Monday, September 3, 2012

Back to Basics

I'm curled up at my cozy desk this morning thinking about last weekend and how perfect it was.  I've officially had two full time jobs for a month, which explains my urgency in getting out in the woods for a few days.  Eric and I are doing a great job transitioning through this new phase of me not being home 6-7 nights a week every other week but I knew as of last weekend we'd had enough.  We needed some time together without the distractions of laundry, yard work, and errand running.

So, off to the woods we went!  A few years ago we found a fantastic campsite among the redwoods in Sierra National Forest.  It's a half hour drive from Oakhurst, CA which is a cute little town full of antique shops and cafe's.  Perfect.

We live in the Central Valley of California and the temperatures hover around 110 this time of year.  Eric's job includes commuting to the Bay Area several days a week as well as working in non-air conditioned buildings where contruction a-plenty is happening.  Which requires a hard hat.  And steel-toed boots.  You can imagine his glee when I suggested we spend two days outdoors with little to no protection from the elements.  *snicker*

In true Eric fashion he rallied immediately and helped me fill our truck bed with two days worth of necessities when living in the woods.

We arrived Friday afternoon and had our camp set up in less than an hour.  I packed light in the hopes that set up and clean up would be quick and painless.  We got a great site right next to the creek surrounded by huge redwoods.  The perfect ratio of sun to shade.  Here's a peek at our digs:

   The view from our fire pit and picnic table. We heard water trickling through this creek all day and night.  *sigh*

     Our camp chairs, cooler, and tent.  The tent was close enough to the creek to hear the water in the creek at night..  

Wicket trying to decide if we're crazy for dragging her from the comfort of A/C and cozy dog beds every few feet to sleep and play in the dirt.  She came around eventually.  

Camping essentials.  Cold beer and citronella candles for those of us who are prone to getting eaten alive by skeeters.  

Saturday night's feast.  Yummy steaks that marinated all day in beer and seasonings, biscuits, baked potatoes, and salad.  Doesn't dinner always taste better while you're camping?  

Candle light dinner, outdoors, next to a creek, at dusk.  Yes, please!

Clean plates all around.  Naturally.  

Since we left the tent fly off we fell asleep under the stars and woke up to this every morning.  It was just as amazing as it sounds folks.  I highly recommend losing the tent fly if weather permits.  It made all the difference.  

My biggest recommendation when camping is to have a comfortable bed.  Our friend Claire let us borrow her big cushy sleeping mats and we have the BEST sleeping bags we got from my father and step-mother as a wedding gift.  I slept like a dream, Eric...meh.  It was as comfortable as it could be in a tent and he soldiered through the stiffness every morning like a champion.  I could definitely get used to this though, so I hope he comes around.  *fingers crossed*

We had a great time sitting around the campfire catching up, making plans, and making each other laugh.  Speaking of laughing, the first night we were there it had gotten pretty late and I was making myself a s'more.  The campground had gotten quiet and folks were tucked in, and while assembling said s'more felt something sticky on my leg.  Since it was dark as pitch, I assumed it was a rogue marshmallow that I dropped on my knee.  I picked at it for a few seconds but couldn't get it off.  THEN I REALIZED IT WAS A HUGE GRASSHOPPER THE SIZE OF A PTERODACTYL.  Not kidding.  It looked huge, and prehistoric, and I screamed bloody murder.  See the image below for reference.  It was ridiculous.  The bug and the screaming.  

 I apologized to our neighbors the next morning who were gracious enough to say they hadn't heard a thing (they were in a primo travel trailer) and laughed at my description of the creature that befell me that evening.  Then they let us borrow forks for our steak dinner.  Camping + Neighbors With  A Sense Of Humor And Cutlery = Good Times. 

Wicket was a trooper this weekend too.  Sissy-La-La has become accustomed to her lifestyle that includes dirt free water, cushions and blankets every few feet, and a choice of indoor/outdoor napping.  She powered through after the first few hours and came home as dirty and happy as we did.  I'll leave you with the images below.  She was obviously named after her resemblance to a certain Ewok from Star Wars, but just for fun here is a comparison.  All she was missing was her headdress (she actually has one!) and her spear.  She would've been building tree forts and hunting for dinner if we'd been there one more night.  I just know it.  

Logray from Star Wars


I can't wait to start planning the next camping trip.  So far it looks like the weekend after Thanksgiving, so keep your eyes peeled for more adventures from The Lamer Clan!

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