From: "Ryan and Jenny Manz"
To: strange@cyber-adv.com
Date sent: Sat, 3 Aug 1996

This story takes place the first time that I went camping. I was 14 at the time and went camping with my mother and sister (age 10). We camped at a private campground near Traverse City, Mi, I don't recall the name. None of us had ever done this before, and my mom isn't very outdoor oriented, or at least she never use to be. Anyway, we borrowed an old, heavy canvas tent, screen house, camp stove, and coleman lantern. Setting up the tent went easily, since mom and I had practiced a few times before this at home. We had to borrow grandmas car, because mom never packs light.

Our first night started comfortably, until about 2 a.m. when we were awoke by a thunderstorm. My sister, the chicken that she is, wanted all of us to go to the car. Afraid that she'll touch the sides of the tent and start a leak, so we said okay. We ran to the car, parked under a pine tree, jumped in and slept terribly, and cramped in a Buick Skyhawk. Come morning, we left the car, my sister hit the power locks, and promptly locked the keys in the car! Lets just say we were not happy with her. Mom called the local lock smith, who charged an arm and a leg, and got the car unlocked.

Time to take a shower, well my sister went first, mom and I waited just outside the shower door. It was one big room. Just outside the shower door, on the wall was a HUGE slug! Gross, and we quickly flipped it into the wastebasket. (To this day we still have never said anything to my sister about this.)

The rain rarely let up, and the next night it rained, but we didn't go to the car. Instead, we listened to my sister whine all night.

Upon our return home we noticed the car covered in sap. From the pine tree that we parked under.

Although our first camping expierience wasn't the greatest, we have camped every year since. Some years very rustic, others a little more luxurious, if you can call tenting that. But we will always laugh about the first time the Stephan women went into the woods.

Jennifer Manz
Bay City, MI

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