“Anyone who loves the law or sausages should never watch either being made.”
That idiom came to mind this weekend as we became aware of the various parts of the pig that go into the Mexican version of chorizo, a highly seasoned ground or chopped sausage: lips, lymph nodes, salivary glands–you get the idea.
Typically, most people don’t want to know what goes into the final product, they only want to enjoy the result. Yet once you’ve been exposed to the truth, it’s hard to return to a time of unknowing.
Our love of Mexican chorizo has certainly been diminished by learning its ingredients. It’s best to not overthink it.
The same can be said of the camping life. Most people see the final result, without giving much thought to everything that goes into it: the process of hitching up, maintaining the rig, preparing the campsite, setting up the systems–all before a single cocktail is sipped or a ribeye steak is grilled. And then, to conclude our weekend, we do everything in reverse (but add in a few extras, like dumping our waste and cleaning our tanks).
Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of scouting, once said, “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.” Over time, this sentiment morphed into, “Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it,” but it’s more-or-less the same. If most people saw not only how our campsite is set up but everything that goes into cleaning it afterward, they’d likely opt out. There are no Insta hashtags to celebrate emptying black tanks.
Perhaps that’s why the camping life is best left to those who won’t shrink from hard work.
This weekend included long morning walks with the dogs, late afternoon visits with friends, and luxurious cocktail hours followed by evening meals. After all, it’s the results that matter.
We also took time to watch Brooklyn Bridge, a 1981 Ken Burns documentary based on “The Great Bridge,” David McCullough’s 1972 award-winning book about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, and “The Princess“, a new, unsparing look at the public life of Princess Diana in advance of the 25th anniversary of her death. We struggled to stay awake for the former and fought falling asleep for the latter. Clearly, we don’t go camping to watch television.