…or should I say lack thereof. We haven’t camped for 2 years (not since before the twins were adopted.) I was rusty on my packing skills and was sure I would forget important items. Husband and I were really looking forward to a couple days away, one just us and the other with our very good friends. We relaxed, we hiked, we ate (some of it not so good and I’m feeling it), and most importantly we got to work on our marriage without the girls interruption. I missed them all something awful and woke them up as soon as we got home, but it was very much worth the couple days away and the couple days of packing and preparing.
We didn’t get there until late on Thursday night, though we managed to get the tent up (without getting cranky at each other) and get a fire going. We had supper right before we left and a snack on the way so we didn’t need to eat or anything. It was nice to just visit for awhile and stare at the fire before going to bed at a decent hour and sleeping in. Anyone with little ones will tell you that sleeping in is not an option.
For breakfast I made us burritos before leaving (with eggs, cheese, onions, peppers, and a bit of sausage) and wrapped them up tight in foil so that I could just toss them into some hot coals to re-heat. I did a similar thing for supper with fish, frozen veggies, and butter. Our friends had a campstove and I have to admit after eating pancakes, eggs, and sausage as well as after her shredded beef sandwiches the campstove option is looking very appealing! They could cook nearly anything while we pretty much had to settle for things on a stick or wrapped in foil and buried in coals.
For entertainment we talked (in complete sentences and conversations…such a rare occurrence for me) and we hiked. The hikes weren’t anything substantial, no 12 mile hikes into the wilderness. We were at a state park and followed their trails. It was breathtaking in many places and it is now my goal to return in different seasons. The places we visited were at some of their driest stages and I can barely imagine how beautiful it would be with water pouring over the cliffs or snow hugging the trees. Someday, though I hope to see it all.
All in all, it was a very inexpensive vacation. We purchased no new camping equipment. The campsite we split the cost on, food I didn’t count since it was something already in our weekly budget, and a tank and a half of gas (our biggest budget item). The total was just under $150 for 3 days and 2 nights in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Here’s some photos to inspire you to get outside with someone you love and find a beautiful place:
I’m very glad my friend offered to take a picture, we have very few photos of the two of us.
These signs are everywhere and for good reason
The edge of one of the cliffs, stunningly beautiful in the evening sun.
This is another reason for the signs. What is it about husbands that they just have to go explore even though the signs warn against it? I like the photo though, the men give a good reference to the size of the trees, rocks, and cave.
This spot formed a natural amphitheater. That white figure is husband and he and I could talk as if we were standing right next to one another at this distance. If he came about 10 feet closer you couldn’t here him at all due to the way sound bounced around in there.
I’ve been told (and seen pictures) how during a wet season these cliffs pour water over the edge into the “pit” you see formed in this photo. The people walking about give you a good idea at just how tall the cliffs are. I just can not imagine how different this place would look with waterfalls pouring into the basin. I can not imagine walking behind the water and exploring the caves. I need to go back again!
While out and about we tried to find a geo-cache. We were successful at one after a very long mile and a quarter down a one lane gravel/dirt road. At the end was a cemetery in a pretty clearing. The stones were very old and we really admired some of the carvings and sentiments. We tried rubbing some of them carvings and were successful with a few, others were too old to read or get a rubbing from. It was our friends’ first time geo-caching…I’m sure they thought we were nuts for awhile. We were all glad we did it, though as it was a great way to spend much of the heat of the day in a bit of shade and it was only as expensive as the gas we put in the car.
So that is it for photos, I wish I had more. I’m not good with my camera…or perhaps my camera is too automatic to capture what I wanted to capture. Someday a better camera and some sharpened photography skills will be something I acquire. For this season, though, I am content to sleep in a tent and take what I get in photos. Such a lovely trip and I am already looking forward to returning next year. It was so beneficial to me, to us, that it has to be something we just make a point to do.
On a side note. I have to chuckle at the photos with me and my headscarf. It looks so hick-ish. I really have thick hair and do not like the thought of ticks or anything for that matter getting in there so out it comes when it is camping time. I wear it most of the time I am there and to be honest it helps to keep my head cool in the heat of the day and warm in the cool evenings. I’d like to find one in a print I like better and I keep my eyes open for one when shopping, particularly at antique malls and the like. Something a bit vintage would be nice. That and some egg cups. I love the look of egg cups and they are just so expensive to find! But that is another topic for another day. I really do hope I have inspired someone to spend time with their spouse or to go take a simple and inexpensive (but much needed) vacation. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
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