As a child, we went camping once. One time in all the Summers we spent together and it was less than glamourous. Ironically, it happened to be in the same city as our camping trip this year but with a much less relaxing ending. After a road trip to Mount Rushmore, we decided to utilize the tent my mother and I found at a yard sale and paid a whopping $15 for. Turns out, the tent wasn’t waterproof and that night a torrential rain came in flooding us out of our tent. Needless to say, we didn’t go on another camping trip as a family. My mother preferred the magical oasis of a Hilton.
Fast forward to 2016 when my father purchased a used pop-up camper (to my mother’s disgust) in hopes of finally making his, now grown, family a camping family. As luck would have it, it worked. 4 years later and it’s what I look forward to most in our Summer. Three days out in nature, a decent enough bed to sleep on at night and the ability to be by large bodies of water for an extended period of time.
Whether my mother likes it or not, she joins us on a camping trip each summer. The four of us make a thing out of it with meals prepared in advance, a canoe my dad recently acquired, s’ mores at night, and small hikes scattered throughout our time in nature. However, this year’s new spot at Steamboat Lake took the prize for the best camping spot.
It’s probably the only spot that you could still feel relaxed in after getting a text message telling you there is a forest fire near your home. (Mom and dad were then put into text message groups of all their friends to stay up to date in case we need to make a fast turn around). It’s also the only place that you could watch the sky light up into magical colors as you’ve never seen before and then watch a lighting storm as your roast your marshmallows.
The days were hot, the lake was cold, even the dog enjoyed sunbathing on top of the picnic table. It was the perfect escape to days stuck at home as we adjust to our new ways of normal amid the days of COVID.
As a child, I never dreamed of being an outdoorsy person. Nor did I think camping in Steamboat would be the highlight of my summer. And while I don’t see myself being a backpacker anytime soon I am already trying to figure out how we fit another camping trip into our summer this year. I mean, how else will we use up vacation time and escape for the constant same old same old of our COVID life?
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