Winter Camping

Ready to Go!
Ready to Go!

I went camping the other weekend. It kind of broke me.

No, the -25degree weather didn’t shatter my bones or freeze my veins solid. It was something else.

Something I’ve been missing…but let me explain. 

My friend Kate came into work at 4:00pm on Friday afternoon.

“Do you want to go on an adventure?” she asked.

   “Yep!” I responded.             “Really?” She said.

   So 2 hours later we trundled out of town with longjohns, layers, wood, tent, and a borrowed dog piled high in Kate’s rav.

  We were going on an adventure.

“And how long have you been planning this?”

“About an hour and a half now” I answered my surrogate uncle on the phone. I was calling in a firewood request.

“You couldn’t have waited until warmer weather next week?” He was a little incredulous, skeptical, and playing the role of responsible parent.

I figured he could take my honesty.

“I could be dead next week! Gotta go when you can, right?”

Pardon my frank translation of carpe diem.

My father’s friend aquiesed. And he knew we weren’t stupid. We’d pack it in if we needed.

Other K8 Camping Escapades; Golden Ears 2012
Other K8 Camping Escapades; Golden Ears 2012

We had a lovely time. We sat in snow and on firewood and tarps.

We watched the sky for Northern Lights and tried to take star pictures.
[too cold. need fire. ice fingers.]

We sat side by side and I couldn’t even think of anything to say.
The sign of a good friend. I think we’ve said it all.

Taken the year we slept outside every month, tossing piles of bedding out my bedroom window to the balcony before hoisting ourselves out as well. (The door was sealed to keep the cold out.)

I made the fire. Kate made the grub.

Can’t go wrong with Mac’n’cheese! …or can you…?

We ate from the pot, saving on dishes.

“This is worse than Jonny’s KD even!” Kate said.

We laughed as we remembered our poor Irish friend’s camping experience with Kraft Dinner. It didn’t turn out so great either.

“Just keep aiming for the hotdogs!” Pretty sure the hotdogs were the only reason we kept eating. Hotdogs makes KD so much better.

“Everything tastes better in the bush, right?” This is what we told ourselves.

Summa Camping; Classic Menu.
Summa Camping; Classic Menu.

I had an odd mix of emotion that night.

Blissful freedom and the rush of spontaneous adventure.

Full laughter and simple contentment of the moment.

And a bittersweetness  recalling memories with Kate, snow, and the outdoors itself, all while wondering how many more of these nights I will get. It won’t be long before one of us is married, moved, or -gasp- too caught up in the busyness and responsibilities of the life of ADULTHOOD to go out on a whim.

(Please, please, Let it not be so! I’m sorry to even utter such travesty!)

3 Amigos; Mystic Beach 2011
More memories! 3 Amigos; Mystic Beach 2011.

I was so happy, I was kind of sad. 

I learned a lot about lifestyle that night. Learned a little more of what I want.

I learned it doesn’t take much to make me happy. I LOVE being outside. It’s weird to live in city limits – I used to just step outside and there was bush in the backyard! I didn’t know how much I missed it.

I saw that I love the North. I love this place – Beautiful British Columbia! How will I ever leave?

 I miss the smell of lifejackets and dirt. I miss cold fingers, wearing gumboots and driving in the dark. Fires.

I love friends. Making memories. Late nights and early mornings. Adventures.

I love it so much it caused me distress. I want more!

So yes, Kate. Really – I’d love to go on an adventure. Thanks for the invite : )

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