|Pictured: Not J's car.|
This past weekend, we decided to field test the Element's camping prowess. It performed admirably in getting us down to Clifty Falls State Park (two and a half hours away, because we believe that sleeping outside necessitates being as close to Kentucky as possible).
The rear seats folded up, just as advertised, leaving a nice flat spot for two not-too-tall adults and a couple of kids to settle in for a long summer's nap.
However, J's assurance that sleeping on said Element floor would be "really comfortable" was not entirely true. (And by that, I mean it was a dirty dirty lie.)
We unrolled the camp mats, made a nest with several blankets, and attempted to climb in together. Therein we discovered our first problem. We may not be tall, but the fine engineers at Honda never considered the possibility of a family of four attempting to sleep on the floor of the Element.
As LO put it as we assumed several different sleeping positions in an attempt to find something comfortable for the vast majority of the campers, "it's quite squished in here."
Add in a restless BB (who, I must point out, was pretty much always comfortable because my increasingly numb limbs served as his pillow and bed), and it was not a super great night's sleep.
I am thankful that we at least did a trial lie-down before getting on the road. J had hoped to bring Obie, our 70 pound greyhound, with us. But despite the fact that I consider myself to be a pretty good Tetris player, it was clear after multiple attempts to fit four Birkens plus one Obie into the space allotted for our sleeping that there was no winning this particular round.
That said, I had a wonderful time camping. The campground had a well-appointed bathroom, fire pits at each campsite, and some lovely hiking trails. We made s'mores. I read a book outside. Lack of sleep no longer guarantees my lack of enjoyment of something, or else I would have been in a constant bad mood for nearly five years. (And no comments on that statement from the peanut gallery, thank you very much.)
Since we had such a good time, other than the sleeping arrangements, we are talking about buying a large and nicely appointed tent into which we can easily cram some air mattresses.
Since someone other than J has rated these sorts of accommodations as "really comfortable," I trust that they will be.
Next time, it won't be so "quite squished" is what I'm getting at.
Let's just hope the kids aren't planning on growing to be 6 feet tall anytime soon.