Whit is packing for a week-long trip to Colorado. He occasionally does these “guy trips,” which I call “Brokeback Mountain trips” (no, I have never seen the movie. Whit tells me that if I saw the movie I wouldn’t think that’s quite so funny, but as long as I can plead ignorance, I laugh).
Some of his trips actually sound like a lot of fun, but this is the one trip that would never intrigue me if I saw it in a travel brochure.
From what I understand, it’s a fishing/camping trip. That’s okay. Whit is very outdoorsy (he can put on a tux and waltz at a charity ball or poop in the woods. That’s either attractive or completely repellent; going on 17 years with him and I haven’t decided which). He loves skiing and hiking and he really loves to fish. Sometimes I’ll fish with him. One year we were going to be in Idaho around his birthday, and I bought him an afternoon of fly fishing. Turned out the deal was for two people, so I put on my waders and fished with him and the guide. I loved it. So fishing isn’t the deal-breaker.
Camping? I’ve done that, too. He has a huge air mattress and a ceiling fan/light attachment and I like s’mores, so camping’s not the killer, either.
But these are the things you need to know:
1. When I say it is a fishing/camping trip, I mean that’s all they’ll do. They will fish, and then they will camp out. In tents. Not hotels. Which is how I like to rough it.
2. He needed me to buy eco-friendly soap so he can...wait for it...”shower in the river.” Yup, you heard right. Gross.
3. He is spending a fortune to live like a homeless person. Seriously. Trade the Colorado sky for a city underpass, and it’s the same thing.
4. Rain is irrelevant to his enjoyment of this trip. So are bugs. He’s not worried about bears or snakes or spiders. He’s not worried about serial killers lurking in the woods. (You can tell whose worries we’re actually talking about here.)
5. THEY WON’T EAT FISH. Unless they buy salmon at the local A&P (can you picture a bunch of dirty and smelly homeless guys storming the deli? They’ll call in the S.W.A.T. team: “Screw the cleanup in aisle five, we’ve got escaped mental patients by the bread!”). Is this because Colorado is a catch-and-release state? Because they’re humane fishermen? No clue. But fishing all day and then eating steak for dinner is just dumb.
What’s the lure (get it?) of this trip? A chance to eat beef jerky and not have your wife dry heave next to you? A chance to see if leaves are as soft as Charmin? Or just a chance to sit around a campfire and drink beer and fart and lie about inane facts?
Those are the things I will ponder, stretched out in my soft and comfortable king-sized bed, alone. Maybe I won’t see the magnificent starscapes Whit will, and maybe I would have thought the Colorado River was worth the trouble. But at least I’ll have a refrigerator and a shower.
And, for God’s sake, a toilet.