Jun 17, 2019

Camping In Colorado

6/17/2019 — cori

This past weekend we ended a 4 year self-imposed moratorium on camping. The Mallott Camping Rain Curse has been heavily documented over the years. And if it wasn't raining on our parade, then the bugs, specifically mosquitos, were poised against our enjoyment of the outdoors. Yet, we remained optimistic thinking "this time will be better". Why?! For the love of God, why can't we just admit we suck at camping?! The curse is real people. Even if we go with other avid campers who've never experienced our drama, we somehow suck them into our portal of bad luck instead of the other way around. This time was no exception.

John and Karen invited us camping with them. John is an avid hunter. He knows how to camp, doesn't get all bent out of shape about a little bad weather, and has all the tools and stuff to make a camping adventure easier and rain-proof. We scheduled this trip 6 months ago with the thought that summer camping would be fun, rain free, and warm. How could anything go wrong? The week leading up to our camping date showed an 80% chance of rain with temperatures plummeting into the low 30s at night.

John ensured the rain would stay off our tent by providing us with this fantastic tarp. Sadly, the tarp did nothing to keep the 32 degrees out of our tent.

This is the face of a "not-happy-camper".  Chloe did not sleep all night. Apparently our sleeping bags and quilts were not enough of a defense against the freezing night air. This was our first attempt at sleeping outside in freezing temperatures.

The first bird started its morning song around 4am. I was finally brave enough to make a run for the car by 5:07am. I literally could not feel my toes they were so numb. We all sat in the car with the heater blasting 90 degree air for 2 hours waiting for John and Karen to wake up.

 They enjoyed all the comforts of home in this camper they rented. I am now of the opinion that campers make camping easier. It helps take the primitive out of nature.

However, when we decided to take our kids on their very fist camping adventure in March of 2008, we were going to do it primitive. We didn't have a lot of money to buy all the right gear. We were given a tent for Christmas one year. We all had sleeping bags. We lived in Texas, so rain and/or bad weather wasn't a problem. We had a cooler to put all our food in and we had chairs to set up around a camp fire. What more do you need? This wasn't a costly venture, it was done out of practicality and with great cost efficiency. And the kids loved it! How can they not, the whole outdoors becomes their playground. It feeds their curiosity. They can use their endless amounts of energy running everywhere. It's such a great activity to do with young kids. And therein lies the key phrase: young kids. We are no longer in that phase of life. We actually only took one of our kids on this latest trip and she was having none of it. Except for when she was in the hammock with her young cousins.

That was a happy place.

I had a great time with my little snuggle bug on this trip. I was his horsey and he was the cowboy. 

We were very lucky to get campsites right next to each other which makes hanging out that much more fun.

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful setting. We were at 10,100 feet above sea level. I think the altitude had a lot to do with how incredibly cold it still was in June. I guess if you can still see snow, it means it's still cold. And as we've learned living in CO the past two years, afternoon thunderstorms are very common. 

When it rained after dinner and throughout the night, we just got cozy in the camper and played a lot of games and stayed dry.

But the moonrise was pretty.

 The next morning we decided to pack up our tent early. It was forecasted to rain the entire day. We would rather put our tent away early and enjoy the rest of the day. We were supposed to stay a second night, but after the first nights' frozen fiasco, we knew there would be no second night. But that didn't stop us from enjoying the second day. We played cornhole (the girls won).

We threw lots of rocks into the lake.

We made fire.

This was such a beautiful setting. It was a fun time together. And we actually ended up with periods of sun and warmish weather believe it or not. But it also cemented our decision to never camp again. We will be happy to accompany any fellow campers who desire our company while staying in a cabin. But that's our minimum requirement from now on. We love nature. We love exploring. We love outdoor adventures. We do not love rain. We do not love cold. We do not love numb toes. We are not primitive and we are not wealthy. We may not be able to afford camping in style in a camper, but we can afford a cabin for a night. A structure that is sure to keep out bugs, rain, and cold. This is the new "us". Goodbye camping. It was funnish (not really) while it lasted. You gave us lots of memories (filled with rain and cold). But life is a cycle and full of change. We are ready to embrace that change with open arms.

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