Let me tell you about camping. I loved it when I was a kid. I loved going hiking up in the mountains, setting up the tent and cooking out in the open. I still like those parts some, but the reality for me is I can not stand sleeping on the hard ground and being dirty much anymore. The sad thing is I really came to realize this when I drove from Seattle to North Carolina and found that camping was just not so pleasant.
Don’t get me wrong, I have great memories of camping all the way through my last year of college. I remember the year people in my dorm went camping on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, we put up our tents on the sand for the weekend. It was great. The sun was shining the whole time and it was just beautiful. I didn’t mind that there was no running water, sand was in everything and that we had to pack in all that we brought with us.
I even remember week-long camping trips my dad and step-mom would take us on. We would hike 5 or 10 miles into the Cascade Mountain back country and camp near a river or lake for the week. I was ten, I thought it was great. The woods were our playground. I didn’t bring books with me back then so I know whatever us kids were up to it was playing in the woods or swimming in the water. Oh the water was wonderful, it was usually really cold because it was snow melt. Although right now sitting in an 80 degree house a lake of snow melt water sounds glorious.
One of my favorite camping trips was with my friend Jeff. We hiked up through this ridge full of fireweed, it felt like you walking through a Monet painting. After coming down off the ridge we meandered up another trail to meet up with the Cascade Crest Trail for a short bit, before pitching our tents on a rock jutting out over a small glacial lake. We spent four days up there and actually met some rather interesting people. That was the penultimate camping trip for me. The last one was when I was coming to North Carolina and I ended up giving up the tent for a hotel room about halfway through the trip because I just couldn’t stand sleeping on the hard cold ground anymore. Now prefer cabins in the woods up above the bugs, snakes and cold ground. They must have beds, running water and screens on the windows, because I really hate the bugs out here in North Carolina.