I’m hustling the best I can to get everything done, packed away and in the car so we can go pick up Max from work and I can unveil the oh so secret surprise…The dogs are trying to eat the food I’m placing in the cooler, they are playing with the toys that I’ve packed and leaving the blankets I just folded in a weird disarray, holy hell this is a lot of work.
We load into the car and we go to Max’s work to pick him up – he’s excited to see the dogs (usually before I get a kiss, the dogs get 3 a piece) and happy it’s Friday – he had been talking about camping for quite some time and I had kept saying no because our house wasn’t in order and if there’s one thing you should know about be (I always write this before I unveil something real cunning and witty, but let’s cut the shit – there’s lots you should know about me) I HATE coming home to a dirty house – I don’t care if there is a spatula and 7 cups in the dishwasher – I will run it as I’m leaving so I don’t have to come home to filth. I’ve always been this way and always will **warning to my future children – mom will be the crazy lady doing laundry and vacuuming while dad’s trying to pack the car to go to the cabin.
I wanted to surprise him with this trip because I wanted to thank him for all he does for our small family – all the sacrifices he makes for us and yes all the hours he puts in at his cubicle he loves so much 🙂 I handed him a little thank you card that said the reasons why I appreciated him and all he does at the bottom it said we’re going camping – all inclusive and already planned…he didn’t get it because he goes, camping eh? uhm yeah hunny….”well are we going right now” well turn around and notice the entire back seat of our kia full to the brim with camping gear. We’re going, not stopping at home, I planned and packed everything. He was starting to get excited.
I planned for an hour and a half drive and it took a little longer due to all the other people that wanted to get into the mountains – totally fine since the drive was HEAVEN, I mean I’ve driven through the mountains before – but holy wow, these were mountains we were driving through. Took on a new appreciation and meaning in my world that day. In CO they have what is deemed “dispersed camping” basically what it means (loose definition here) is that you pack your crap in and you pack your crap out – leave no trace – go to the bathroom in a hole you shoveled yourself with a spade – no cell phone service – surrounded by nature – complete solitude. Sounds great right?…
We pull up to our “organized dispersed camping” “campgrounds” I put that all in quotes because in CO there is the honor system at most any pay station – they just urge you do the right thing. There was a $5 fee to camp there – ok we can swing that…well I apparently forgot to plan that part considering we paid in quarters dimes and nickels – yes could barely fit our envelope into the slot. We drive along and are excited to get the last camping spot left – at the very end of all the sites…we should’ve known why it probably wasn’t taken – 20 mph winds for 2 hours off and on throughout the night and a noisy blowing tent = not fun.
All in all we had an amazing time ended up only staying one night due to the fact that it storms very rapidly in the mountains – it will be sunshine and summer time and 5 minutes later, lightning and downpour – we weren’t sticking around for that business again, plus I was exhausted from no sleep and I needed some shut eye in my own bed. We drove back home and all was well with the world – we were both happy campers (no pun intended) and were glad we had the experience…
Here are a few things I would tell my former self (meaning last week self) if I could:
1. Pack dollar bills for the pay station
2. bring a legit lantern, not a rayovac flashlight the size of a basketball
3. Know how to set up a tent (max) and don’t hide the poles you don’t know where to put on the tent so I have to go searching for them to assemble the rain flap
4. Bring firewood – usually you could find it around you, but apparently they had wicked mudslides and EVERYTHING, I do mean everything, was wiped out – I felt like we were camping in a colder AZ.
5. Bring patience, if you don’t have it, tough – pack it
6. Plan food a little more accordingly with daylight (I LOVE cooking on campfires…but it’s effing tricky in pitch black with only the “assistance light” on your Samsung Galaxy.
7. Bring your dogs ear plugs so they won’t wake you up every 5 minutes barking at…the wind
8. bring an air mattress…that stays inflated
9. Don’t steal firewood from someones private property when you go looking for some alone while your husband sets up the tent at our camp because the sun is about to go down and you feel bad you left him there in the cold with the dogs with no fire…whoops
10. Watch for cows, bears, and deer – these were all LITERALLY loitering the road ways
11. Make friends with your neighbors before you drive 25 minutes to find some measly firewood when you get back and they send you back to the EXACT same place you just were because there’s “this guy that looks like a hippie that sells a whole bunch of wood for $5” (he was from new ulm MN – small world)
12. Pack your sense of humor because throughout all the struggle fests we had, we laughed. We probably woke up 10 times throughout the night one of them including a drunk girl being brought around to what she thought was “her campsite and her car” by the kind park patrol officers who were greeted with my troll like appearance at 3 am – then I kindly say “no this isn’t the drunk ladys campsite, we don’t know her and don’t know where she came from – and before you let her break into that kia, that’s not hers either.” they laughed an were on their way. We lay down – and laugh, we opened all the tent flaps and watched the beautiful night sky stars that were crystal clear and the shooting stars the night before the meteor shower looked like a meteor shower in and of themselves up there.
Here’s some visuals from our experience, Enjoy.
The morning view – not bad.
Oh well doesn’t that look comfy (I don’t know what it is about being a dog owner but after all the hours our girls put in to piss us off and annoy the living daylights out of us, there’s some redeeming quality and aspect to watching them become uncomfortable and annoyed)