Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh, and camping

After a full day with families and two Thanksgiving meals, DC and I packed up our gear for my first ever camping trip.  Since it was my first time, we decided to go for just one night.  Which, I noticed, outside of food, was just as much packing as a longer trip would have been, since we still needed sleeping bags, a tent, etc.  But better for me to start slowly:  I have to like it the first time for there to be a second time.

[packed and ready to go!]

Friday morning we set off for San Diego to meet up with our friends, before driving out to the campsite.  Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is under an hour's drive east of San Diego.  We went from beach to woodsy in hardly any time.

Once we arrived, we decided to go hiking first, to make the most of the daylight.

[golden oak leaves]

[stonewall peak hike -- elev 5,700 ft]

[view of lake cuyamaca below]

[back to camp]

After a good 90 minutes, we had enought light left to start making camp.  Good thing DC and I had a practice session with pitching the tent the previous weekend.  Being more experienced, he really did most of the work, though.


My brother, who's done a lot of camping in the last year or more, gave us a bunch of firewood.  He told me that he'd given us much more than one night's worth, but we found ourselves having to forage for more fire fodder.  Big bro did most of his camping in summer, where the fire didn't get started until after 8:00.  We had to start ours at 5:30!

Once the fire got going and we'd changed -- rather, added on layers -- it was comfy-cozy going.  For dinner we had curry udon, and for dessert there were cookies, s'mores, popcorn, and we threw some yams into the fire:


We discovered that yams are a delicious substitute for the chocoloate in s'mores (especially when the person doesn't like chocolate), and putting a roasted marshmallow directly on the yam is quite nice, too.

We'd known of a 30-40% chance of rain, so made sure we cleaned and packed up before turning in.  The wind began to pick up, and clouds raced over the clear skies, obscuring the moon and stars completely in an hour.  DC made me sleep in the car because he didn't think I could handle the tent + wetness, and I obliged.

Here's what we awoke to:

[snowy leaves]

[snowy ground]

[breakin' down]

Yes, SNOW, people.  Myko enjoyed it, snapping pictures and drawing on my windshield.  DC got busy breaking down camp, urging me to stay in the car and keep warm.  We cancelled campside breakfast and headed back into San Diego to find a diner or something.

[clear + gray skies]

Despite the unexpected weather, it was a fun trip!  I do look forward to camping more in 2010.  I'll stick to car camping, though (no hard-core backpackin' roughin' it for me -- yet)!

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