This year was incredibly busy and it seemed like my days never matched up to give me an opportunity to get out and camp and hike as often as I would like. Last year, by July, I had already gone camping 6 times. I hiked more often than that.
Sometimes in life, you have to take what you can get.
I completely understand the bumper sticker that reads “A bad day fishing beats a good day at work”.
A bad weekend camping also pretty much beats a good day anywhere else. Even if it’s cold and raining half the time and you have to will yourself to be there because it beats anything else that you have going on.
We tried. That’s all I can say.
I’ve known my friend, Chalisa since childhood. We are both equine enthusiasts, her a little bit more than me these days. We started planning about three weeks in advance to go camping for the weekend and to take the horses with us.
Who plans a camping trip on Friday the 13th? We do. I was in charge of picking up the groceries for our dinners. I couldn’t resist buying a large package of chicken that retailed at $6.66. I dubbed this “The Devil’s Chicken” and claimed to everyone that I was using reverse psychology on the universe to avoid our pending murders at the state park.
I’m known for my weirdness.
As only Murphy’s Law would have it, it was gorgeous all week up to the day of the trip and then the rain was to move in. Not just a little rain, but thunder and lightning on top of heavy downpours. And wind. We can’t forget the wind.
We weren’t going to let that stop us though!
I was finally able to make it to the campsite in the horseman’s campground at Potato Creek State Park. Chalisa was already there getting the horses settled in and our campsite squared away. She likes to stay in her trailer while I prefer the confines of my Kelty Trail Ridge 3 tent. It’s glorious.
Since we knew that the rain was coming, we set up a canopy over the picnic table. We enjoyed some drinks and laughs while we caught up with our lives and gossip. There’s always plenty to talk about.
We were both exhausted from our day and turned in. We were blessed with a pack of coyotes calling very close to the campground. It was eerie and fantastic all at the same time.
We were up early and enjoyed a breakfast made up of coffee, bacon, sausage, eggs and fried Honey Crisp apples. The rain seemed to hold off a little while to allow the sun to peek through the clouds. It was short lived.
We didn’t waste a lot of time getting our horses saddled up so we could head out. We got about 4 hours of riding in before the thunder and lightning arrived and we had to get off of the trail. It was even nice to just hang out in my tent and read a book.
It was about suppertime and we were contemplating if we were going to let the weather win or if we were going to stick it out all night in hopes that the morning might deliver some better news.
The radar told us that cold, wind and rain would be what we would have to look forward to. Other campers were already loading up and heading home. I joked that they were quitters knowing that we would likely also be quitters before the night was over.
We decided to at least make our Devil’s Chicken for dinner before making the call to go or stay. I wrapped our chicken quarters in the aluminum foil along with the other ingredients and placed them into the Dutch Oven.I had never used a Dutch Oven before and I was impressed by it. I didn’t think it would heat up as quickly or as hot as it did.
We enjoyed our dinner and the conversation. At about 7 o’clock when the rain and wind was picking up we decided to go ahead and call it and head home. The majority of the people that had managed to last the day were now starting to pack up and head out.
We were disappointed but at least we got to go out for a bit and enjoy our time together and with the horses. Just that one night and the day spent out on the trail was enough to recharge the batteries a little bit.
I’d do it again.
In other news. I hung my Kelty Trail Ridge 3 tent up to dry with a fan blowing on it. It took almost 3 hours to completely dry. That’s how soaked everything was. I also managed to drop my wifi hotspot on the ground at the campsite. I went back the next morning and found it buried under some leaves. I was amazed when I discovered that it still worked. I dried it out and I am using it as my primary internet connection as I type this post.
Good times. Ain’t we lucky we got em?