Over the weekend, Alex and I, along with our friends Dave and Nicole, spent some time living it up in the great outdoors.
I love the sounds of camping. The murmur of voices drifting over the wind from surrounding campsites. Nylon flapping in the wind. The rustle of people sliding into sleeping bags. And the un-describable high pitched sound of zippers as people get in and out of their temporary weekend homes. There’s something magical about sitting at a picnic table in the early morning sun, listening as the sounds of the world waking up mingle with the chatter of busy birds long since risen.
Other than Burning Man, Alex and I have gone camping together only once. We went down to Joshua Tree National Park. It was so windy that weekend, that on the second night, we took the rain cover off our tent because the wind was slipping between the cover and the tent and attempting to lift it away. There was no rain in the forecast anyway. Of course, we woke up the next morning to the pitter patter of raindrops and soaked sleeping bags.
You’d think this is the kind of thing that would happen only once. That after an incident like this, we’d always keep the rain cover on no matter what. You’d be wrong.
When we arrived on Friday at our campsite and Alex unpacked the tents (I grabbed two out of our garage in case one was broken), neither of them had a raincover. Not a problem, we thought, since the weather has been hot and dry for weeks. But of course I woke up at 3 am to Nicole asking if we wanted to sleep in her car. Bewildered and half asleep, I screeched “Is it raining?!” All I had to do was reach down and touch my sleeping bag to find water pooling. Thankfully, we had an extra tarp so Alex covered the tent, we flipped our pillows over, and we were able to go back to sleep. Everything dried out while we hiked on Saturday, so all was well.
Before we move on to the hike on Saturday, I have to make a note about Friday’s dessert – s’mores with peanut butter. I’m not sure why it took me so long to think of it, but adding peanut butter and using excellent chococlate (in this case, Theo) brings s’mores to the next level. I gobbled mine so fast on Friday there were no pictures. But yesterday afternoon, I was hungry and there was just enough chocolate left for one s’more. I figured it was my duty to make it and take a photo.
Anyway, back to the trip. Saturday, we had a great breakfast of eggs, biscuits, and fruit to fuel the 10.5 mile hike we had planned.
Breakfast chefs at work!
Our hike took us through open fields, mossy trees, and rocky swimming holes. The first half of the hike was all downhill, which meant the second half was a pretty steady, and often times intense, uphill. I can definitely feel my calves today.
A precarious walk out for a photo op…
We replenished with wraps of sweet potato hummus, avocado and sprouts, plus grapes, trail mix, and potato chips. But no food can alleviate my sore calves today!
Plus a sip of wine to hydrate…
Yoga was definitely required when we got back – otherwise I’d be rocking some seriously sore hips right now.
Because it IS normally so dry, we weren’t allowed to have campfires, even in the fire rings. Cooking wasn’t a problem because we have a propane stove, but we didn’t have anything to keep us warm, and even with two layers on the bottom and six on top, I was still chilly. After a delicious dinner of tacos and corn, tomato, and avocado salad, we had the brilliant idea to move into the tent for dessert and cards. Best idea ever!
We stayed nice and dry the second night, and slept well thanks to the long hike. After a lazy breakfast of steel cut oats, we packed up and headed home where I proceeded to nap and read for three hours, and then hang out with the cats on the couch.
This weekend was a perfect vacation getaway that didn’t require too much advanced planning, and still left us with enough time to get home and do laundry and prep for the week. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a vacation only to have to hop right back into real life immediately. Plus, camping is about a bajillion times cheaper than most other vacations. I can’t wait for our next outdoor adventure!