Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Gone Camping

It's been so long since Mr. R&R and I have gone camping that I actually had to look back through my blog archives to see when the last time was (it was April 2013 if you're curious).  Fortunately Mr. R&R and I were able to take a few days off and remedy that!

We packed up on a Sunday afternoon and headed for our favorite state park - and our favorite campsite in that park.  Usually we go camping on weekends in much colder weather, so we really had no idea what to expect in terms of how many other campers would be around.  We were both hoping for 'not a lot' since we were both seeking peace and quiet - and we got our wish.  We set up our tent on the top level of our multi-level site to keep it away from campfire smoke and cooking smells - and to keep it in near-constant shade since the temperatures were predicted to soar into the upper 80's on Monday and Tuesday and neither of us wanted to sleep in a superheated sweatbox.

Tent. Sweet Tent.

After getting our tent all set up, we took a quick walk around the surrounding loops of campsites and confirmed that there were only a handful of other campers in the area.  YES!!!!  We filled up our water containers on the way back to our site and when we arrived, Mr. R&R set to work building a fire and I made a quick dinner (burgers and mashed potatoes).  Once our bellies were full, we plopped ourselves into our lounge chairs with our Kindles.  We also tried something we've never tried before while camping:

Now THAT's a juice box!
Our usual camping beverage of choice, besides water, is beer because it's easy to transport, keep cold, etc.  Move over beer...boxed wine just replaced you on camping trips!  There's about 3 glasses of wine in each little box and they're easy to re-cap, so there was no pressure to drink the whole thing in one go. And don't worry, the glasses are plastic, not actual glass!

We both slept surprisingly well (the temperatures were in the low 60's) and after a quick breakfast, we headed off to explore part of the Ice Age trail.

Follow the Yellow Blaze Trail
The trailhead was about a mile from our campsite and we almost missed it because the yellow blaze was nearly obliterated by the trees.  We headed North along the trail and were both instantly drenched in sweat from a combination of the rising temperatures and the hills.  The wooded section offered some relief from the heat, but had swarms of mosquitos.  The prairie sections were blessedly free of bugs, but it was so hot without tree cover that it left us almost looking forward to another bout with the mosquitos.

After a few miles, and questions about why we don't hike more, we turned around and found a side trail back to the campground. We both chugged lots of water and did our best to stay cool for the rest of the afternoon.  Finally, neither of us could take it any more.  We both made our way to the campground's shower building.  I'm not a fan of showering at campgrounds (or at gyms, pools, etc.), but between the sweat, bug spray, sunscreen, and campfire smell, it was worth it.  There's something to be said for camping in cool weather...where 3 of those factors really don't come into play!

Since Mr. R&R had built the previous night's fire (and all the fires on all of our previous trips), it was my turn to attempt to make a fire.  I always mean to try, but then it never ends up happening.  It took a little doing, but eventually I managed to make fire...

And Mr. R&R made this absolutely delicious dinner:

More wine and Kindle time ensued (I read 2 books and started a third over the course of the weekend) and eventually neither of us could keep our eyes open any more.

This morning we were awakened by some pissed off crows squawking overhead, but didn't mind too much because we'd both slept really well...again!  It was already pretty warm, so we skipped breakfast in favor of packing up and heading home.  All in all, it was a great trip and I really hope it's not another two years before we get out again.

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