In Which I Learn to Enjoy Roughin’ It

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Growing up, my family would go camping once or twice a year max. Generally our version of camping included staying by a lake in a rented trailer, eating peanut M&Ms and playing Skip-Bo until someone else (grandpa) prepares a legit BBQ dinner. Also, there was always enough Shasta Cream Soda floating around to hydrate a tiny nation. We aren’t exactly hard-core.

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Don’t get me wrong, I have definitely spent more than one night in a tent. It’s just that some of those nights the tent was in my backyard. And I may or may not have spent the time watching a movie on a TV hooked up to the house with a fifty foot extension cord. And crawled back into my bed at 3 am.

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Basically this all boils down to me not exactly married to the idea that a tent is my best friend and that an air mattress is just as good as the real thing. I’d rather spend my nights away in a hotel. One with a fancy tub and cable so I can indulge in my Grey’s Anatomy obsession. Please and Thanks.

(In order to save face I will say that the rest of my family is actually pretty into camping. It’s just me that struggles. Go figure.)

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However, last week that all changed. Our friends talked us into a legit two night camping trip at the Union Valley Reservoir campgrounds in the Eldorado National Forest. We are talking tents, cooking our own food, outhouses…the whole shebang. Although I was a little skeptical we headed up Friday night right after work. Four hours of traffic-induced mania later, we made it. Crisp cool air, stars that weren’t covered by San Francisco pollution, a gleaming lake…I was sold.

IMG_3409 IMG_3424The next two days were filled with all sorts of camping goodies.  Tubing in the lake and managing to get mega-sunburned. A cute baby with dirt stained cheeks. Dutch-oven dinners compliments of the Beards, who rock outdoor cooking. Seriously. They are basically camping wizards.

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Saturday afternoon we hiked to Bassi Falls. Ashley and I dance-partied along the way, while the guys imitated The Office Parkour episode and 360-ed from rock to rock. Once there they braved the icy-cold water; I on the other hand was content to save my limbs from frostbite, thank you very much.

IMG_3602 IMG_3666Not to be forgotten was the keys-locked-in-the-truck episode. A few broken sticks, prayers, manipulated tent poles and a package of bandaids later we broke into that car ninja style.

Good food, good friends, lake water and pine trees all contributed to change my mind about camping. I am basically ready to head out into the middle of nowhere with only a moment’s notice. As long as there aren’t spiders. That changes everything.

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