|I've recently returned from a work trip up near Mt. Rainier National Park. It's my third time on the much fabled excusion (previously posted about here). When people ask about it, I have a hard time explaining it. There's the work side of it: lots of hours landscaping, manicuring, building, maintaining, and restoring the grounds of a nice mountain escape property. That's straight forward enough. But it doesn't even come close to capturing the feel. For that, I came up with the term Dude Camp.
Though not exclusively (Della was there for a few days last year), it is mostly dudes that make the trek to work the long hours in often inclement conditions*. As such, there is a very dude-y feel. Free time activities include playing poker, watching action movies, snoring, throwing horseshoes, and eating a lot. The dude food is a topic unto itself: steaks, beer, hamburgers, tequila, bacon, bourbon, brats, and more snacks than you could shake a Slim Jim® Meat Stick at. And I don't mean to imply that it's not awesome, because it is. Aside from the fact that I gain 7+ lbs in the 10 or so days, I'm in hog heaven.
This year's work projects included replacing an aging water feature with a very nice oriental inspired one. It was quite a bit less work than installing last year's basalt pentagon fountain. My project was extending the trail system that I worked on 3 years ago. The new sections complete a loop around the property that I mapped using GPS on my not-a-phone. I'll clean up the readings into a fancy trail map that we'll give to them. Good times.
Yes, I'd say Dude Camp was a success: jobs completed, fun had, and some money earned. If only all jobs included a once-a-day horseshoes break...