We hit the family jackpot this week when both Greg and I had the week off from work. We both desperately needed to get away. We’ve been too busy, too stressed, had too much going on, and know that we have at least one decision we’d rather not have to make coming our way soon. All that pointed to one thing: Get Out Of Town!
Since we have very little extra cash in our couch cushions, our only option for a getaway was camping. We like camping just about more than anything, the weather has been gorgeous, nothing is currently on fire in our vicinity, and we found what appeared to be a lovely camp site. We were ready to go!
We headed further up into the mountains with joy in our hearts, music on the radio, “chicken and fries” in our bellies, and the windows rolled down. The two over excited dogs and one beside himself four-year old created a minimum of yelling and general smacking of things in the backseat.
We pulled up to the best campsite ever. It was huge, farther back from the road and next to one of the most beautiful rivers I’ve seen.
It was just stunning. We got unpacked, set up, and started to try to relax.
Then, things went downhill fast.
Lucy, our normally sweet dog, lost her ever-loving mind at EVERYTHING. Dogs? Freak out. Wind? Shaking in her boots. Squirrels? MUST KILL THEM ALL! Slight rain? Yelping and whining. One of us walks further than two feet away from her? That horrible and incessant throat-whining I love so much.
Basically, she looked like this:
She kept this up for the first 24 hours we were there. In the meantime, I we found out we couldn’t have a campfire after all, my chronic pain flared up badly, Greg got a massive high altitude headache, Jake refused to sleep, and it started pouring down rain.
I woke up the next morning, after about three hours of sleep, feeling like squirrels had been playing bingo on my eyeballs all night and that somehow, my camp cot had grown a metal rod right into the base of my skull.
Lucy barked and whined and freaked out at every tiny movement of air some more and we broke the zipper on the tent.
I wanted to go home.
Greg calmly made me pancakes and bacon and told me to sit down for a bit. He handed me a cup of coffee. I went to get a book. I came back and finished off one of my favorite books. Greg handed me another cup of coffee. I went for another book. I came back to yet another cup of coffee. I put my head down on the table and tried not to cry when Jake jumped on my legs and told me that I “wanted” to play golf with him.
Somewhere around my fifth cup of coffee and a half a Bendryl in Lucy’s morning breakfast, things got better.
More specifically, it rained. Hard. Which meant that we ran for the tent. And everyone napped.
Even the dogs finally calmed down enough to rest.
I woke up a few hours later and found that the sky had cleared, the air smelled wonderful, and my running shoes and rain gear were calling me. I ran a few trails, did a few laps of the campground, and even went to get the dogs to join me.
Once my brain had unfogged itself, my attitude unyucked itself, and my head had cleared of stress and weariness, I started to process just how beautiful it was.
This kind of view was everywhere I turned.
If I got tired of looking at magnificent rocks, I could look at the river.
Or revel in the trees surrounding us.
I even laid down under my beloved aspen trees just to see what they looked like from a different angle.
My soul finally uncurled itself and I started to never want to leave. I haven’t experienced inner and outer peace like that in a very long time.
When I took the dogs back to the campsite, I discovered that the fire ban had been lifted. Greg and I quickly set to lighting everything on fire and making endless amounts of smores.
Jake learned how to be safe around a campfire after I had a few near heart-attacks and learned how to keep his little hands and nose warm.
Lucy found a safe spot she liked and calmed the crap down.
She calmed down enough that by the time all of our chairs had broken, she decided she liked being a pillow for me while I finished my third book of the trip.
By the end of the second day, we were having such a good time, we even tried to push out our going home date. Sadly, our campsite had already been reserved by another lucky family.
Jake had so much fun that the last thing he said to me before we left was, “We go again, Mama?”
Yes, sweet boy, I think we will.