The showers have been taken and the tick inspections are over. The freckles are abundant and so are the sun burns in the shape of our bathing suits. The dishwasher is clicking and clacking with the campfire dishes inside. The washing machine is whooshing away with the first of what will be many loads of clothes that smell of campfire and bug spray. The camping box is stored back in the closet and the dogs are sound asleep from pure exhaustion out in the backyard. Except for a few teasers on Instagram the husband and I spent our first evening back watching movies, eating Chinese food and laughing together. Glad to be home with all our little luxuries and looking forward to crawling into our bed.
Rewind to Saturday…
We arrived in Jones Campground in the El Dorado Forest around 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, perfect because that was the check-in time. After figuring out how to pay for the campsite and dropping our envelope in the slot, we settled into a campsite that had the best view and walk to the reservoir.
After some setting up and unloading of the car, we grabbed the husbands brand new early birthday present fishing pole to test it out.
Like the geeks we are we had Googled where the best spot was to fish when fishing in a pond (or reservoir) and according to Google near a rock or fallen trees in the water were the best idea since there was plenty of hiding spots for the fishes.
The husband crawled up unto a huge rock sticking over the water and I waded in to watch from a quiet distance’s where I wouldn’t disturb the water too much. Arya watched from a rock while Red dog explored a bit.
Sadly there were no bites that day but the husband and I got in lots of casting practice. Most of the rest of the evening was spent gathering wood for the fire, cooking over an open flame and just chatting easily about whatever came to our minds.
As the sun set we sprawled out on a blanket snuggling together and watched the sun set while the stars twinkled to life one at a time.
No TV, no cell phones and no work, just the two of us calling out the constellations we knew and the dogs curled up next to us snoring. Once in bed we discovered that our air mattress had somehow acquired a small slow leak, enough to make it so within a few hours (4-5) we were on the ground. It was a frustrating night with me running to the vaulted toilets (shudder) and airing up the mattress every few hours. But nothing was going to stop us from enjoying this time together.
The next morning, after a nice breakfast of eggs and bacon, we decided to take a walk on the private beach and let the dogs run wild for a few. The puppy is not accustomed to being leashed so much and had FAR too much pent up energy.
Luckily the afternoon brought warmth and the perfect weather for reading a book on a blanket in the sand.
As I settled in with my book, the husband waded deeper into the water in order to practice casting some more. At some point I realized I had soaked in plenty vitamin D and jumped into the cool blue water with the husband. We spent hours laughing, casting out the fishing line and splashing each other with water while the lazy dogs snuck in some zzzz’s.
The breeze picked up and the weather cooled as it always will when you are so high in the mountains. After a stolen nap inside the tent, a change of clothes was in order and a drive to little mountain store for Popsicles, as well as I needed to replace the lure I lost of the husbands while casting near some harsh little rocks. We hunted the shelves for an air mattress patch (ours is somewhere around this house) but none could be found. So when we got back to the campsite we pulled out the first aid kit, a little bit of liquid skin and a huge band-aid covered the tiny little hole, it did nothing but slow down the leak, so now it would take almost the whole night to end up on the ground but we still ended up on the ground.
After our redneck fixer upper, we drove to the next big campsite up the road after finding a sign that boasted showers there and I planned out my shower the next night (since it was $3 for 4 minutes, ouch). After trying to find another fishing spot down the road a bit we gave up and headed back to our little campsite. The husband attempted fishing again, got some nibbles but nothing yet. We settled for a night of pork ribs and corn.
Our third morning we woke up after sleeping in till 11:45 a.m., something we never do at home and it felt so good. Breakfast was in order and then once it warmed up we headed to the beach again. This time Red dog brought her tennis ball so we could throw it in the water for her to fetch. The puppy watched from the shore not willing to even approach the water. We napped for a few hours, him on the picnic bench (where I swear he was going to fall off but didn’t), me on the ground with a blanket laid out and Red dog curled up into my side. Once the nap revived us, we decided a hike down the bike trail (that we will one day soon bring our bikes to ride) to see if there were anymore fishing spots that we could try out.
