Brittany Davenport (Reggie Beehner)

By Brittany Davenport

I had never been camping. I was excited; a romantic weekend camping with my boyfriend in the great outdoors and getting to see the mysterious Moonbow. The trip had been planned for months. We were to leave on a Saturday morning for Cumberland Falls. Check-in was at 2 p.m. so we’d take a look around the park, hike a few trails, take a dip in the pool, grab a bite to eat and just explore the natural beauty. Oh, how I couldn’t wait. On Thursday, our initial plans to borrow a tent from a friend had been canceled due to the fact my boyfriend said he had one at home. To my surprise, no one seems to know where the tent is once we make it to his house.

Still at his house, I’m thinking we’re going to get up early on Saturday to stop by Wal-Mart, pick up a tent, some s’mores ingredients, you know, what I thought were the essential camping materials.

No, not quite. Still not on our way, around 4 p.m. on Saturday, my boyfriend starts feeling under the weather. In need of a nap we stop by campus.

A five-hour power nap later, we’re still on campus. Boyfriend now has a temperature. So, at this point I’m ready to call off the trip, but no. He insists he’ll feel better on Sunday and we’ll take the trip.

Reservations for the trip were $24 for two nights. We’re already out the first night, so I’m thinking it’s too late to cancel to get any kind of refund even though when I tried to cancel in time, Boyfriend wouldn’t let me.

Still a bit down and out, we head to Corbin on Sunday around 1:30 p.m. Still no tent, here I am thinking we’re going to stop at Wal-Mart on our way out to pick up said essential supplies for camping. But no.

Boyfriend said we would stop at a Wal-Mart closer to the park. Forty-some-odd miles later, we still haven’t stopped at a Wal-Mart. Pressing on and still feeling ill, he drives straight to the park.

I suggest we spend the afternoon at the park, but not camp and just drive home or stay at the resort, (it looked really cool) seeing as how he’s still sick and feeble. He says we’ll camp. I remind him ever so pleasantly of the absence of a tent. His response? His military sleeping bag would do. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice sleeping bag. But seriously?

Nearly ten minutes before the camper’s registration building closes, we pull in. The park guy tells us to go ahead and set up. Lovely Boyfriend chuckled and said, “I’ll go set up, babe.”

With a glare from me and a weird look from park guy, we get in the car, and, by this time, I’ve accepted the fact that my romantic camping trip is a camping trip from Hell.

As I realize this, and begin to ever so lightly choke boyfriend, the park guy walks out, asks what’s so funny because I’m hysterically laughing in disbelief, and I tell him how Boyfriend forgot to get us a tent.

“Well, you know what I’d do?” the park guy said, “I’d get that one that someone threw away last night out of the dumpster, there’s nothing wrong with it, just a broke pole!”

Now if anything is for certain about my boyfriend, he’s cheap. So, this was right up his alley. And sure enough, we drove his silver four-door car to the dumpster where we proceeded to dive into the apple cores and empty cans and pull what seemed like a two-person tent out of the right door. All the while, passerbys watched in what I know was disgust and disbelief as shame overtook me.

Looking back, it really wasn’t as bad you might think. OK, it wasn’t ohh-la-la, this is the most romantic thing a guy has ever done, oh baby oh. Not to say it was the worse trip of my life either.

To be honest, I have never had so much fun with trash, a tent and nature. Now, the fact that when I woke up in the middle of the night in our dumpster-loving tent to only find Boyfriend had left me and went to the car, that’s a different story.I think I still secretly put him in the doghouse for that one.

All in all, my planned romantic getaway wasn’t a marriage proposal or a walk in the park, but it was fun.

We laughed, I cried, and I came home with a memory I’ll never forget and a boyfriend who made it all worthwhile, banana peels, a trashy smell and a new tent to boot.