Happy Campers - Part I

>> Saturday, June 7, 2008

I make no apologies for this 5-mile long post. Don’t feel obligated to read it – you can just check out the pics. I wanted to detail our happy campin' weekend.


Hubby and I “roughed” it in the great outdoors this past weekend. We reserved a little spot at
Deception Pass State Park. It’s a favorite spot of ours as well as the rest of the state of Washington apparently since I read that it’s the state’s most popular park. Here’s some brief history about the park and how it came to be. When you look at the water near the bridge you can see how shifty it is, currents going this way and that (more pics later on in this post). Just say NO to swimming here! Actually, I thought that’s why this area was named Deception Pass, because of the deceiving, turbulent waters but I guess it's because good ol’ Cap’n Vancouver just made a mistake thinking the area was a peninsula not realizing it was an inlet. He’s so silly.

Okay, history lesson out of the way now for some fun (for me at least)! Let’s start from the beginning:

Gosh, what a production it is to go camping for 2 days for two of us. Sheesh! As we were packing
up more and more stuff I thought wouldn’t it be nice if you could just fold the house up like an umbrella (didn’t the Grinch do that one time when he was busy stealing Christmas from the Whos? BTW, my favorite Christmas movie of all time). Anyway, it felt like we were moving. Maybe I should’ve prefaced this by saying that our campsite had POWER. Now, that’s called roughin’ it kids. And because we knew we had power that meant packing up everything but the kitchen sink! We brought our Vita-Mix, juicer and food processor. Yes, I know kind of ridiculous but we just had to because we knew we could. Next time we will simplify. In addition to our electricity our PDA phones even had service in the woods. Didn’t use them much, just mainly for checking email. So despite the conveniences it was nice to be away from the computer and breathe some really good fresh air.

First thing we did once we got there was set up our new tent. Our new tent is actually about four years old but had never been out of its box. We had intentions of camping for a long time but for whatever reason never did until now. And would you believe it? I forgot to take a pic when it was up. I took a pic of everything else seems like.

Some other scenic pics around camp. I thought Isle Dance would enjoy the tree shots. :)

Not sure what kind of bird this is. When I initially took the shot I thought it was Robin Redbreast...uh, no. It's obviously something else. ???

After we got settled in a bit we headed down to the beach. The sun was out but still chilly (hey what’s new these days around here?). And we were able to witness a gorgeous sunset.

Back at camp I stationed myself at the
mess hall. Ha ha! We had done some dehydrating in preparation for this trip so we brought along Russell James’s bread, crackers and corn chips (I combined a couple of recipes to come up with my own version – I’ll try to remember to post the recipe). For dinner we had sandwiches made with fresh avocado, tomatoes, sweet onion, romaine (we also used mustard greens another time and that was good too), cucumber, Bubbies horseradish spread (surprisingly, not hot), organic whole seed mustard, and as an option, EVOO and balsamic vinegar drizzled lightly on top and lots of pepper sprinkled on. We eat these open-faced and they are messy, which means they’re good right? Ignore the mess on the tablecloth.

The fire hubby made was divine. I love campfires. One day when I have a house with a big yard I want a fire pit. I don’t need to roast marshmallows or anything like that but I do like the coziness of a fire indoor or outdoor. We stayed up for awhile just enjoying our surroundings and the bizillon stars we were able to see. Whoa! Living in suburbia we don’t get to see many stars or at least not like this. Spectacular!

As I mentioned in a previous post, our sleeping pad was okay. It worked well enough to keep any rocks and lumps away from our bodies but it still felt like we were lying on a hard floor. Oh wait, we were! Oh well, watcha gonna do? We used to have a memory foam topper…wonder where that is? We’ll be investing in an air-mattress for sure. Anyway, we still managed to get some shuteye.

So breakfast. As I confessed, again in the aforementioned post, I was not raw nor vegan for this starter meal. Mentally, I was not ready to part ways with the comforts of breakfast foods associated with camping. I will not go further about this so I don’t torture/tempt anyone. Hubby was good however and had smoothies and watermelon. Yum!

