I forgot how much I loved camping.
That’s a simple thought that crossed my mind earlier this month after being treated to a few camp outs.
When I speak of camp outs, I’m not speaking of the now ever popular glamping. You know the type which has increased with extreme popularity, motor homes, RV’s and the like. Believe it or not, I like tent camping.
Truth be told, this fact even gave me a little shock. I mean it had been five years, since I last rested my head in a tent with an air mattress below me. I’m five years older, yet I found this enjoyable. Shocking!
It’s also not to say if the other type of camping experience presented itself, I wouldn’t be opposed to giving it a try. I like a good adventure and it would be fun to see how the other half (so to speak) enjoys getting back to basics.
The camping experience wasn’t too far off the beaten path, as a friend and I found our way up to Pinecrest for a little midweek R and R, complete with stand up paddle boarding and kayaking on the lake. The valley heat had gotten the best of us and a quick respite in the foothills seemed ideal. And it was.
Our tent was on the smaller side, so an air mattress was not to be had, floor pads would have to do. Yes, yes, I know, roughing it at its finest for this girl. We were only to be there one night, so in complete honesty I was all about less is more. Camping is a lot of work in the way of set up and take down, so minimalism seemed the wisest choice to give us more lake time and it did.
The day of our journey, weather and water proved to be perfect. Midweek and still early in the summer, made for the grounds to not be too crowded. We’d probably have slept on the lake if there was a tent option to do such a thing.
Once back at camp with dinner being prepped and the campfire going, I recalled what it was I loved so much about camping. Isolation. Imagine that, a girl who makes a living placing herself in the company of others on a very regular basis enjoyed every last minute of the isolation. Our phones were used solely for music, which was played through a wireless speaker, it was pure bliss. Just like the good ol’ days, ahhhh … peacefulness.
In short, it was good to get back to something so simple. To revisit life and peacefulness without all the amenities. In fairness, the middle of the night potty stop I could have lived without, but that comes with the territory. I’m appreciative of the indoor plumbing all the same. Just as I’m appreciative of the bright night stars and the beauty of the trees overhead as the sun slowly came up that following morning.
The lesson was simple: sometimes a little midweek R and R from these crazy fun filled lives is well deserved and needed. Proving one better, we’re never too old, inexperienced or rusty to revisit a past time which once served us well. You may just find yourself lying on a bench, looking up and living in the fullness of the night sky. At least … That’s what I did. Happy trails.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021