I got to try out my new water bottle fanny pack which was exciting but the really exciting part was the fishing spot we found. The husband ran back to the camp site with Arya to grab his fishing rod while Red dog and I explored a bit. That spot must have been lucky…
You could hear the screech echoing off the shore from my screaming when the husband reeled in this bugger. Not only was it a fish, it was big enough to provide some meat for dinner that night. Our mouths watered at the thought of fresh caught fish cooked on an open flame. Of course in all my excitement the husband had to remind me to snap pictures of his proud fishing moment. Tried as we might though not another nibble was to be had, so we settled for sharing the fish with a dinner of zucchini and steaks. And it was a fine dinner. The fish was AMAZING with just a little sprinkle of pepper. Cooking it in the skin just made the meat absolutely mouth watering finger licking good. No fish had ever been eaten with such pride as this one was, the first fish caught with a brand new pole.
What was almost as good as the fish? My shower that night. Nothing feels better than a shower during or after camping, you can literally feel the layers of bug spray and sunscreen running down your legs mixing in with dirt. Those four minutes were pure pleasure. Almost as good as the fifteen minute shower I took once I got home.
The next morning came and we realized we wouldn’t last another night. The air mattress kept deflating, causing us lots of back pain and Red dog (our oldest 10 year old dog) was moving super slow (she is just not as young physically as she thinks she is the poor thing). It was time to go home. So we cooked a simple breakfast of bagels, packed up slowly and said good bye to our beautiful campsite, promising to come back real soon. The drive down the mountain was spent singing at the top of our lungs to Garth Brooks and enjoying the last little bits of beauty the mountain had to offer.
We made one last stop at a little waterfall that sits on the side of the road. It is our favorite little place to let the dogs get a breath of fresh air before being stuck in the car again for another hour or so.
B cat is finally talking to me again, he gets so upset about being left home alone (except for the visits from my Mom to feed him).
He is currently snuggled next to me sound asleep with his happy kitty face. The laundry is stashed in every single basket we could find since we are not really wanting to fold clothes. I had one last day off of work before my two day work week started. I had done this with the thought of camping one extra night but realized it was the perfect recovery day. I made an amazing breakfast of french toast (I have almost perfected my Mom’s recipe) with homemade blueberry syrup and a fresh red tomato from our garden. Actually is the first tomato of what will be TONS with the way those tomatoes are popping up on our plant.
That tomato tasted better than any store bought tomato I had ever tasted. Homegrown vegetables really are better and now I am excited to start planning salads/meals with the other tomatoes starting to turn red. I am looking forward to a dinner of a fresh summer salad with the rest of the tomato and artichokes. Simple food.
I feel better. I feel like myself. I feel really connected with my husband. We both were utterly shocked by how easy our conversation just flowed from us. After nine years together sometimes it isn’t so easy to be stuck in each other’s space, especially since three years of school put a lot of pressure on our marriage. We laughed so hard our sides hurt, we spent quiet moments watching the stars, we napped twisted around each other and had some serious conversations that needed to be had. But above all I feel steady on my feet again. I feel at peace with where I am at. Something about being away from technology and enjoying the beauty nature has to offer can calm the constant worries that circle my head like flies. For three nights and four days I didn’t think about infertility, PCOS, stomach issues, my weight, my diet or my friendships. I just concentrated on each moment, soaking it in and letting each one wash over me.
Real life is back and I am ready for it. I will be re-vamping my eating again and exercise plan (which will come soon in a future post). Now that this camping trip is over the next one is only a few weeks away. I can’t wait for the camping trip to Shasta in a month. This time we will have some pretty cool peeps with us, hiking, fishing and just enjoying the beauty of nature. Also in the mean time there are some 100 degree days being predicted which means… INNER TUBING down the river this Saturday!!!!