I managed to stay raw for lunch and dinner. We had guacamole, chips (raw) and salsa (not raw), watermelon juice, smoothies, and more sandwiches.

We never did use the food processor so we won’t be bringing that appliance camping next time. I still laugh over the fact we brought electric appliances camping – ha ha. For next time, hubby suggested bringing either the juicer or blender only. We’d also take more time in prepping beforehand with more dehydrated stuff and ready-to-go fruits and veggies. Oh and make a menu!

We also brought all kinds of things to do like games, books, magazines, art supplies, etc. but didn’t do any of that. Maybe if we were there longer we would have but two days you’re just getting settled in.

Anyway, our experiment worked: you can be raw campers with some patience and preparation in advance. It was nice to only have foods that wouldn’t spoil outside. Bugs still loved us and the raccoons still found our trash stash while we were away. I wish they’d at least pick up after themselves or be more discreet.

The weather while camping wasn’t stellar. The good news, it didn’t rain. I think I felt maybe two or three raindrops and that’s it. The bad news, it was cold. It was just a reminder of living in the Pacific Northwest because I forget sometimes and have high expectations of how the weather should be at the end of May/beginning of June (grr). It should be SUNNY! And WARMER! Pretty please?

Because it was cold in the a.m. and the clouds kept teasing us we got off to late starts both mornings. We spent the afternoon on Saturday siteseeing and hanging out at the beach(es). There were more clouds in our way but the views were still awesome.

bridge itself is about 180 feet high and is actually two bridges in one. Whatever. It’s one bridge to me. ;) You can walk along it on both sides and peer over. I’m not afraid of heights (as long as I know I’m safe) so this is pretty cool. The view is amazing. There are footpaths down at the base of the bridge. We had fun skipping along!

The beaches differ from one place to another. Some sand, some rocks but all have lots of driftwood. A lot. We drove back over the Pass bridge to another beach that had lots of very smooth rocks. I actually found myself rock hunting. They’re so unique and I get curious about their history.

At another beach it had this sculpture of a woman with a fish over her head. There's a legend about her which I can't remember all the details but basically this young woman with long hair lived on this beach with her family and one day a young man from the sea came up to meet her. He lived in the water with his family and they were blessed with a lot friends and food (he seemed to brag a lot about this if I recall). He met her again and they wanted to marry. She took him home to meet her family but her father wasn't sold on the idea of her marrying this man and living in the sea. They were afraid they'd never see her again if she married him. The young man told him that because of his decision to not allow them to marry the family would suffer great consequence. And they did. They were shunned by their community and food was difficult to come by for everyone (no fish and barely enough vegetation). Eventually the parents asked their daughter to go back to the sea and ask the young man back. He came back and they were going to be married but she would live in the sea with him where again, food and friends would be in abundance. Her father agreed on the condition she'd be allowed to visit them on land every year. The family were respected again and everyone had lots of food. The daughter did visit them but as the years progressed they could tell that she was becoming less happy each time because she missed being away from her husband and her own home. She loved her family but missed hers too much. Her family decided she was no longer required to come visit them. They were a little sad about this but the daughter had her way of checking up on her family often, which is when you see the seaweed in the water it symbolizes her hair; as though it was her coming up near the surface to see her family and making sure they were well.
On Sunday late morning we packed up everything lickity-split. Again, because we didn’t have meat or other things like that to clean up it made things quick and easy. And not smelly! The stuff we picked up for my naughty b’fasts on the way up we just tossed away since it wouldn’t get eaten at home. It was just a camping thing you know?

Home again home again. The weekend went so fast but it was so fun! We made sure before we left our house that everything was clean so it would be nice to come home to. On our way home we thought we’d just leave everything in the car, take a shower, take a nap and then unpack and clean everything after. Reality though is I just can’t leave it. I gotta bring stuff in since I’m heading in that direction anyway so then I might as well unpack this or unpack that and so before you know it we had brought in everything and started laundry. We brought the campin’ smell back with us too. Unfortunately, it stayed in our pillows so we got new ones.

We’ll be going camping again. Oh yeah! But we will be doing things a wee bit differently – live and learn right?

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