Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Camping! We went camping! And not in our back garden!

We had planned to go camping on Saturday night -- get up early, go for a long hike, then get into the campground, overnight, and hike again on Sunday.

Wil was going to be working late, but I had loaded up the car so that we could hit the road right after we got up. I had just sat down to an early, solo dinner when Wil walked in at 5:45. Wait, what?

Turns out they wrapped up early, so after a few minutes we looked at each other and said, "Wanna head out now?" Fifteen minutes later he was ready himself, and we headed north.

Of course, Friday night traffic slowed us down, so we missed getting to the park in daylight. I'm not gonna lie, I didn't enjoy trying to find an empty and nice campsite in the dark. But after two circuits of the open loop, we spotted one we liked, pulled in, and started setting up our camp.

I unrolled the sheet of Tyvek I wanted to test out as a footprint, then set up the big Coleman tent... with the rainfly, of course! Wil, meanwhile, started a fire and got everything else organized. While I inflated our sleeping mat and set up our "sleep system" (that is, the sleeping mat + a sleeping bag...), Wil went and registered for the two nights. And twenty minutes after arriving, we were sitting by the fire roasting marshmallows and making s'mores.

We slept pretty well -- despite the trains rumbling through on one side, and the Chuckanut traffic zooming through on the other. Heavy rain on the tent helped drown out the noise. I woke up in the early morning fretting about the rain... but when I actually stepped outside it wasn't raining much at all. And by the time we got up, the skies were clear.

We went on a great, long hike -- about which more later -- and a relaxing afternoon back in camp. That evening we walked down to the beach, which was lovely and nearly empty:

But then we just went back up the trail to our cozy campsite, where we made dinner and read by the fire:

That night got pretty cold -- I'm not sure if I should have topped up the sleeping pad? So we're going to do another cold-night experiment to get things sorted.

The campground was a bit noisy on the second night, with a group of college kids setting off fireworks and talking over each other till midnight or so. And, of course, in the quiet mornings I could hear the spectacular snores of the gentleman two campsites away. Bless.

Breaking down the camp was pretty easy in the morning, though we do need to get our gear more organized. We had had breakfast, loaded up the car, and were driving out of the camp before we saw anyone stirring near the RVs.

But for the most part, we really enjoyed going camping -- for the first time in YEARS. Some lessons learned:

- if you can't reserve a particular site in advance, then try to get to the campground by daylight so you can choose a good site

- bring plenty of firewood along -- you never know whether you'll be able to get more wood at the campground

- check your sleeping pad on the second night, and top up if necessary. (Perhaps the cold made in compress a little?)

- the sugar coating on Peeps is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE

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