We have been so, so busy the past couple of months with visitors and plans and work that our fridge is empty, a giant pile of sheets and towels is laying in the middle of our living room, we ran out of poop bags for Kipling, I haven’t been able to finish the fifth Harry Potter in six weeks time, and generally I feel like I can’t keep the house in order. But it’s all okay. Because life is good, and our family is good, and summer is good.
Between all of the out of town visitors, we made a little trip “out of town” for our annual 4th of July camping trip. This time, my adventure/travel extraordinaire friend, Hank, planned the entire thing, right down to our packing list and meals. That in itself was glorious because although I’m a huge over planner myself, sometimes it’s nice to let someone else (who I can trust) take the reigns and do that work (thanks Hank). All (unedited) photos in this post are thanks to him as I didn’t bring my camera (I shared a few on Instagram already).
So, about this trip…
We took a ferry to the Channel Islands (Dramamine already in my system to avoid sea sickness), where we were then used as “unpaid help” to unload the entire boat. After the fox warnings from the park ranger, we walked the mile to camp and ate yummy chicken out of a plastic bag (this camping food was all new to me but oh so good), and I had some serious life-changing experiences having to eat my food off a dirty, outdoor table and share 5 (unwashed) spoons with 10 people (I grew a lot on this trip). We kayaked/tried to kayak against the current that afternoon, but a few of us (me) did not have the strength and turned around after getting to float through a sea cave and see a dead seal (sad face).
Now the next day, the next day was the one we were
terrified excited terrified about. We woke up at like, 5 am, to pack up camp, jerry-rig our kayaks with trash bag covered hiking backpacks, and set out the 9 miles to our next camping spot. There was virtually no time for rest because we (I) were so slow, and everyone was so fast, AND I HAVE NO IDEA HOW, but we had to get there before the winds showed up at 11 am and pushed us all the way back to the start. Though our shoulders were burning until they were numb, and I kept having to jump into the freezing water to pee, kayaking along an island coast in the ocean is pretty magnificent looking/feeling, and our seal friends following along didn’t hurt either.
After reaching dry land (something that seemed impossible), we ate a ravenous lunch, only to pack up, and hike 3.5 miles uphill on a “strenuous” trail with all of our camping gear on our backs. This was the part I was most concerned about because I’m old, and my body is literally falling apart, and my chronic back pain was not going to be fun, and my wonky knee was going to hate me on any down slopes. I thought there was no possibility of me making it, but after approximately 7,236 “breaks”, we made it. And the camp was secluded, and the view was beautiful, and we had fancy appetizers and pasta and mini pies to celebrate the 4th of July as we watched a flea circus firework show 40 miles off in the distance.
We did it. I did it. I probably looked like such a wuss, but I made it without dying. The next day we had to hike back, and it was literally 1 MILLION times easier (our packs were lighter, but also Whitney carried a lot more and it was mostly downhill).
So, there you have it. We love to go camping and adventuring, but I won’t lie and say this wasn’t a lot for me. But I’m so glad for the experience and feel so accomplished. Also, I didn’t cry, so…there’s that.
P.S. There were millions of little foxes running around trying to steal all of our things, but they were so cute, and I almost domesticated our little derpy fox who kept paying us visits. He even took his afternoon nap next to us, so I would say I was almost there.