Pie and I try to go camping in Colorado quite a bit from late spring to early autumn. It almost seems kind of silly that we go through all the trouble we do to pack up shelter, clothing, gear, food, and of course, libations, and drive hundreds of miles of out town in order to spend one night in the middle of nowhere practically doing the same thing we would be doing at home: just drinking and sitting around. Heck, nowadays you can even download a show or movie on your smart phone or tablet ahead of time and “Netflix and Chill” out in the wilderness with absolutely no cell phone reception… but who would do such a thing! ;)
Even though it can be a lot of work and feel like a lot of wasted precious free time driving out to the middle of nowhere to find a place to sleep, there’s just something about camping that makes it all worth the effort. It isn’t just about getting away from the crowded urban neighborhoods or the noise of obnoxious city dwellers popping firecrackers an entire month early before the Independence Day holiday; it’s about finding the limited natural beauty we have left on this Earth and the journey shared to get there.
Pie had a colleague once comment that long road trips were actually great for him and his wife because it was one of the few times they actually get to communicate and have deep talks. During their road trips, they would often discover new things about each other, even after being married for several years.
It hadn’t occurred to me that Pie and I were doing that all along in our relationship, since we have been camping together since the first month we started dating seven years ago. By taking our seemingly pointless road trips and camping trips, we have been doing an important thing to nurture our relationship and help us grow together and not apart.
One of the most repeated pieces of advice Pie and I received when we got married was to have separate hobbies. Sure, Pie and I do our own things from time to time, but more frequently, we have fun together and not apart. I always say, the couples that play together, stay together! So I think we’ll keep doing it our way!
In mid-June we ventured out for our second camping trip of the season. After driving miles and miles on forest road #700 outside Vail, Colorado, passing gorgeous views of the back side of the Gore Range Mountains that we had camped on the other side of just a few weeks prior, and also passing a bear a short distance away, walking down a valley (!!!), Pie and I settled on a camping spot next to a lake.
We’ve tried on numerous desperate occasions to get friends to go camping with us, but we seem to get turned down for every excuse in the book. The main excuse we get is that they don’t “do camping”. For some people, it’s unfathomable to sleep in a tent or pee without a modern toilet.
I honestly don’t know why people are so afraid of camping (unless it’s bears). If you look closely, that’s a frozen margarita in my hand, with a garnish and decorative paper straw. Clearly we are not roughing it in any sense.
And I pity the fool who turns down an authentic, campfire-torched s’more.
So for now, it’s just Pie and I (and our two adventurous pups) venturing out in the woods by ourselves, passing by other big groups of campers that seem to have no shortage of friends that don’t mind camping.