Monday, May 06, 2013

Camp Out!

For the first time in years I went camping.  As tempting as it is to count a lot of the cheap hostels as camping, though they included a mosquito net, not a tent.

It was a beautiful weekend here in the Pacific Northwest.  The kind that we don't usually get until late July. It was high seventies, low eighties (roughly 23-25 celsius). Most of the campgrounds in Western Washington don't even open until the beginning of May so this is still early season. Since we (we being 25 and I) only had the weekend, we had to find somewhere close.  I stumbled upon a book, the antiquated thing with paper pages, that outlined campground in Washington and within selected Scenic Beach State Park and campground near Silverdale on Hood Canal with views of the Olympic mountains. What a location and less than a two hour drive.
25 hadn't been camping in a year, and we'd not been camping together yet. We both, wisely it turns out, decided to view this trip as a trial.  We were close enough that if we forgot anything really important we could go pick it up but otherwise we'd make a list of things that would be good to bring out the next time.  Only about a dozen items to pick up for next time and nothing that was a showstopper. Lots of things that you have to go camping agin to remember, like a tablecloth, long matches, extra firestarters, and the like. I also was reminded of why you don't just pack flashlights and lanterns, but test them before hand but actually turning them on.  I ended up with a dead headlamp, two dead lanterns, one of which was corroded so badly it was pitched, along with a broken camp chair.  Extra batteries are also on the list.
The highlight of the trip, other than the sun, was when a sea otter ran out of his den, down a felled tree and hopped in the water. The sizeable raccon was a close second.  We also saw some starfish, a couple of cranes (one flew over my house when we arrived back) rounded out the pack. The company was stellar, never boring or frustrated, even when I won at cribbage - which never happens. We listened to the Mariners game on Sunday, we walked by the water looking for crabs and critters, enjoyed roasting marshmallows and reading by the fire until there wasn't enough light left. Aside from the lumpy night's sleep (next time the air mattress is coming along.  We are car camping after all, no need to rely only on a little roll pad), it was a fantastic weekend.

We are already planning for another weekend trip in June, a two nighter if we can manage with work and all. The hope is that the weather will be just as good, though, as Seattlites, we won't expect that and we'll go either way.

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