Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sleeping bags, continued.

After I told dad my sleeping bag story, he one-upped me with his own.

"I drove up to Kisatchie to test out my bike fully loaded for the first time. I got up there in the afternoon, made sure that I had everything in the saddlebags, and rode for about 30 miles until I had found a camping spot.

I got there as it was starting to get dark--this was in February--so I got my stove out and made some supper. After I finished eating, I cleaned up and went to set up my tent. Now I had really packed everything, but I forgot my sleeping bag.

Its starting to get cold, like 30 degrees. Ok maybe forty, but that's still really cold. I thought to myself, 'Oh God, am I going to have to ride back tonight?' I decided not to and put on all my layers and tried to sleep. It was really cold. Then I remembered something Dr. Tate had told me years ago about when he used to camp in Tennessee. When it was cold, he would gather leaves and place them on top of himself to stay warm.

I got up and made a big pile of leaves. Then I tried to scoot the leaves on top of me, but its harder to do than you would think. Maybe if there had been another person to help, it would have worked.

So I thought, ok, how can I really get the leaves on top of me? I had brought a tarp along, so I put all the leaves on the tarp, and pulled the tarp on top of me. That worked at first, but then I found that if I moved at all, the leaves would all slide off of me, which of course, all of them did.

What else could I do? Now I had really brought everything with me, including a mosquito net. It took me about 3 hours to work up the energy to get myself up, but I finally did, and wrapped up the leaves in the net. This method worked the best by far. I really don't know how Dr. Tate did it."

While I put this story in quotation marks, I did so merely to convey that dad told me this story, not that these are the words that he used (although I tried my best to remember it verbatim!). However, this all occurred last weekend at Festival International and we had been sitting at Pamplona's bar for quite awhile drinking cava and capirinhas for mom's birthday. I hope you laughed at least once while reading this story because I was incapacitated with spasms when dad told it to me.


  1. Katie- write a book. Really! You are a wonderful story teller.
    xo cynthia

  2. Funny. It must be a Tutwiler tradition. While working at Cheley, I was an outcamping counselor for 11-13 year old kids. We took kids out for up to 3 nights, and on one of those trips, I was so caught up in making sure all of the kids had the right gear that I forgot my own sleeping bad. It was in Colorado, and it was FREEZING. When I realized my predicament, I ended up putting on all my clothes & getting into a trash bag. (I did think briefly about cuddling up to a kid, but then I thought that was probably a "no no.") Needless to say, it didn't keep me very warm at all & condensation actually collected on the inside of the trash bag, so I ended up cold AND wet. I finally got up & started a fire, but it took me a couple of miserable hours before I finally convinced my self to just get up! Luckily, we weren't too far away from camp, so I was able to hike back in the morning & get my sleeping bag for the second night.