With our first camping trip since B was born planned for this weekend, E and I couldn’t help but reminisce about some of our other camping experiences and we came to the conclusion that it hasn’t really gone all that well for us. I like to say that I love camping, but maybe I’m just in love with the idea of camping? Or maybe the memories I have of camping with my dad when I was a kid, which we did often? I think part of me wants to give those memories to B as well, but another part of me is a little nervous about how this weekend will go. Will B be covered in bug bites by the time we get home? Will it rain the whole time we’re there? Will we get any sleep?
Will bears eat us?
The camping memories that E and I have are varied, though for some reason my brain is trying to convince me that they were a lot better. One of our favorites to recall is the time we drove three hours south to Alamosa to stay at the Great Sand Dunes. We drove up to the campground right next to the dunes which we discovered was free that weekend, and we were able to get the last camp site available. Score! We pulled in, go out of the car, opened the trunk and looked for the tent. And looked for the tent some more. And more. And realized, finally, after ripping the car apart (because, you know, a full-size, non-backpacking tent could’ve rolled under the seat of a Toyota Corolla), that we left the tent at home. So we started on the three-hour drive home and caught the tail-end of a car accident on the way, complete with dead body on the side of the road.
Another experience had us making a trip down near Cripple Creek with plans of cooking our brats over an open fire. We got there and discovered that campfires were banned in the county, so E rode into town to see if he could pick up a cheap camp stove for us while I stayed behind and did some reading for a Russian history class (actually that’s pretty much all I did that summer – 1400 pages per week for that class). He missed the only hardware store in town closing by 5 minutes, so he had to come back to get me and we ended up eating at one of the 5 million casinos in the town. That evening was followed by a very soggy night as it rained from sunset to about 3 am and our tent sprang a leak right over E’s head. In the middle of the night, I ran to the car in the pouring rain to get the extra groundcover we had thankfully brought and threw it over the top of the tent to at least stop the leak. But I spent the night imagining our little tent floating down the tiny creek that we had pitched it next to and we left pretty early in the morning.
A backpacking experience in the Maroon Bells/Snowmass area went wonderfully until we hit a pothole on the way home and had to drive the 100+ miles back to Denver at 35 miles per hour.
An experience during the summer before I got pregnant was at a National Forest Campground near Westcliffe, Colorado. We had reserved one of the walk-to sites which ended up being not really all that far away from the road. The site itself was slanted and the flattest spot available was on a fire ant nest. We were able to have a fire that night, which was nice, but I spent the night rolling into E due to the slanted nature of the land. We went on a short hike after breakfast the next day, came back and had lunch and drove into town for ice cream as it was about 6000 degrees outside. We came back and retreated to the tent during a brief afternoon rain, and while we laid in there, sweating and watching about five wasps buzz around between the rain fly and the top of our tent (it has a gap where they tend to get stuck), we decided to go home.
Our last experience was with friends, so it was made better in that alone. We intended on hiking Mount Sherman the next day and everything was going well until we got about 3/4s of the way to the peak and I just couldn’t go on. I had been having thyroid issues and I didn’t want to push myself to the point of passing out (as I had done once already that summer), so I chose to stay behind. E was very chivalrous and stayed with me while our friends made it to the peak. I felt bad for holding E back and I was angry at myself that I couldn’t make it as it’s one of the easiest fourteeners to hike. We made it back down and went our separate ways, with us going much slower as the roads were washboard and I imagined our car vibrating itself apart. An hour later, we had almost made it the 10.5 miles back to the highway when E realized he couldn’t find his wallet. So we drove all the way back to the campground (still washboard roads) only to discover that it was in his backpack in the back seat.
Hopefully this weekend is more successful. 🙂 It’s threatening to rain, so we’ll see if we’re even able to go.