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06.28.2004 - 12:08 p.m.

Monday

For the last several years JB and I have been making the o-my-dear-god-so-VERY-long trek down to the Rogue River for the July 4 holiday, but this time around we are doing things…well, little. Yellow. Different. Like ibuprofen, but without the 2-(4-Isobutyl-phenyl)-propionic acid, you know?

Our plans include a 2-night backpacking trip in the Three Sisters wilderness area of Oregon, where, I fervently hope, neither us nor Dog will be 1) gnawed by cougars, 2) Blair-Witched, or 3) rain-soaked to the point of growing webbed toes. We hike in on Wednesday and theoretically emerge with limbs intact on Friday.

I haven’t been backpacking in quite a while, and aside from the massive personal filth and discomfort, mosquito attack, and overall ennui I am TOTALLY looking forward to it!

No really, I am.

Not.

I lie; weather permitting it should be wonderfully relaxing and fun and we are bringing Dog, who will go absolutely fucking bizonkers with joy at being off leash, not to mention LAKES which equals WATER which equals DOG NIRVANA, plus we’re so bringing a flask.

(Note: flask is not for Dog.)

JB has been beavering away madly the last couple days, applying his astounding Tetris skills to our backpacks, which must contain sleeping bags, Thermarests, clothes, food, our tent, assorted camp tools, and doy, S’mores ingredients.

We shopped at REI on Sunday for dried food and last minute odds and ends, and I picked up a very interesting bottle of soap. You’ve all heard of The Soap, right? The viral marketing success of the century, pimped by journallers far and wide? Well, I am here to tell you about a New Soap that goes by the brand of … *drum roll*….Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

First of all, I suggest you buy this shit for the packaging alone. ABSOLUTE CLEANLINESS IS GODLINESS, trumpets the label. ALL-ONE! EXCEPTIONS ETERNALLY? NONE!! ABSOLUTELY NONE!!!!!!

Multiple exclamation points typically indicate a tangible lack of quality in their described product, but in old Doc Bronner’s case, the labeling is more about his dubious spiritual beliefs than the actual soap, and lo, the soap rocketh. It smells nice - the peppermint and almond varieties do, anyway - and feels good, and apparently will not poison bodies of water, so it makes a good camping accessory. Assuming I can muster up the nads to jump in a freezing alpine lake, and all.

Last night I tried on my crammed-to-the-gills backpack, and nearly pitched forward and bashed my head into our coffee table. I felt like a turtle with a large sack of cement balanced on my shell. JB claims it's a fairly short hike into our camping area, and he'd better be right - otherwise keep your eyes peeled for the Northwest camper who had to be helicoptered out of the woods after being immobilized beneath their pack.

I don't know about you guys, but unlike the oft-quoted bear, I cannot shit in the woods. JB seems to take some primal pleasure out of crapping outdoors, as though the carefree ability to drop trou without those pesky toilets is something to relish. Me, I just can't do it, despite JB's coaching. "Try gripping a tree while you're squatting," he told me once with great authority. "Face uphill."

I'm certain if I were to be abandoned in a forest for long enough, I would eventually manage to offload some ballast, as it were. Truly, I'm not sure what I'm worried about - that I'll be doing my business and look up to find a deer snickering at me? That while hunkered in the most revealing of positions, a spaceship will descend into a pine-coated clearing and will beam photos of my ass to Pluto?

Yes, those things and more. Leave me to my neurosis, dammit.

(On a related subject, I found what has got to be the most ingeniously named petcare item EVER: the Oops...I Pooped dog bag. "Oops...I pooped!" Ha! Ha ha ha! Oops!)

After our woodland adventures, we're heading back over to JB's family cabin for a few days before finally returning next Monday. Hope you all have a wonderful week and a fun holiday!

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27 comments so far.

I have moved. - 1.03.2005
Obviously, a work in progress. - 12.27.2004
Happy holidays! - 12.24.2004
Listen, I am not a complete dick, it's not like I want Joe to die alone surrounded by cats or something. - 12.23.2004
Plus I am convinced my butt is extra big when it's upside down. - 12.22.2004

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