• Jill

Getting Back in the Groove

Hello again, friends! It's been a while. Time is zooming by in the way it only does when there's too much on one's plate, and I admit I was shocked when I logged in and realized it's been more than a month since our last blog post.

Saturday was Andrew's birthday, and I miraculously had Friday night off, so we took advantage of the occasion and drove our Element about an hour and a half away to one of Washington's many free campgrounds in the Capitol State Forest. It was so easy to just drive up and find a spot, we are looking forward to this kind of travel in the fall on our road trip. Well, I say "easy." It almost was, but so far in our lives we've been fair weather campers, which means it's been at least 8 months since we were out in the wilderness (and that's a conservative estimate).

The American Dream.

This was all a somewhat last-minute plan, and packing after I taught first and second period at the high school was less than organized. We realized as we pulled up to our chosen campsite, secluded and right by the river, that neither of us had managed to pack the lighter that was sitting out in the open on the dresser. We ransacked the vehicle, hoping that maybe even though it would make no sense at all, there might be a little Bic tucked away somewhere random. No such luck. Staring wistfully out the dusty window as our perfect little spot disappeared from view, we rattled back down the nearly 2 miles of jarringly potholed "primitive" road to find a general store.

In a twist of fate nearly unheard of in this beautiful region on a sunny Friday afternoon, our preferred campsite remained unclaimed by the time we returned, our Element now suitably filthy. Though now we had a neighbor just a little ways over, no real complaints because he had two very friendly dogs who didn't hesitate to visit. Having reclaimed our status as gods of flame, we now had the ability to operate our camp stove, which was our only plan for food, and start a fire. We hiked a little and practiced our Instagram poses near a couple of small waterfalls before popping open a six-pack of Heineken and prepping our hot dogs for cooking.


....which wasn't an easy task, once we realized we didn't bring silverware, or cooking utensils of any kind. At all. We had just enough fuel for the camp stove to maybe make it through dinner and breakfast in the morning, and our little pot and pan, but no spatula, forks, spoons... you get the picture. Thank goodness Andrew always has his pocketknife, or we would have had to decide between burned fingers or cold dogs. We bickered over who needed this precious tool most as we tried to cook together, and it took a solid try before we got it right, but in the end we got to enjoy campfire hot dogs with camembert, grilled onions, and bacon. We are bougie campers.

Our "unprepared camper hack" that we are possibly most proud of was realizing why people own such things as "camp chairs," recognizing that even if we'd wanted to pack some we do not own any, adding them to our shopping list, and then wondering if we don't need them after all once Andrew removed our two back seats from the Element and plopped them on the ground. Let's just say they were plush. They even have little cup holders built in. If they weren't so flipping heavy we might just think they were made for this purpose. Admittedly, we do see the value in lightweight, easy-folding camp chairs (and they make them with cup holders I guess) but no regrets in terms of our fireside seating experience this weekend.

We slept for a good 11 hours in our little 2-person tent (that we love), had a delicious-but-awkwardly-cooked breakfast scramble, and threw all our stuff back into the car to make it home to host a killer birthday party Saturday night.

At the end of the day (night?) we were able to use this brief excursion to A) remind ourselves of the basic essentials that need to be packed to make our lives easier, B) start getting practiced again at finding neat places to explore for cheap (or free!), and C) edit our shopping and packing list for the road trip portion of our adventure. It also reaffirmed our excitement about our Element, which, once we start moving on the rough plans we have, is going to be *bitchin'*.

We're going to get some camp chairs though.

- J

We'll work more on our Instagram poses, too.


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