A camping we will go…

28 09 2008

We went camping again this weekend. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera this time. We weren’t actually planning on going, but when Webb came home from work we just threw everything in the car in less than 15 minutes and hit the road. Pack-up, set-up, and take-down are super fast now that we know the routine. Plus our tent is super easy to put up even with just one person. We camped at the same place we did last time and actually got a good night’s sleep. It actually wasn’t that cold out there, about 49 degrees. Since the moon didn’t rise until maybe 1am that night and it was clear you could see the stars very well, we saw several shooting stars.

In the morning we packed everything up and drove a different way out to see if the road eventually looped around…unfortunately after a terrifying ride (steep and rocky) the road simply ended with no place to turn around. Thrilling, especially when we were discussing how we might possibly get stuck out there and what we would do. We managed to turn the car around without breaking anything and clawed our way back out.


Oil Well Flats

20 09 2008

On Thursday we went camping again. Take two, for the BLM, only this time we hoped that our plans wouldn’t be ruined by the 31% chance for rain. After watching the weather like a hawk, with clear skies we decided to begin packing a head in that direction (if the weather changed we would just go home). After packing grey clouds began to roll in, after eating drip drops of very light rain, in the drive-thru to get coffee monstrous scary lightning everywhere but no rain. Once I convinced Webb that, “clearly the weather is quickly moving east and if you look west the skies are clear and the weather will be nice, and please please please let’s at least drive up there.”

We had our spot all picked out, but when we got out there someone was already there parked behind a tree doing God knows what.  So we went about 2 miles further back into the area and found the most awesome campsite ever. We will definitely be returning to this location for future camp-outs.  It’s on the top of a hill over looking the canyon.  Off in the distance to the south you could see some lights from Canon City twinkling in the distance. It had a great fire pit already built and used, flat vegetation-free ground, and a nice little pull in for the car. It was GREAT. When we first arrived it was raining (barely). Enough to make us re-think our decision, but it stopped right after we got the tent set up and the fire lit. The only drawback was that it was almost too quiet at night, and every sound was the sound of a bear or mountain lion contemplating ripping open the tent and having a midnight snack.

This is where the tent was, actually very comfortable.

This is where the fire-pit was, very cozy, and you could sit on the big rock to the left.

The sun was shining so brightly that Webb couldn’t open his eyes to see who he was waving to.

Camping Lite

8 09 2008

For the past week or so I have been eagerly anticipating a camping trip.  Webb acquiesced to my nagging insistence and we planned to go camping with another couple that we met through Webb’s job.  All plans we set for last Thursday, all gear purchased and packed using meticulous lists created by yours truly.  At the last minute an unplanned Dr’s appointment interfered and our friends were unable to come along…uh oh, just Webb and I all by ourselves.  So i planned and packed an elaborate feast of hamburgers and ravioli for dinner and eggs and bacon for breakfast and off we went.  We had a large lunch at Chili’s and a quick stop for ice and a few perishables for the cooler and off we went.

We stayed at a campground called Five Points which is part of the Upper Arkansas Valley Recreation Area.

We had planned on buying some firewood at a place on the way that has piles and piles of firewood for sale, but it turned out that they were closed.  At the campground there is no attendant, so you just fill out your info and put a copy along with your money into a slot. We walked down to the river (creek) and then went back to our site to set up camp.

There are railroad-tie steps between the two giant rocks.

This is the campsite, fire-pit, tent pad, and picnic table

The area is in a place called Bighorn Canyon, but we didn’t see any Bighorn Sheep.  There are also bears in the area, but no sightings.

The most popular event of the evening was playing with fire…

We had big plans to cook food and maybe go hiking but in the end we didn’t eat anything or hike anywhere we essentially put up the tent, burned firewood, went to bed, got up packed up, went home…you might think this was a bad thing, but what you can’t see in the pictures is that US Highway 50 follows the river and goes right through this canyon, so all night long we got to hear the sound of passing trucks, headlights, and the strange belchy sound of exhaust brakes…  Next time I think we may try to find a campsite a little further away from the highway.

In the end though, we had the best time.

Going camping!!!

1 09 2008

We are going camping! Today I spread out all the gear (non-clothing) that we would possibly take camping and lovingly admired all the items. Then I fretted over whether i had all the things I needed (still need an appropriate first-aid kit and fire related items) and also whether my chronic over-packing tendencies had been completely satisfied… Did i ever tell you that I tend to pack very early for things? Often weeks in advance…I think it’s the excitement.

Tomorrow I will be setting up our new tent for practice and probably packing clothes and planning meals.  Here’s a picture of the tent we bought.

I also garbled through directions on how to use a compass (my Dad taught me years ago but I need a refresher) and admired my topographical map of the area. I also read sections of my outdoor survival guide and Colorado camping guides, and drooled over the REI website of expensive specialized outdoor camping gear.

We are planning to camp right on the Arkansas River at a campground called 5 points. It should be fun, and if we survive we may get to plan another trip further up the Arkansas River Valley away from civilization at the Hecla campground. Both are located in the Upper Arkansas Valley Recreation Area. We’ll see how it goes. i don’t really ever see Webb and I as serious back-country campers, but I would like to reside somewhere in the middle ground between back-country camping and electrical hookups. For example, for a longer trip (more than 3 nights) running water provided and toilets optional, no electricity.

Eventually we may grow more adventurous, but for now this should be fun. I’m mostly looking forward to campfires, because I may be a girl, but i CAN build a mean fire. I’ll be sure to take pics.