boat had just docked after 35 days at sea where they suffered severe damage.  We welcomed the crew gathered on the dock to Seattle and can’t wait to tour their boat when it opens to the public on Saturday.  WP_20160420_19_48_50_Pro 1

Next, it was off to Madison Park to watch the moon rise over the Eastside and chill with the geese on the beach.  Mia will enjoy the park there that is just made for 2-year olds with slides and swings galore.  Such great restaurants and bars there with lots of outdoor seating just made for warm summer nights.  The ride over Capital Hill to get there was fast and furious with Thom at the wheel.  I’m betting a speeding ticket is in his future.  He is loving this car and is so supportive of my midlife crisis, which is much easier to support when it includes a sporty two-seater.  YOLO!