September 27, 2008 § 1 Comment

Let’s talk about camping.  I went this weekend.  It lit up my soul.  But I came to some realizations about myself and how I’ve changed over the past…while.

Here’s how I used to see myself as a camper:

  • Light-packer.  If it’s not absolutely necessary, it doesn’t come with me to the wild.
  • Do-it-myself-er.  Thanks for coming everyone, but I’ve got this.  I will find a good spot, eat my Clif Bar for dinner, choose the best hiking trails, and make sure I accomplish everything that needs to happen to allow me to have plenty of stories at the end.
  • “Camping is not about rest”-er.  If we’re not doing the hardest hike in the area, then it must mean we’re slackers.  Why would you NOT want to see the parts of this park that not many people (i.e., slackers) get to see because it’s too hard to get there?  Stay up late, soaking up smoke around the fire, and get up early to make sure we don’t miss any of the sunrise.
  • Loner.  Neighbors are a nuisance.  End of story.

So I’ve changed a little bit since whenever.  I went to Krause (say the ‘e’–like krauw-zy) Springs, about 30 minutes west of Austin, this weekend with my roommate, Mary, and her brother John.  Here’s what I’ve turned into, for better or worse:

  • Cover-all-the-bases-er.  I brought my work out stuff in case I got a chance, some nice clothes in case I couldn’t go home before I needed to look decent, a change of camping clothes, some books, and, yes, I did bring make-up.  Can you even believe it. (For your information, I used everything except the change of camping clothes.)
  • Grateful receiver.  I got there after work and Mary and John had set up the tents, strung a hammock between two trees, put out three chairs for us, and packed a rockin’ ice chest, complete with ready-to-go hobo dinners (which Mary had spent the day slicing and seasoning…after she cleaned our apartment to a state of spotless beauty), s’mores fixings, pears, cookies, and chips and salsa.  No, I’m not kidding you.  And they built the fire while I watched.  I did light the match.
  • Slacker.  We took one walk down to a magical waterfall.  The rest of the time, we sat around the campfire and flapped our jaws.  Gloriously.  It felt so good.  We just…enjoyed.  I think I missed out on the majority of Krause Springs, but, honestly, I don’t even care.
  • Neighbor.  To the most amazing dads-and-sons foursome next to us, who happened to be ISRAELI.  The boys, Itay (pronounced E-tie) and Jonathan, were five, and they were the most precious friends I’ve made in a while.  I sat there in my camp chair while the prowled around “looking for danger” (their words, not mine).  We saw a coon, which I watched from my camp chair while they freaked out, until they saw it “scamper away” (again, a direct quote).  They were so thrilled just to be out, even though Itay admitted he was tired and his “shoulder was the tiredest.”  Poor little guy.

Enchanted Rock is next on our list of places to go.  I’ll probably hike a little more then.  But only if there’s plenty of time afterward to enjoy the fire that someone else builds.


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