Going to pack up this morning and head to Rocky Mountain National Park for a week of camping. In a tent, even. (Of course, we'll be right next door to my parents who have a fifth-wheel with every modern convenience--fireplace, fridge, shower, electricity!)
I am so excited.
I loved camping as a kid. Then hated it as a teen. And am now prepared to love it again. There's going to be a whole huge bunch of us over the weekend and into early next week, but then it'll just be our family and my parents until next weekend.
I am excited to hike. To sit by the campfire. To roast marshmallows. To paint. To read under the trees. To see elk. To help the girls complete their Junior Ranger books. To hear the wind in the pines. To snuggle in a sleeping bag. To eat Uncle Brett's breakfast burritos. To have my quiet time outside in the woods. To knit. To play cards. To read aloud. To be together. To drink mocha. To eat Gran cookies. To laugh.
There are a few camping trips that stand out in my memory, ones that are clearly focused in my mind. The sounds, smells, adventures. In fact, we watched slides of one of them the other night in Mom and Dad's basement while it rained outside, changing our Fourth of July at the park plans.
Remembering how cold the mountain stream was, how cool the raft that Dad roped together for us was, how much we felt like Tom and Huck as we poled around the lagoon that was huge in my memory, but surprisingly small on the projector screen.
Laughing at the pictures of my dad and the dog in the tub, covered in tomato juice. Somehow Obie got sprayed by a skunk more than once--and only ever right before a trip.
I'm hoping that this trip will be one of those trips for the girls. And for the rest of us too. But especially for them. The kind of memory that never fades, the trip that all others measure against in the future. The kind that begins with, "Do you remember that camping trip when..."
So now that I've made a bunch of headbands (short hair is NOT ideal for camping in my mind--missing my long pigtails), packed up the watercolors and pencils, yarn and books, I need to gather sleeping bags and pillows, pack my clothes and a few bandanas and a baseball hat for good measure, and get my day going.
Not to mention getting another cup of coffee. Happy weekend, everyone!
What's the one thing you never camp without?