Wednesday, January 11, 2006

RE: Camping

Ha ha! I didn't expect to get such a reaction from the mention of camping! This trip had originally been planned as an all-out camping thing, but time & weather caused us to stay in hotels a few nights. I absolutely LOVE camping! For me, it's an escape from the house, without the expense of a hotel! I don't have to wash dishes, make the bed, empty the litterbox, and etc, so it's like a mini-vacation I can take practically any time! And the best part is that all our camping gear (tent, air bed, stove, dishes) is packed up so all we have to do is load a few boxes in the truck, grab our blankets, pillows, personals, and food--and we're on our way! We have a few favorite spots to go, and the closest one (for those weekends when we just need to get away) is Lake Lowndes State Park.
Camping has always been a big part of my life--my mom picked it up from my grandparents, and we've had several family camping trips throughout the year, since as long as I can remember. Of course, as my parents have gotten older, I guess they can't handle "roughing it," so these days they're more likely to stay at some resort or hotel! :)
R's family didn't do much camping growing up, but he's very much an outdoorsy-type, and he was a Boy Scout, so it really fits into our personalities and lifestyle.
I guess I can take this time to describe some of our most memorable camping trips (a little break from the "Head West" series).
We've gone camping on short weekend trips. And, one time a tornado came through Starkville and a few nearby towns and power was out for the whole weekend, so we "escaped" it by camping! We've also taken several Spring Break camping trips. One year we drove all the way to St. Augustine, FL and camped on the beach! And, another time we down through Alabama to Pensacola, FL, staying at several state parks along the way. I know, whoop-tee-doo, Alabama, but did you know that there are some really awesome caverns through the state?!?! We even managed to get a private tour of this one...can't remember the name of the town it was by. We've camped with my family in New Mexico many times. My parents & grandparents favorite place is Heron Lake (or is it Lake Heron?). Anyways, it's just outside of this little town named Chama, and it's very nice there! And we even got my grandparents to camp with us (they're used to a nice camper) in Memphis, TN a few summers ago. Oh, boy, was that a CRAZY night! It was the middle of summer and the mosquitos were TERRIBLE!! We found out later that the park was right next to a swampy area of the Mississippi River!
I'm a very skilled camper, too. I can set up our tents (3), by myself, hungry, in the dark, in about 20 minutes! We've gotten more sophisticated with our camping, too. We started out with a small 2-person tent, a hand-me-down stove, and 2 decent sleeping bags. Now, our camping gear consists of a tent "village" (3 tents that connect--similiar to this one, but the middle tent is much bigger), air mattress with comforter and sheet set, special campstove dishes, and most importantly several heaters (electric & propane)!
As far as "roughing it" and getting my stuff "dirty," it's not a big deal. Most of the time, parks (I really do prefer state parks--oh, and KOA) have very nice facilities (toilets, showers, even washers & dryers) and very nice staff/rangers. The only time I don't really fully enjoy camping is when we find ourselves in PRIMITIVE. Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like: No facilities, no electricity, and a shared water source. But, I've done that many times, and always managed to survive, so like they say: What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger. (Just don't try to tell me that when we're stuck for a few days in primitive, and it's very, very hot--OH, I HATE camping when it's HOT--and it's that time of the month!! Yes, this too, has also happened to me!)

6 Comments:

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Mom P 's valuable input...

When I was a kid we stayed in a camp ground for months, even went to school from there got the bus outside the camp grounds.We grow up in camping Mom and Dad loved it.When I got married and had R and A there dad couldn't handle the heat so we didn't do the camping thing, but I always loved camping. The outside is always so relaxing.
Keep it up I love reading about your and R trip....It is like I am there with you both!!!
Love you both

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

I prefer primitive, otherwise it's not camping to me... But I've also never gone more than 3 days. Plus, I don't have all that fancy schmancy stuff. I don't even have poles for my tent! LOL! There is nothin like sitting around the camp fire, drinking a cold beer and knowing, you only have to stumble to your tent!

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger ccw 's valuable input...

I like to camp, but only for short periods of time. However, I much prefer a really nice hotel with a great staff.

 
At 10:00 AM, Anonymous judy w 's valuable input...

Mom P is right....we used to camp so much when we were kids! One year we were at the campgrounds and it was the Fourth of July and all these kids were running around like crazy banshees...just being wild and, of all th kids I could run into, I ran FACE FIRST into my SISTER! Broke her nose too! Anyway...I too love to camp. My favorite time is when it's warmish during the day and cuddly cool at night.

Loving the series!

 
At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Grandma M. 's valuable input...

The camping thing is the greatest experience you will always remember. We went on our first trip when Judy was only about l8 mo old and she got up in the middle of the night to go pottie and ended up in a strangers tent. We practiced setting our first tent (an 8 ft umbrella tent) in our living room so we didn't look so dumb when we went the first time. We ended up with a Turtle back camper a 12 ft Cabin tent and a screened Dining Fly so I called it my 3 room house. Keep building up your memories now because when you get older they ill really mean a lot to you.
Love to you
Grandma M.

 
At 8:19 PM, Anonymous MARS 's valuable input...

After reading serveral of your blogs... or is it one big blog, I have decided to make a point. I'm going to do some primitive camping within the next month and most important... I'm going to force myself into a raft and go rafting.

Love-MOM

 

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