April 12, 2012 Leave a comment
I stood on my tippy toes peering into my storage locker in the garage, a giant smile unconsciously spread across my face. I squinted through the dark space at the camping gear that sat patiently waiting for its next great adventure. I pulled my equipment out one by one and tossed it into a pile beside me. I was so eager for the weekend to begin that I was packed, ready to go, and waiting outside my apartment a good twenty minutes before Justin arrived to pick me up.
The car was packed and the mood was right, we were ready for our California camping trip in the mountains. I have been camping since I was a child and love everything about it. I love the fresh air, sleeping on the ground, forging for wood, cooking over an open flame, getting dirty, entering survival mode, and leaving no tracks. The elements that made this trip even more exciting was that I had never been camping in California before and it had been years since I had camped in the mountains.
We pulled into the campsite and I instantly reverted to childhood – my hands and face smeared against the window – “Look at that huge fire pit! Check out that view!” You would have thought there was a hanger in my mouth, I couldn’t stop smiling.
That first night, while everyone was gathered around the fire, I stepped away for a moment of silence. I stood in the complete darkness, smelling nothing but a mixture of campfire and fresh air, seeing nothing but the shadows from the full and luminous moon, and hearing nothing but the faint sound of my friend’s laughter behind me. It was an amazing abundance of feelings and emotions that I wish I could have held onto forever. I felt so happy in that moment, as if there was no where else in the world I would have rather been.
We spent the remainder of the weekend soaking up the awesomeness that is the Angeles National Forest. We hiked, built amazing fires, drank beer, played games, laughed a lot, made friends with the ranger, and cooked some awesome meals over the fire. It was a great weekend. I feel so thankful that I have met this group of people in LA; this group that not only shares my love of camping, but has invited me into their “family” with warm and welcome arms.
What is your favorite camping experience? Tell me in the comments!