A tent, sleeping bags, folding chairs and table, a Coleman camp stove and lantern, miscellaneous pots, pans, spoons, forks and a corkscrew, a couple Dutch Ovens and a French Press, enough firewood to build a small log cabin and all the food that we could fit in the oh-so-important bear-locker.
When we set out for our camping trip, I thought to myself… why do people do this? Why do we take all the “necessities” of life, pile them in the car and set off to live in a tent? Once your campsite is set up, you can begin to contemplate the answer over a gooey S’more (made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and not plain ol’ chocolate, of course).
I just returned from a seven day camping trip to Yosemite National Park. We stayed in the Lower Pines Campground, site 57. A little close to the restrooms, thankfully far from the trash cans and pleasantly close to the Merced River. Though there were some gigantic RV’s and bizarre families close by, I really liked our site. Besides, site 57 was not the reason I was there. I had a date with Half Dome.
From site 57 to the top of the Dome and back again is about 18 miles. There is more than a 4,500 foot elevation gain and the last leg is truly a climb that requires using steel cables. The end result is sitting atop Yosemite’s icon at 8,836 feet. The end reward is pretty much immeasurable.
Among the range of emotions I felt for the rest of the trip, I knew. I knew why people do it. Why they camp. Camping is analogous to living, just without all the BS of civilization. Your main concerns are sunrise and set. Should I raft down the river or climb up the side of a waterfall? There are no cell phones or laptops and the definitions of dirty and clean are stretched far beyond the hand-sanitizer world in which we live. Food tastes better, flowers look prettier and a cool breeze on your sweaty skin feels like heaven. And, oh… don’t forget about those S’mores, Betty.