Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Camping as Spiritual Experience

Love nest. 

This past weekend
Paul and I went camping
with 100 of my friends.

100 friends?!?!?

Yes 100 friends.

Every year a big group
of my people
heads out to Lake Piru
for 3 to 5 days
of heat and dirt and 
water fun.

I have avoided it
for 5 years strong
as it has always conflicted
with a weekend retreat 
I take in Malibu.

My retreat consists
of a private room 
at a peaceful monastery,
a massage,
and delicious meals 
prepared on a regular schedule.

Weekend in Malibu > Weekend in Piru

This year the retreat was moved
to the third weekend in August
so I had no excuse to miss
the annual camp out.

Admittedly I was resistant.

I didn't want to be hot.

I didn't want to be dirty.

I didn't want to overwhelm my guy
with having to meet and hangout
with a gazillion new people.

I hadn't been camping in 10+ years 
and it seemed

On the other hand,
Paul is a camper.

He has taken Lucas 
numerous times over the years
and also enjoys annual trips 
with his brother and friends.

I would venture to say
it is his preferred form of vacation.

Last week I came by his house
and he had started 
to get the gear together.

He had also begun writing
our "menu"for the weekend 
and beyond being adorable,
the gesture seemed to ignite a flicker
of excitement in me.

But only a flicker.

Then on Thursday we researched
Dutch oven recipes
and hit up Target.

By Friday I was pumped.

Lucas was in Arizona visiting family
with Paul's mom
and James was with his dad
so the trip was just us.

We left in rush hour traffic because
I couldn't get out of work any earlier
and had to stop twice because
there was a need for beverages and snacks (him)
and for new sunglasses (me).

Two hours later we made it
and started our weekend.

We cooked a tri-tip on the campfire (success!)
and attempted a pineapple upside down cake (failure!).

My guy was patient and kind
as he walked me through a refresher course
 in how to camp.

Always keep the tent door zipped!

Don't eat in the tent!

Kindling and a teepee-shaped start
make for a good fire!

And it turns out...
I love camping!

A uniform of no make-up
and jean shorts suits this girl 
just fine and dandy.

There had been a giant flash rainstorm
before we arrived Friday so it wasn't 
as dusty as I had expected.

The weather cooperated too
and it wasn't uncomfortably hot at all.

Saturday my sweet friend Michele
took us out on her boat for a bit

I spy a 4 star resort. 

So fun.

and I survived my first tubing experience.

I am holding on SO tight and the boat wasn't moving yet.

My guy is a camping minimalist
so we didn't have an air mattress
which for this side-sleeper 
made for sore arms and hips.

I think I have him convinced to buy camping pads.  
Cross your fingers people.
Cross. Your. Fingers.

And we didn't bring any s'mores supplies
which was a major bummer when Paul turned out
the world's most awesome fire and coals
Saturday night.

Really my only whining stemmed
from feeling dirty.

I'm a big fan of showers
and scented body wash
and lotion and perfume
and and and forever more.

I tried to make the whole weekend
sans shower but I just couldn't.

Thankfully my sweet Jaimie

The yin to my yang.

let me sneak into her RV for some hot water/lather action
and Paul was grateful too so that I could finally 
stop whining.

 We had such a great time
and we make a good team
and I think our time
together with each other,
apart hanging with other campers,
and letting him into the circle
of my closest friends
was magic times infinity. 

 We left talking about next year here at Piru,
a May trip in Yosemite, 
and Lake Isabella in a few weeks.

I left on a pink cloud 
and a super high of knowing
that I am one hell of a lucky girl.

This guy...

Camperforlyfe yo.

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