Charley and I began our road trip 3 days after I arrived in Colorado. I had to adjust to the massive leap in altitude and to get used to the new time zone. This was accoumpanied by much breathlessness and the complete inability to brush my teeth without stopping for a breather.
We decided that we would be camping mostly and would stay in a motel or hotel every few nights so we could have a proper shower, and a bed big enough to actually move around in.... Charley has adjusted his truck by adding a platform in the back, meaning that you can store all your stuff underneath it, and have a mattress on top. This means that you have about a foot and a bit of clearance in the back, so you cant quite sit up, but the roof isnt on your nose either. Ideal for rainy or cold places where we wouldnt want to be in a tent.
So, off we went. More gear and equipment was loaded into that truck than I have used before ever. We even took a makeshift kitchen sink. We headed up to a national park, the name of which completely eludes me. It was pretty, and mountainous, had elk, and then it started to rain. Not your usual rain. It didnt pour and stop. It didnt get heavier and lighter. It just slowly fell at exactly the same quantity, for hours. Repetitively. Constantly. Tapping. All day.
By the time we were ready to camp, we were a little tired of the whole rain thing. We took a few items out the back, settled into the 'shelf bed' and watched a film on the laptop. Shortly after it was finished it was about the right time to go to sleep, so we settled in and laid down our heads. To be fair, they didnt have far to go from our previous almost sitting position, but I felt there had to be a distinction for me to feel like I was going to bed.
I rested my eyes, and cuddled up nice a cozy, and slowed my breathing, and very suddenly realised that I am claustrophobic. Yes, indeed. Claustrophobic. The thought that I was going to wake up with the roof a foot above my head, the fact that I couldnt get out without sliding to the end of the 'bed', well, I started hyperventilating and was heading towards a full on panic attack, when Charley helped me out the truck and lit me a cigarrette. At this point we were standing in the constant rain. It hadnt changed, it was still steady and slowly soaking. Charley just stood there and stared at me for a few minutes. I think he might have been trying to decide if he should put me back on a plane and send me on my way.
I eventually got my breathing under control, with the aid of my beloved nicotine. Charley finally looked at me, and asked if I was going to be ok in the truck, or if I needed the tent. After several sobbing breaths (the sobbing being re-introduced thanks to my contemplation of a whole night in the truck) I said that I needed the tent.
So at 12:00 at night, in the constant drizzle and the freezing cold (it was below freezing at this point), my Knight erected a tent, placed the mattress and the bedding and all the little comfort things in there, and took me to bed with a cuddle.
It poured all of the next day too. The memory of that constant tapping is making me shudder even now.