Guys, I’m totally falling in love with camping. And I’m really sad my next opportunity isn’t until June.
Let me clarify, there are certain parts I’m not totally in love with:
The sheer amount of SHIT you need to bring to live on your own for two days. There’s the tent, the air matress, sheets and pillows, all the clothes, firewood, cooking stuff and utensils, all the water, beer, ice and food for two people for two days, chairs, entertainment, and gear for all the sports. We just BARELY had room for us in the Xterra. I’m sure we could somehow pare down but honestly, the only thing we didn’t use were the lake toys, and that’s only because it was cold.
The second night of the campfire when it’s kinda making you nauseous.
When the weather randomly decides that instead of the high 70s and sunny on the forecast, it’s going to be 60s with clouds and wind and rain, so you end up not being motivated to do as much cool stuff as you wanted. Also, once you get cold, it’s really hard to get warm when you can’t just turn up the heat.
For all the little hassles, there is one GREAT that makes me counting the days until we can go again. Camping clears my head and quiets my soul. It’s amazing how once you turn off your phone and realize that there’s no need to stress or hurry, because all you have planned this evening is cooking dinner and sitting by the fire. It’s like an all inclusive on an island somewhere, except much cheaper and easier to get to (albeit with less fruity drinks and ocean views, but still).
For all the things we bring, however, we have setup down to a 20 minute science. Friday was no exception. We got there around 5:15 and just after 5:30 we started exploring. We toured the campsite, found a super cool haunted bridge that lead to an awesome hiking trail, saw so many wildflowers, and also found the scariest bathroom with SO MANY BUGS. I’m so lucky I didn’t get any mosquito crotch nibbles.
The rest of Friday was for cooking hot dogs, drinking crappy beer and sipping Fireball, singing to Zliten’s drumming, and playing chupacabra dice. Super fun times. We went to bed a little after midnight.
Saturday just before dawn, a very loud owl came home from a night on the town and was all “hooooooo hoooooty hooooooo hoooo” on the tree right outside the tent. Between that and all the trucks rumbling by getting ready for fishing or driving people to the bathroom right next to our campsite, I was up earlier than I would have liked. I was FREEEEEEZING so I put on every warm article of clothing I owned and curled up and stayed in the tent while Zliten made us a badass breakfast in his new dutch oven – breakfast tacos with beans, garlic pepper bacon, and cheese.
Proof that we don’t actually melt…
We lounged and hammocked and read for a while while the weather osculated between OMG I’m going to storm and JUST KIDDING, I’m just a little cloudy and windy. Around noon, we decided fuck it, we don’t actually melt, and got dressed and on our bikes. The ride was pretty nice – only one asshole that cut the pass pretty close on the main country road to get to Granger Lake, and once we got to the dam, everyone drove nicely. Which was great, because it started raining pretty hard.
The scenery was nice, it felt good to ride a bike that doesn’t take so much effort to pedal, and I actually did a very slow careful unclip of only one foot and rest on the other at the turnaround, like a big kid non-scaredy cyclist. We stopped for a few minutes to take some pictures with our bikes in the flowers as dorky triathletes do… hey, no judgies, I need new blog header material!
It is definitely offseason, because 12 miles at around 15 mph average was totally enough. I’m starting to look forward to building that up again, and I have big plans to do a 30-40 mile ride around that lake sometime during training, but for now, I’ll be happy to be out of shape and happy.
My husband – hunter of the stick fish!
After we put the bikes away, we wolfed down some sandwiches and met up with Zliten’s dad to fish away the rest of the afternoon. I got one nibble about 6 minutes after casting my first line, but it got away. After that, the only thing we caught were stick-fish (that is, getting the line caught on debris in the water), and we got rained on quite a bit, but it was a nice mellow afternoon.
Chicken, taters, and salad was the order of the evening. I really do like how evenings are very SLOWWWW while camping. Once the sun goes down, there’s really nothing to do but cook dinner, stoke the fire, and relax. After singing the praises of our dutch oven once more, we tucked into our books and drank some punch (diet sprite, diet juice, and vodka watered down with lots of melty ice). I took a break to play some dice with myself while Zliten was still engrossed with his book – oddly enough, right hand won 20 rounds, left hand only won 13. Poor lefty.
Luckily the owl decided to stay somewhere else and it was nice and cloudy, so we slept like rocks until 9:30. Crazy! Zliten made us more badass breakfast tacos, we hung out a bit, and realized the weather wasn’t getting any better, and packed up and went home.
Unfortunately, Friday’s beautiful sunset did not foretell a sunny lake-filled weekend. But beautiful it was…
Lessons learned from this round of #goplayoutside for the weekend:
When it’s not summer it’s generally cold at night. Even if the weather seems nice, bring lots of comfy warm clothes (sweats, pajamas, leggings, etc) that you can layer up and potentially sleep in. Also, shoes besides running shoes and one pair of sandals would be nice.
Related: don’t worry about overpacking clothing while camping. Make your best guess, but realize you’ll PROBABLY get it wrong and end up wearing the same outfit for 2 days because it doesn’t matter. Campfire is stronger than BO anyway.
Campsite near the bathroom? Great. Closest campsite to the bathroom with a giant floodlight on a one way road where everyone has to drive past to leave the area? Not as great. We’ll choose more wisely next time.
The dutch oven is awesome and can cook just about anything. Next time, I’ll be a little more adventurous with our meal planning.
Do you enjoy camping, or, like my parents, do you call roughing it a hotel without an indoor pool?