Well, it's official. On Friday I wrote "Pros & Cons Of Camping," and I told you that I still wasn't sure if camping was worth all of the prep and hard work that's involved. But, the verdict is in; and after spending a night camping in the White Tank Mountains, I can now say without a doubt; that for me, it definitely IS worth it.
Now let's take a U turn. If you've read "Pros & Cons Of Camping," then you know that we had planned on camping at Lake Pleasant this past Thursday night, but since they were full; we went up to the White Tank Mountains instead. We arrived at nightfall and the camp host scared my kids out of staying there when he mentioned the Diamond Head Rattle snakes that were abundant in the area. Our friend Jenny and her kids didn't scare as easily; and they decided to stay. I promised that we'd come back out the next day; AT LEAST for the day; and I had every intention of keeping my word.
We got a very slow start on Friday; and around 230 we headed out to the White Tanks with all of our camping gear packed; in case we decided to stay. We arrived around 3pm but Jenny and her kids were no where to be found. We spoke to the camp host; (the same one who'd frightened my kids the night before;) and he was in a much more helpful mood. We asked him how to get to the waterfall trail playground; because we thought that our friends might be there. He gave us directions and told us that there were quite a few campsites available today; one right next to Jenny's even; in case we wanted to stay.
We talked about it for a minute and decided to pay the $17 fee to stay the night. We reasoned that by paying now, we could reserve the spot next to Jenny's; JUST IN CASE we decided to stay. We found the waterfall trail playground; but our friends weren't there. We were unable to contact them by phone; so once again we discussed the situation. Our kids all agreed that everything looked much better in the daylight, so we decided that we should set up our camp and spend the night.
Luis and I put up our tent. YES, you read that right. Luis AND I, put up our tent; in what seemed like no time at all. We unloaded our supplies while the kids went to the playground that was within eye shot from our campsite; and we enjoyed being outdoors. YES, WE enjoyed being outdoors. Once our camp was set up, I had to go into town to buy some pillows; because we had forgotten to put ours back in the car before we left home. As I was driving down the mountain, I saw Jenny driving back up; and shortly thereafter I saw her husband, David driving up as well.
It only took me about 15 minutes to get to Sam's Club. I bought a bunch of new pillows and drove back up to camp. By the time I got there, Luis had the grill going and burgers cooking. He had a pot up to boil water for corn on the cob; and we were finally able to spend some time relaxing with our friends.
It didn't take me long at all; to acknowledge to myself that all of the prep that's involved in camping, really is worth it for me. I've never been what I or anyone else for that matter, would call an outdoors woman; but I really do like the time that I spend camping with my family and friends. The view from our campsite was unlike any other that we've had before, because we could see all of the city lights; and it was beautiful. We sat around the fire, while the kids played Telephone; and made Smores and it was great to breathe the fresh air.
We went to bed around 1030, and discovered that our Aerobed had lost some air. Luis re-inflated it; and we thought the problem was resolved; until around 2am when I got back from taking Hershey for a walk; only to discover that our bed had once again lost a considerable amount of air. Luis deduced that there must be a small hole; and we had no choice but to rough it with the bed as it was. By morning my butt was sunk to the ground; but it was still as wonderful as ever to wake up in my tent; and feel the cool breeze.
Just in case you're really taken aback by this post; let me assure you that it wasn't written by a guest blogger. Believe it or not, it's all me. The me that I've become over the past 43 years. The me who has grown to appreciate the comfort and the solitude that being out doors can offer. The me who can't wait to go camping again.