Sara Lepp was awarded a Hometown Hero award last week at the North Dakota League of Cities Conference. Sara works with FirstLink in Fargo and was honored for her contribution during the flood. It was a well-deserved award. Sara is a special person.
Yesterday, Sara told me that in another week or so she will be going on a little camping trip with her boyfriend and friends – on an island – with no restrooms. An island and no restrooms – are they taping a new season of Survivor in the Midwest? As she tells it you have to boat out to the location and once there you “rough it” in earnest. So there she will be on the island with her little shovel and roll of toilet paper…seriously…on an island with no restrooms. And did I mention no curling iron either? Let me guess, there probably is no phone service either…oh my.
Well, all I can say is that Sara is definitely more rugged than I am. I cannot imagine ever seeking out such an experience. But then again, I am not even remotely interested in camping when amenities are involved (such as a camper or RV). In my world nature is a day trip.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have camped in my lifetime. 99% of that occurred though prior to becoming an adult. My dad camped us across the country in my youth – first in a tent, then in a trailer and then in a camper. I have done my share of camping…but I always had a restroom (even if it was a disgusting outhouse – it was designed for the purpose at hand and had a door). I found camping at its best to be an adventure and at worst to be an exercise in human endurance. The impression was forged early on – not rugged – not a camper.
I don’t need a four star hotel, but how about a cabin? I have visited nature and retreated to a nearby cabin when I was done communing with the creatures and the bugs. That was nice – not rugged, not a test of human endurance, just nice. I do not understand the urge to “rough it”- to be at one with nature, but I do note that lots of folks seem to really enjoy it. My children all enjoy camping despite their mother’s influence. Ruggedness must be a recessive gene that I passed on and was unaware of.
So plenty of folks really enjoy camping, it is noted (thank goodness I feel no need to follow the pack on this one). Camping is a huge industry. There are a hundred and one things you can buy to "rough it" (which seems somewhat incongruent to me, but who am I to question?). Some of the tents they sell these days are like hotel suites with rooms, cute windows and doors. They are quite appealing to visit in the store, but in my mind offer little protection from a bear or other equally powerful creature that would consider your $300 tent a roughage appetizer before their main meal – you. And yes I know that bear and human interaction are fairly remote in a camping scenario, but bug and human interaction are not…snake and human interaction are not. People, I am not rugged and I do not seek out creatures that want to bite or eat me. This behavior is the antithesis of a good time in my mind. Hence, I am not a camper – at all – period.
So, Sara Lepp, our own Hometown Hero, is going camping on an island with no restrooms and no curling irons…I can’t wait to hear about her trip upon her return. I may have to flush my toilet a few extra times while she is out “roughing it” as a homage to her ruggedness. She is one special person that Sara Lepp.
Day eighty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da