Enjoyable: Camping

February 28, 2011

There’s just something about being outdoors that makes camping relaxing, even if it does sometimes seem like a lot of work.  After nearly 20 years, we’ve got the routine down pretty well. We can set up camp quickly and boy, do we have cooking great meals down to an art form.

We  tent camp but we don’t give up all the comforts of civilization.  I like a bathroom and hot shower nearby!  Running water at the campsite is a necessity.  With all of today’s phones and gadgets that need charging, we’ve started using the available electricity.  Still,  I like being outside, sitting around a fire and falling asleep listening to the sounds of the night all around.  Somehow I don’t think it’d be the same in a big RV.

Here’s a bit from our most recent trip.  There are more photos here. Home away from home for a few days.  With a big cushy air mattress and the down comforter from home, it’s almost as comfy as home.  Although it wasn’t an issue this last trip, the electricity comes in quite handy on cold nights.  An electric blanket keeps us nice and toasty when the temperatures drop.

We usually get two adjoining campsites, one for the kids and one for us that also serves as home base for cooking, eating and hanging out around the fire.The picnic table becomes second only to the campfire as the center of activity.  With one box of cooking gear and another of food, a couple of coolers and a Coleman stove, we eat well.  And why does everything taste better outside?  The menu on this trip included Breakfast Slop Burritos, French Toast and Sausage, Campfire Stew, Ribeyes and Potatoes, Campfire Chicken and Rice and more.The fire!  Not only do we cook over all the lovely hot coals, it’s The Place to Be after dark when all is quiet.  Sitting by the fire, talking and enjoying a drink is the perfect way to end the day.Sitting around the fire is also the perfect spot for guitar picking and singing.  And reading.  And napping.  And just sitting and doing nothing.And then there’s the park itself. O’Leno State Park is one of our favorites.  The Santa Fe River runs through the park before disappearing underground and coming back to the surface a few miles later.The other side of the river, where it emerges to the surface again,  has the perfect slow current for amateur canoeists like us.  We made it three miles up from the Santa Fe Outpost to the river rise and back again without tipping!We saw beautiful scenery, more turtles than we could count, numerous birds ……and a couple of gators.  It was a great way to spend an afternoon before heading back for a campfire and dinner.  And the few days away with nature is the perfect escape from the busy-ness and noise  of every day life.

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