We went camping this last weekend, and it was pretty awesome. We went up into the mountains Friday mid-morning, thinking that we would easily find a spot and beat the rush of bros heading up with their trailers and toys. Boy, were we wrong. Just about everywhere was taken, and there weren't many spots available – at least the good ones. We drove around for a while scouting out different spots, as I browsed my Gaia GPS app, where I had marked a bunch of potential spots that I scouted out using satellite maps.
Gaia is an awesome GPS/map app, if anyone is interested. It's not perfect, as it's not the most easy to use and understand, and it has a bunch of quarks. But after investing some time in the app to learn how it works, how to layer different maps and information, you can begin to customize something that works well. Plus, being able to download everything to your phone, so you can view your saved areas offline, is essential, and the main reason I got the app. It's $40/year, and I was hesitant for a while, but now I love it and feel it's totally worth it. Sometimes I just sit and browse the maps and set waypoints for different areas we could potentially camp. Within 2 hours of us, we have hundreds of spots. Within 5 hours of us, we have 7+ major national parks, a handful of state parks, and hundreds of miles of mountain range to explore.
I got a little stressed out while we were zipping around different roads looking for a great camping spot. It was my own expectations that set me up, really, as I wanted a perfect spot that was beautiful, near water, isolated, instead of something that was open, without many trees, and near main roads. But sadly, those “not so good” type of spots were all we were finding. Plus, it really is a race. The later it gets, the more people are heading up into the mountains, and they're looking for spots too. So at some point, you just have to settle for what you can get and be happy.
We found a wonderful spot that was tucked down a very rocky dirt road. It was secluded and would have been great. But my dumb ass decided that we would try one other area that I had marked on the map, and if that wouldn't work, we would come back to take over the area we just found. Well, stupid me. We went to check the other area out, and it sucked. So we went back to the area we left, and when we got there, someone else had found it and was already starting to set up. I felt so stupid and disappointed. We eventually found another spot, but I wasn't in a great mood. I was really disappointed in myself. I guess I had a lot of hope and expectations for the weekend trip and felt that I hadn't pulled it off. Tits McGee seemed wonderful though and thought it was all beautiful.
I moped around for a while, unimpressed with the spot we snagged. But as we started setting up and making it a home, my mood lightened and I began to open up to the beauty of the area. It was mostly exposed and open, but we did have some trees next to us, and we were isolated. We had great views across the top of other mountains as well.
Just as we finished setting up our tent, it started raining. And then, it started pouring. Thunder was booming all around us and it was so loud as it echoed off the mountains surrounding us. I absolutely loved it. As the new tent is 10'x14', we had plenty of room to have our beds, our chairs, a table, and were set up pretty nicely. The sound of the rain coming down was epic, as it hit the tent. It's so relaxing. I love it. We sat in the tent, having snacks, listening to the rain, peeking out the windows to watch the downpour, reading on our iPad and Kindles, and just giggling about nothing.
It rained for a few hours, which I didn't mind. I am completely content in doing nothing, and just being with my own mind in the quiet. Tits McGee is ok for a while, but then gets a little restless and wants to get up and do things. As the rain stopped for about 10-15 mins, she got up and went for a quick walk, but quickly had to run back when the rain picked up again. It was dark by then, and we were getting a little tired. So we opted to get cozy in the tent and watch a movie on my phone. We watched, 1917. Romantic, right?
The next day it was sunny and warm, and the bugs were out in full swing. That wasn't so much fun. We walked around the area to explore and take in the views and enjoy the quiet. You could hear bros and their toys out zooming around everywhere, but we were far enough away it wasn't bad at all.
Tits McGee came back from a walk and pointed out how more storm clouds were coming in. She asked if I preferred to sit through more rainstorms, or if we should just head home (we were only about an hour and a half from home). I was fine staying. I love the rain. I love camping. And I didn't want to go back to society and people and the heat. It was about 70 degrees, in the sun, where we were. Back home, it was 103. I opted to stay and just chill. Enjoy the zen life in the mountains and just take it easy. She said she was fine with that too. But, she mentioned it another time or two, and I got the hint that she wanted to go home. As much as I didn't want to, I offered to pack us up and head home, where we could just chill there. It was clear she didn't want to sit through hours of rainstorms in the tent again. So, after a few deep sighs of sadness for having to pack up and leave after only a day, I got started on packing us up.
Just as we got the car loaded, and we were pulling out, it started raining again. While driving back, I kept an eye on the temperature reading. When we left, it was about 68. When I pulled back home, it was over 100. And of course, when we got home, Tits McGee said she wished we would have stayed. Ha! I didn't want to get sucked into that trap of saying, “WTF! But you're the one that wanted to leave!” Sometimes it's just better to nod, smile, and let things be.