Nature Bites

It surprises some people to learn that I like to camp. I guess I don’t seem all that outdoorsy. I’m not a Birkenstock-wearing gal. My family, as in my mom, dad and sisters, didn’t camp, but they managed to send me off to camp as a kid, and I fell in love with canoeing, campfires, and the freedom of wide open skies and the beauty of the countryside.

A couple of weeks ago, we camped in a cabin, which feels like cheating to me, but in early May, the weather has a pretty darn good chance of being freezing. It was ideal — a perfect outdoor weekend with glorious weather, lots of biking on mostly flat trails, sailing in the Chesapeake Bay, wonderful food easily prepped in a real kitchen, hot showers and real beds. It was still cool enough to not be buggy, but warm enough to happily sit on the beach.

This past weekend, we headed out again, this time to camp in a tent. It had rained a lot in the previous couple of days and the damp leaves, the mildew and mold that goes along with that, did a number on my allergies and respiratory system. Ticks were everywhere! Trails were washed out, making trail biking and hiking rather unpleasant. The company and food was super, which made it all worthwhile, but I felt a little less like a camper, this time, and I’m wondering if I’ve gone soft.

There’s so much about camping I love, that even with less than ideal conditions, I’m still eager to get out there, to see new parks and camping sites, to get out on the water in some way, and to conquer the challenges of roughing it triumphantly, or at least with as much comfort as I can manage.

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