Kelly Is Going Camping, or: The End.

This is goodbye.

No. Not really...OMG. I just pictured news of my death breaking. You're all in your pods, like in Wall-E, and my face is projected on CNN over the bio-dome for you, my loving minions family, to see. Kelly Bergin, blogger and failed writer, dead at 97. Underneath, it says: "Her last blog post was entitled How To Get Laid And PAAAAAIIIIIIIID In Your Nineties."

Yeah, I'm not going out with grace. (Or self-awareness.)

Anyway, this isn't my goodbye post...though after my upcoming trip, it very well could be.

Let's step back. Two weeks ago I found out I was awarded a VERY generous travel scholarship to go on a canoeing and camping trip in Colorado. I applied on a whim, at the advice of a friend. It's for young cancer survivors, post treatment. They fly me out there next week and we camp and float down the Colorado River for three nights.

Yes. Me. Kelly "The City" Bergin (new nickname, roll with it) camping. Paddling. Assembling tents. PEEING IN THE WOODS.

I have included a picture of the last time I attempted to camp. It was three summers ago and I never figured out how to put together my tent. Eventually, I made up some sort of ailment and went in the car to listen to Hanson.

But this time, I'll be surrounded by people way sicker than me!  I CAN'T FAKE SICKNESS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE IT TOO!

I just spoke with the generous woman who is putting the trip together. It was a semi-awkward conversation, due to the fact I have a lack of social skills and do not know when to shut up. As everything is a learning experience with me, I've included the following 'Don'ts' should you ever find yourself in this situation.


Mention you're not a morning person and so the later the (free) flight, the better.
Ask if there's cell phone service on the river.
Wonder aloud if an iPad is a good thing to pack.
Mention you sleep cuddling your computer and then let it slip that you call your computer Computie.
Ask if the male to female camper ratio is in my favor. (Ch-yeaaaa!)
Ask if your nickname on the trip can be Kelly "Dead Weight" Bergin

(I would not be surprised if my application is being reevaluated this very second.)

Yesterday I dragged Kristie (who is also known by me and others as Big Red, Ginger, Bread, Krusty, Chauffeur, Woman Bring Me French Toast!) along to go shopping with me. We went to Wal-Mart, where I found a children's guitar and chased Red around the store, singing "Shop for me, my minion!" before she threatened to drive away without me or my stuff.

We then hauled off to the camping store to get the rest of my gear. I was only in Eastern Mountain Sports for five minutes before I had a panic attack. That store is more terrifying than a Tennesse Wal-Mart after midnight.

Everyone there looked so...fit. They didn't look like they ate Easy Mac at 2 am or strained a muscle lifting a five pound weight the night before. They were beautiful and strong and BETTER THAN ME. And I was laying on a camp hammock (on sale now, guys) while Krusty shopped for the rest of my stuff.

As I lay there, wondering why I thought I could paddle down a river for TWO WHOLE DAYS IN THE SUN, I saw a camping knife for sale! You know, for...I don't know what you use them for. For camping stuff.

However, I figured if I saw a bear coming, I'll just pull out the knife and kill myself before he can get me. Smart, right?

I leave on Wednesday and I'm pretty much settled and have everything I need, though I did just insomni-shop and buy myself a battery pack and underwater case for my iPhone. (I. Need. iPhoney.)

I also got some advice on Twitter, which urged me not to bring a bra on the trip. So it's safe to say I won't be making any friends nor cancer love connections on this adventure.

But part of me is hoping that this trip will trigger my outdoorsy, non-cynical side, as I eat organic meals, hike and listen to Kumbuya played on an acoustic guitar around a campfire. (Wow, I wrote that without gagging.) They even have a luau themed dinner for one night, but if I hear Jimmy Buffet, I'm breaking out Bon Iver.

I suppose I'll have to do my best and hope that when I move to California in 46 days, I will be ready to embark on a healthier lifestyle.

Or not.

See, this is how I prefer to camp. Beer in hand.


  1. Oh Lord, we are praying for you...

  2. Do not call me your minion, ass! You'll make it down the river since the other people going are probably serious about it. When in doubt, just use that charm that makes me want to make you french toast and chicken noodle soup.

  3. They should have a camping trip, no, SPA trip for those who care for Kelly "The City" Bergin.

  4. I just did some googling after I stopped laughing and came upon something known as an "inflatable survival suit" (go straight to images). I think you should invest both for your upcoming trip and everyday life.

  5. So jealous of your trip!!

  6. Hilarious as always. Good luck out there.

  7. They will have beer, right? Sick people LOVE beer.

  8. I'm packing an emergency flask.