After our thrilling first experience of camping and the encounters in the wild we were all set to camp more last year. But sadly couldn’t camp anymore last year. Partly because we were busy after that and also due to lack of availability of any better campground. All good campsites are booked 2-3 months in advance and we learnt it the hard way last year. This year we were determined to make most of the sunny weather by camping as much as possible. Come spring and Hubby made 2-3 different reservations over the month of April, May and June in different campsites.
Unfortunately we had to cancel the one in April. I thought that it was jinxed because i spoke about it to my colleagues at work. My colleagues are nice people but i have noticed that whenever I get too excited about any vacation or trip that I am taking in the future and talk about it to anyone, it gets jinxed. Out of nowhere circumstances develop which jeopardizes the trip. Like Hubby will have some urgent work that week or the weather will not be conducive. And a lot of times i have ended up canceling it.
So for the one in May i kept mum. I didn’t speak about it until after i was done camping. In fact, I wanted it to be a romantic experience for me and Hubby and so we didn’t invite any friends to join us. I called it the “Jungle Mein Mangal” experience… he he 😉
We had all our camping equipment from last year packed in the store room as is. That included the tent and its accessories, the propane stove and extra cylinders, torch and lanterns, tissue rolls sleeping bags etc.A couple of trips back and forth from the store room and we were all set. We stopped at our favorite restaurant for a quick brunch and picked up milk, bread and ice from a nearby safeway. The other food items like teabags, sugar, salt, onion, tomato etc I picked straight from my own kitchen.
The campsite was in a Redwood National Park about 50 mins drive from where we live. That was the first weekend the camp was opened for camping and we thought we were really lucky to have booked such a beautiful and sought after campsite. We reached there early by 1 PM. The regular checkin time is 2 PM. But the lady at the counter allowed us to checkin. We picked wood for campfire from the registration counter and went ahead to check our campsite. Ours was next to a cliff and there was a stream flowing down below. As we started clearing the ground to setup our tent we realized some of the cons of camping on the first day of park opening. The campsite was completely covered with fallen twigs and leaves that had accumulated over the entire fall and winter season. After about 15 mins of sweeping the ground was finally cleared. It didn’t take us long to setup the tent and by 2 PM we were done.
We had plenty of time and a lot to explore in the park. We set out on hike to the waterfall which was full of water this time of the year. The water was so cold that i lost sensation in my feet after just 2 mins of standing in the water. Still that didnt stop me from posing in the water for some pictures. There were kids and other groups who were also playing in water else I was all set to shoot my own Liril ad. The trail we took back to our camp was marked in a lot of sections but in some parts it was missing. We actually lost it after a while and unfortunately had to head back on the same path we came. Heading back on the same trail instead of completing the loop is a bit annoying but we enjoyed our time by clicking more pictures on the way.
Back at the camp we had cup noodles for dinner and made some corn. We still had plenty of time left before the sun went down and so we also caught up on some reading. That evening, was the most peaceful and relaxing evening I spent in past few months.We slept early, as soon as it was dark and after we ran out of fire wood to keep our camp fire burning.It was a bit cold, but I insisted we leave all the windows of the tent open. I love to wake in the morning with sun light falling on my face and to the sounds of the birds. And indeed what a beautiful morning it was. We went to bed with the sounds of insects and the soothing stream flowing below the cliff and woke up with the sounds of birds. We didn’t need any alarm to wake us up. We quickly made some coffee and headed on another hike/ morning walk.
This time we took a different trail. There were more trees fallen on the way and at some places we had to really struggle to cross over them. But I loved the wilderness this way… undisturbed.. in its most pristine natural form. We hiked for almost 2 hours before we reached the camp again. We made some breakfast which included omelets with bread and chai. And then started the most painful process. Dismantling the tent and packing everything up. On our way back we stopped at some turnouts on the road to click more pictures of the beautiful valley. It was so difficult to leave everything behind and head back. We just wanted to soak in more and more of what the nature was offering to us.
As we parked our car in our apartment’s parking lot and started unloading our stuff, a thought crossed my mind. Long time ago we used to live in caves and in forest and then we worked our way through it and built better houses for ourselves. And we thought that would make us happy and contented but instead we have to head back to our natural habitat to relax and unwind… hmmm…humans sure are the weirdest creatures on earth…
PS: This post was long due… since May actually. We went camping twice after that so more camping posts to follow in the coming weeks. Till then some pictures of this trip….