Who pooped in the van?
Never ever is that a question you want to have to ask.
Do you remember that Dane Cook skit when someone sh*ts on the coats? It’s from a little while back. Okay, a ways back. Whatever. Just Google it. “I think someone may have sh*t on or around the coat area.” Remembered forever.
We were in a rental adventure van, bouncing along on a dusty washboarded road just east of the Sierra Nevadas. We had been scurrying about a field of granite boulders in search of arches. Which we found. But they are not highlight of this story. The poop isn’t the highlight of the story either. Well, maybe it is. It was, at the very least, a somewhat pivotal moment.
Herc hadn’t pooped in two and a half days. He has not-pooped on an adventure before, but usually just for a day. There I was in the middle of day three, exploring out beyond the popular areas, circling and circling and mumbling about poop. “C’mon Hercy, time to do some pooping. How about this bush? It looks perfect for backing your little booty into! No? What about this one? Yes, I know we passed it three times already and you peed on it twice, but I just need you to poop. I’ve seen you eat all of your kibbs, so I know you have stuff to deposit!” After an eternity -- rough estimate -- I aimed us for the van and wondered if there were any vets in Lone Pine. The leash caught on something. Ugh, what now?! I spun around to see Herc leaving a giant number two. Finally! I’ve never been so excited to see poop! “Herc you are such a good fella! I am so proud of you! Good boy! Good boy!!” We pranced back to the van and started our bumpy journey to basecamp.
Someone must have farted.
Really hounds? It’s only Friday and we’re in this van until Wednesday.
Cool Whip had the most smug look on her face. For once, she was the innocent one. Herc just looked out the window.
Back at basecamp I shook out the bedding, sprayed disinfectant everywhere, and aired out the van. Thankfully an easy clean up; I knew it could have been worse. Much, much worse. I cracked open a beer and settled into my camp chair. We were “home” and that made everything okay.
I was surprised how quickly I felt at home in our rental rig and location. One night for each was all it took to feel that cozy sense of belonging. Skipping down the sandy road to see our vibrant van seemingly pop out of nowhere amongst the rocks brought on an internal hug.
The locations I’d originally pinned on a map as potential basecamps were all occupied when we arrived. I, of course, panicked a bit. Had I not prepared properly? Had I grossly misjudged our options? What if I couldn’t find any parking spots? Unnecessary worrying. The more I explored, the better options I found. More seclusion. Better views. Nicer roads. Patience is key, Kris. This is what I must remember.
Our camp was tucked well into the boulders with a circular entryway so I’d never have to back in awkwardly. By parking in just the right spot, we could settle around the campfire with a bit of privacy. Which really meant the dogs would not get worked up by any vehicles that wandered through. Peaceful, calm, and undisturbed.
And surrounded by these magical, wonderful boulders bubbling out of the earth with rounded corners and gently creased folds. Surfaces textured just enough to grip your feet without roughing them up. An epic geological playground. Each day we scrambled over and meandered around these boulders, weaving in and out of the granite hallways. Never the same route twice; though we did find a few favorite destinations for the rising and setting of the sun. A welcoming coziness in this jumble of rocks.