07 October 2016

Day 15: Camping

Ann Dee Ellis 8-Minute Memoirs.

Camping is one of those things that is more of an aspiration than a reality to me.

I've been camping of course. Six Girls Camps through my teen years, a trek that included camping, sleeping outside on the trampoline...

I once camped (yes, for real) in the Tetons with friends. I didn't realize how cold it would be. A friend and I shared a sleeping bag, and since we were all too broke to own tents, the 10 of us that had gone on the trip slept in a long row, hoping to get body heat on our side. It was very cold, even in mid-August. It was almost unfathomably hot during the day, but we cooled off in the glacial streams that ran across our hiking path. That was a fun trip. I'll always be grateful for the outdoorsy friends I made at BYU - Idaho and the fun we had.

My favorite camping trip was 100% indoors. It was a New Years Eve 4 or 5 years ago and Casey and I set up our tent in the front room. I don't know what it is about setting tents up inside that fascinates me, but I've always loved raising a tent inside. We slept on our air mattress and drank Martinelli's at midnight. The pictures were blurry but the memories are clear.

Most recently I had a forced camping night this summer. Casey and I were driving home from Chicago and hit a deer in the middle of South Dakota. It didn't do much damage--a couple of dents--but it freaked us both out enough that we stopped at the very next rest stop and slept in the back of my car with the windows cracked enough to let in fresh air, but not so much that we'd freeze.

I'll always remember nights trying to sleep out on the trampoline with fondness. It had all the fun of camping without any of the setup, and all we had to do was gaze at the stars. There are few things more comforting when you wake up in the middle of the night than looking up and seeing an infinity of stars.

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