We went camping at Wallowa Lake, OR this summer. What a beautiful place! Of course, it took forever to get there from Bend, but it was well worth the trip.
As is typical when we go camping, Beth and I slept in our sleeping bag atop an air mattress. This particular air mattress had been replaced several years ago because its predecessor started to leak right around the base of the circular baffles that join the top and the bottom of the air mattress together.
Well, apparently it was time for this air mattress to suffer the same structural defect. I awoke one morning to find my hip touching the ground and realized I would need to fix this situation if I wanted a good night’s sleep going forward.
In the past, I had been able to super-inflate the mattress and use soapy water to spot the leak. However, this leak was not cooperating — I would have to get more serious if I wanted to sleep well for the rest of the trip. So, I took the air mattress to the lake, figuring that if I submerged the mattress, it would yield its leak(s) in the form of air bubbles. After twenty minutes of pushing, prodding, and otherwise cajoling the mattress into giving up the secret location of the escaping air, I was defeated. I knew it was there, but I couldn’t find the leak.
I was resigned to several more nights of subpar sleep. I gave up.
What do you do when you are in a beautiful lake in the afternoon with an air mattress in front of you with the sun heading toward the horizon, much like your summer is sunsetting into autumn? You jump on your air mattress and soak up some of summer’s final rays — that’s what you do!
It was a split-second after I landed on the air mattress that the telltale WHOOSH from the leak exposed its location. I mapped the breach immediately by counting the x and y baffle “coordinates,” took the mattress back to camp, let it dry, and finally fixed the leak.
I slept just fine that night.