September 5, 2010

Camping (or lack thereof)



I have not been camping in probably 6 years :-(  I'm not particularly the outdoorsy athletic type, but I love to go camping...I'm sure that stems from the Boy Scout in me, although so many of my scout camp outs involved freezing cold nights spent in full frozen tundra gear, shivering in my sleeping bag, or sweating on top of my sleeping bag all night while I watch a spider as big as my head slowly lower itself closer and closer to me.  I don't know why I loved it, but I did.  I didn't get farther than 1st Class in scouts, but I do consider myself to be skilled in the arts of surviving outdoors, cooking on a fire, and glue-gunning patches on shirts (thank, you Dad for that one :-)  

To me, there may be nothing better than a chilly night sitting on a log next to a giant fire, poking it with a stick.  There is a massive sense of accomplishment in collecting your 3 types of wood, stacking it correctly, and lighting it up with one match.  Sometimes I also tie a knot while I'm at it to feel extra scout-y.  Don't miss the all-important stick to poke the fire, though.  We were not generally allowed to poke sticks in the fire in scouts...something about safety...but there lives inside every boy an INSANE desire to get a stick and poke a fire with it.  If doing that ever got boring (not likely), we would find another stick and whittle the end into a point with which to protect ourselves in case of attack from bears or mountain lions or snipes or neighboring troops.  Going camping after I was a scout was even more fantastic because I could get ANY stick I wanted and poke the fire for as long as my heart desired (with my sharpened stick close by for defense).  

Probably the reason I haven't been camping is that Texas is hardly the camping capital of the world.  It's exhausting to drive for hours on end just so you can find some grass without concrete on it, plus you have a good weather window of about a month before it's too hot and humid to enjoy anything outside.  And the flatness....oh dear.  

Something in me needs mountains (or at least small hills) around me when I camp.  It's too bad we don't have a fall break week in school like we did in college.  A dream trip for me would be camping in western North Carolina in the fall (with a mandatory swing by the Scottish Tartans Museum in Franklin) and eating biscuits and gravy for breakfast, barbecue for lunch, and those chuck-everything-in-foil-and-cram-it-in-the-fire-for-20-minutes-and-it's-ready dinners. 

 (If you can imagine having marching band practice smack in the middle of this picture, that was pretty much my freshman year at Western Carolina University)

I guess the reason I'm pining is that it's now fall (fall=90 degrees and low humidity) and fall is my favorite season.  If anybody else likes camping and knows of anywhere nice within a few hours of Houston please tell me.  For the rest of you, please hit me if I haven't gone SOMEWHERE to camp by March.  Seriously.  

Camping, here we come!!

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