The Charlie Bravo Story

Sleeping with Charlie

11,000′ Marshall Pass, Colorado

Have you ever had something happen to you that was so unpleasant that your brain just conveniently forgot to remember it? Well, I have, and I am currently being reminded as to what it is. It’s been a while since I camped with Charlie, and I had forgotten what a total butthead she can be when it comes time to “share” a sleeping bag.

I can’t even get the dang thing unrolled before she’s in the tent and staking out her claim. Have you every tried to insert yourself into a nylon tube with a 70# bowling ball laying on top of it? No? Well, it’s vastly overrated, I can tell you that.

After much punching, thrashing, worming, and swearing, I finally get situated. I may have won the battle, but the war has just begun, as soon I feel a monstrous black nose beginning to poke it’s way into the bag. Into the bag I’m currently in. Into the bag that is made for one, not one and three quarters. But once she starts, stopping her is like halting a hairy black octopus or maybe a lava flow; she’s coming in.

And that wouldn’t be so bad if she would continue her oozing until she was down by my feet, but that’s not good enough. She has to be right beside me where we’re both the thickest. That causes the sleeping bag to stretch tight across my chest, which compresses the down until it loses all of its insulating qualities. But once she gets settled in, an Act of doG and a stick of dynamite won’t move her, so I just have to make the best of it.

Sleeping with Charlie is much like sitting on a hot stove; if you sit there long enough, you might as well just learn to like it; and don’t get me started on MacDuff…

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