My weekend was spent in the mountains. I grew up with trees and clean air in a tiny mountain town, so getting away from the city and back into nature always soothes me. The minute I get far enough past the tree line that I can smell the pine and hear the river, I am in heaven.
This blog is going to be long and full of the memories I want to hold onto. If you stick with me though, I promise that I will tell you a harrowing story or two in the end.
The purpose of the camping trip was to celebrate the thirtieth birthday of two friends, Brandi and Heidi. They share a birthday which I think is super cool. It was nice of them to give us such a great excuse to leave responsibility behind for a bit and enjoy the outdoors. The group of us that gathered was a fairly good sized group: Troy and Heidi (along with their dog Gus Gus), Russ and Bekah, Brandi, James and Ryan, Me, Andrea and Andy, and for a while on Saturday, Robyn, Jesse and Everett.
Andrea and I showed up last to the party. It was getting dark and we were putting together tents that we had borrowed from other people. It was challenging to say the least. We did manage to get them set up eventually though and joined the pretty spectacular tent city.
Morning one was spent building a fire and getting ready to go for a hike. All of us took a fairly leisurely walk through the woods and then on the way back to camp, a few of us broke off for a bit more of an actual hike. After climbing a hill and walking for a ways, we found that our trail was going to go off into a meadow in the blazing hot sun for a while, so at that point we split again. The less crazy of us headed back to sit around the fire and read, and James and Brandi kept going like the nutty outdoors people they are.
After the hike was completed, we all settled in for some games. As we were relaxing, the clouds started to roll in and we realized it was most likely going to rain. We covered the important things and put away books and such. During the storm, we all huddled around a tree like the responsible, smart, well-educated adults we apparently are not, and I learned that my hair turns spotty in the rain. The clouds spit water on us all afternoon and Brandi along with a few of the guys put up a shelter so we could all sit by the fire together and not get wet.
After the clouds passed, we walked down to the river and springs. It was gorgeous and looked hot. I passed on the swimming due to my wussy nature and not wanting to get into hot water in the less than cool weather. Post swimming, we ate a feast that nobody would believe was possible to create in a campground with only a fire pit, played some more games, and relaxed. Then we made copious amounts of smores out of various kinds of chocolate bars. We talked and laughed and watched the stars and finally went to bed.
Speaking of bed, it’s time for the harrowing stories I promised earlier.
Night one I crawled into my tent and discovered that the worst of small creatures had somehow come to rest within it. There, on the wall of the tent, was a sight that made my blood curdle and a shiver run down my spine. I wanted to run, I wanted to call out for help, but I did not want to wake my fellow campers who were already all nestled into their sleeping bags. I soon realized I would have to take care of the dreaded and offending intruder on my own. This moth, was going down! (Unless I passed out from fright first…) I grabbed a rock to nudge it with from the ground and turned on my flashlight. I held the flashlight outside the door of the tent, nudged the wicked insect with my rock, and prayed that the buggar would fly outside and follow the light. Luckily for me, it did. I quickly threw the rock back to the ground, turned the flashlight off, and closed the tent up tight.
Night two I fell asleep quickly. I was tired from a busy day. Around 3:30 am I was awakened by a noise outside my tent. Soon the noise grew louder and my heart started to thump erratically in my chest. The tent behind my head gave a little as the nose of some beast pushed into it and sniffed. I stopped breathing. It was a bear, I am sure. Of course, I was not foolish enough to open the door of the tent and peak out, but I could tell that whatever kind of animal it was, it was large. I imagined the enormous, hairy, blood-thirsty, fiend licking its chops; I prepared to scream. Luckily, it soon grew bored with nuzzling my shelter and lumbered off. Thankfully it decided that I did not smell tasty enough to eat.
Our final morning only consisted of taking down tents and packing up. It wasn’t much, but it was a good final few hours of friendship and fun.
Okay, that is the story of camping. It was very much relaxing and a good time and I am super glad I left the hustle and bustle of the thriving metropolis (snort) in which I live to experience a weekend of sleeping on the hard ground and eating lots of good food with amazing people that I get to call my friends.
Thanks to Brandi and James for the pictures! Only one maybe two are mine. I didn’t get the quality shots that they managed.