Camping Trip, Day 1

Packing the picnic basket...It was even more full when we left
These are the thoughts I jotted down in a notebook during our camping trip last weekend, with pictures added, of course! Day 1 of our camping adventure:

With each mile we drove further from Phoenix, the stress of the past week melted off a little more.

The drive reminded me of a similar one, but going the opposite direction. Almost three months from the day we drove into Phoenix, we were driving along the same way we were when we first saw our new home.

We stopped at Walmart for a few necessities: a tarp, hotdogs and marshmallows, baby-wipes, and roasting forks. And, we couldn't forget some Mountain Dew. Brian needed it to stay awake, and I just wanted Mountain Dew because we were going to be camping in the mountains... and I'm super cheesy like that.

The two and a half hour drive flew by. I took as many pictures as I could of the setting sun on the cliffs.
Me being cheesy...and after drinking Mt. Dew
Highway into Heaven...actually just the top of a hill

And then, the sun went down. We knew it would before we reached the campsite, even with Brian leaving work early. Things got a little exciting. The roads were narrow, two way, with glaring headlights coming at on one side and a sheer drop off or cliff face on the other. To make matters worse, the roads curved sharply, so that we couldn't see what was around the bedn until we were practically past it. We were looking for Cave Springs Campground and had a map with the others along the way, so when a sign flashed past we had some idea of which one it was, but we were thrown off by all the resorts and houses.

God was for us, because we rounded a bend and saw the sign in time to slow down and pull in.  We were very glad we came on Thursday because there was still plenty of room. By the light of our flashlights and the headlights we set up our tent, air mattress, figured out how to light the propane lantern, found the restrooms, and then I could think about dinner. 

Brian set up our borrowed campstove and I broke out our new camping dishes and a can of chili. We were both starving, and one can didn't look like enough, so I tried cooking some of the vegetables I'd brought. This is what I did: I wrapped the potatoes and a carrot separately in aluminum foil and set them on the stove top grill, but not directly over the burner, so as not to burn through the foil. We devoured the chili, so Brian ate Oreos while we tried to get those vegetables to cook. Either the foil would burn, or the vegetables would burn, while still being as crunchy as could be. We finally succeeded in cooking one potato and charring the carrot. With the Oreos and chips, we had enough to eat, and by the time we gave up on the other potato, we were ready to crash. 

Flashback: I looked up from messing with the vegetables and movement caught my eye. Cat? Wait..."SKUNK!" 
"Where?!" Brian asked. It had just walked out of lamp range. 
"There!" I pointed into the pitch darkness. Brian switched on a flashlight, spotlighting the plum striped creature as it waddled past our tent and into the bushes. 

It was cold. It was freezing cold. I wore sweatpants, a tank top, tee-shirt, and one of Brian's sweatshirts with the hood pulled up and a winter hat. I was fine as long as Brian cuddled with me with his arm over me and my head on his chest, except that my face was still freezing and I had to sleep with the blankets over my head. And at some point Brian rolled over and left me shivering, huddled against his back. I woke up at every loud car, or Brian's snoring, and I worried that a bear might mistake the sound for a potential mate. To make matters worse, I really had to go to the bathroom, but I didn't want to go alone, and I didn't want to wake up Brian. He would really be bear-like then! Thankfully, we both were awake at about 3:30 a.m., and Brian had to go to the bathroom also, so we made the frigid trek. 

It was pitch dark. The stars were breathtaking. On the way back, Brian stopped in his tracks. The flashlight illuminated the skunk, scooting along ahead of us. He didn't stop at our campsite, luckily. 

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