Graduation was behind us, and the next milestone approached: I was a few days away from leaving for college. James and Robin, both headed school in California, still had about a month of summer left, but we all together needed one last hoorah.
We decided to go camping. We met one night at Swenson's and, over ice cream, made a list of what to bring and who would bring it. James said he'd bring spices. I wrote it down on my little pad in big letters: SPICES.
We took food and water for a couple of days, sleeping bags, a CD player to plug into the tape deck. James did not bring spices, that lazy bastard. We packed everything into my parents' VW camper and drove up to Jemez Falls, stopping in Bernalillo at the KFC on the way to pick up our first night's dinner. It thunderstormed like hell that night. We listened to the first Smashing Pumpkins album, Pearl Jam's Ten, some Pink Floyd. We talked late into the night.
Because we were so excellent at camping, we'd also brought with us a couple of sets of golf clubs. (James played lefty, so one set wouldn't do.) The next day we took little whiffle golf balls and played on the forest floor. "Okay, next hole," one of us would announce. "That stump between the two big Ponderosas. Par four." The fairways were rather bare, but we adjudged it an enjoyable course.
(These are the things you may not always remember, but you will never, ever forget.)