Over the weekend my wife’s band (The Power Pep Band) played in another gig on the coast for the second time in as many weeks. The last time we attended this gig we camped the night before through the weekend and had a great time doing it. It went off so well then we decided to do it again. This time we stayed at the Kilchis River Campground.
Near enough to the beach that we went both Saturday and Sunday to Rockaway. Far enough away from any large city that we felt remote and at peace. We did encounter rain Friday night and Saturday night and Sunday before we left but that just made the experience more memorable.
I love camping no matter how you slice it, in a car, tent, rain or sun. To me it is a chance to escape from the rigors of everyday life and relax with little other agenda than to figure out what the next meal is going to be. It is a simple pleasure and one that I have enjoyed all throughout my life.
While I was a tweener I can remember traveling to Bend Oregon with my family to visit my uncle Linus and his family. I remember we had a small tent (by todays standards) and had to lay like little match sticks one against the other. This is my earliest memory of camping. I know we didn’t have big tarps, gazebos, portable heaters or any such extravagant luxuries like we do know. We had a Coleman stove, maybe, and blankets to keep warm with at night. We had small air-matresses that doubled during the day as a wonderful floatation device to use in the nearest river, lake or stream. The only problem with that was if you popped your air-matress during the day’s activities you’re getting to sleep that night was not be assured as your hip was more than likely to find the tree root oh so cleverly hidden until know.
The early camping trips I recall never did have my sister Corrie in them. I think she was too busy with her BF to ever want to join us. I guess that would be normal for a 16-17 year old girl. This left my eldest sister Michelle and my brother Linus or Lenny as he likes to be called, I still call him Linus though, to head out into the great outdoors as it were.
We didn’t always camp though because we didn’t always have a car. Money was always really tight and mom was always working one or two jobs to provide for us. Sometimes there were just too many bills and not enough extra money for luxuries like camping. Mom always managed to make due though.
As a young adult in my early twenties camping was reborn when I was making my own money and didn’t have a family to support. I initially bought a small tent, large air-matress, a single sleeping bag and a Coleman stove plus some cheap aluminum cookware. Also purchased were an aluminum set of plates, bowls and cups and some propane. With some food and drink I was all set.
Okay, so here is what you need to know about camping, like when you travel anywhere it is best to make a list and like Santa check it twice otherwise you ALWAYS forget something. I may have forgotten pillows and toiletries like a toothbrush my first time out.
At some point a cooler was purchased that could easily have hidden two maybe three sides of beef in it. Actually is was a 150 or 155 quart size and took up the entire backseat of my Nissan Sentra. Food other than canned chili, baked beans, hot dogs or anything requiring more than a stick or small pan to cook was added to the menu begrudgingly.
I upgraded my tent to be as big as possible, something I could stand in. Not really needed in hind site. I bought a portable propane heater which has come in handy a couple of times. Before I had a gazebos I had lots of big tarps which aren’t as good but if that is all you have then you use them. Tarps are small and portable and take little space to transport whereas a gazebo takes a significant about of room to bring.
Old sleeping bags and air-matresses gave way to memory foam pads and newer deluxe sleeping bags. The pads are big and take up a ton of space but they are the best thing I have slept on while camping plus there is no worry of them deflating. I still use a Coleman stove I have had for years with its myriad of coffee and various food stains that will likely never come off. As long as I clean it so it isn’t just plain gross then I will use it until something better comes along.
Now that my telling of our camping trip to the Kilchis River Campground has taken an abrupt detour I will continue with our regularly scheduled broadcast.
This trip was my wife and my mother and fathers-in-law. We did have another band member and her BF that were staying in the same campground stop by for s’mores Saturday night along with another band member and his family that were just there for the evening repast. We still are trying to get them to come out and really go camping with us.
This was a short trip and aside from the rain about the only really exciting thing that happened was three horses got loose from somewhere close by and they came galloping into the campground right by/through our campsite. If you have never heard horses gallop nearby, it can be truly awesome. Weighing in at more than half a ton they do make the ground shake.
Actually I did almost forget we made homemade biscuits and gravy for Sunday’s breakfast. It was awesome. Making biscuits in a Dutch Oven over the camp fire was great.
On the way home we stopped again at Rockaway Beach to collect a few more negative ions and let the doggies run around a bit. It was altogether a fun weekend.
More to come…