Let’s talk about camping. Camping was merely something I’d like to try until the beginning of this year. Our glamping trip in April ignited the fire. I felt like we might actually like it if we try. After our try-out overnight camping trip in May proved my hunch was right, camping quickly became another way for us to enjoy the great outdoors together.
In October, I did something I never thought I’d do in million years. Solo camping. No, I am not joking! I enjoy the comfort and luxury of car camping so I tried car camping alone with Xena. For those of you who are new to camping,
Car Camping: A type of camping which involves driving rather than walking to a campsite.
Since you can drive to a campsite, you can bring whatever you want to make you feel comfortable. Take as many blankets you need to keep you warm at night for one. Between Xena and me, we have 6 blankets in the tent and 4 of them are down. LOL
I decided on a campground near Lake Arrowhead which is only 2 hours away from home and takes a reservation. I prefer primitive camping but driving around to find an available campsite on Friday afternoon didn’t sound fun to me at all.
Prior to this trip, we only camped with my adventure buddy Jen and I heavily relied on her knowledge and experience. So as the trip date approached, I got anxious and nervous. What if this, what if that thought kept popping up throughout the day. A week before the trip, I drove to Big Bear Lake and hiked. Big Bear Lake is past Lake Arrowhead so I can stop by at the campground on the way back and check it out to calm my nerves. The plan worked. I drove around the campground, talked to one of the rangers and scoped out our campsite. I liked the site! There are no other sites adjacent to our site and we are next to the water and bathroom. Perfect. My anxiety vanished. Now I was only feeling the excitement.
I took a half-day at work on Friday and drove up to Lake Arrowhead. Camping feels like playing house to me, only I am playing all roles. Mom, Dad, and Kid. Xena is the dog, of course. I just finished setting up the tent when a middle-aged couple walked into our campsite. Xena didn’t bark but she was very much alert. Oh no, what is this? Are they not happy with Xena being off-leash? She didn’t leave our campsite though. I tried to tell Xena via telepathy, Don’t approach them nor bark at them right now pleaaase. They noticed we both were uncomfortable so they stopped walking and stayed near the entrance. I walked toward them and the woman put her hand out and showed me a small paper plate covered with aluminum foil. They introduced themselves as our neighbors. They were 3 generations of family camping with 3 Huskies on the other side of the bathroom. They told me to holler if I need anything. They brought over homemade egg rolls to welcome us. I was so shocked and absolutely touched by their warm gesture! Any worries I had about that weekend, ALL GONE at that moment. As I mentioned before in my solo travel post, when you travel alone with a trained dog, you meet the kindest people!
I had my chili and the homemade egg rolls for dinner by the fire. They were absolutely delicious (want the recipe!) but mostly they warmed my heart. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Dogwood trailhead is located in the campground so we explored it next morning.
And spent the afternoon taking naps and doing puzzles. I won’t name names but certain someone did most of the napping.
Exploring always makes us happy but the best part of the weekend was the early mornings. Sitting by the fire drinking coffee watching the sunrise. We were the first ones to be up both days. We very much enjoyed the sleepy campground for several hours before others were ready to start the day. By then, we were ready to go out and explore. 🐾
I absolutely loved every minute of that weekend. After solo camping, my camping confidence shot up to another level and it felt great. That’s the best way to learn something new. Self-reliance was empowering. Glamping to solo camping in 6 months… Who would’ve thought? Never say no to a new adventure!