I decided to go for it. Talk about last minute! I didn’t want to spend another night in a dark, cold basement watching Netflix like normal millennials. Tim to be adventurous! One of the best parts about being a single millennial is that you can decide to go camping, then just go. No one can talk you out of it. No one can make other plans for you. You don’t have to convince someone to go with you or work with their schedule.
I packed my Ospray, a minimal change of clothes, a hammock, campfire wood, my pocket knives, my sock monkey, the Coleman lamp, and then I headed on my way to a campsite. Everyone was surprised and worried about me but I needed to escape- I needed an adventure. The plan was to tell them AFTER I was all set up at my campsite.
I started out strong. I pulled into the campground proud and reserved a site with trees like a pro. Not bad for the first time camping on my own. By the way, the DNR guy wasn’t too shabby looking. I was site 155 which was the most perfect spot since it had two perfectly spaced trees for my hammock, front view of the lake, dry leaves to start a fire, comfy place for my tent, a fire pit, and frolicking chipmunks. Thunderstorms were in the forecast but there wasn’t a care in my mind because I was in nature.
My campsite neighbors were all so friendly. I impressed them at how fast I set up my site. If I’m honest, I impressed myself. I was so excited that I didn’t know what to do first! I got all my campfire cooking supplies ready at the picnic table when my neighbor brought over blocks to straighten the table out. It really encouraged me that there are people still out there who care for others and go above and beyond to help. Sometimes it feels like survival of the fittest.
It was fire starting time! Collected leaves, twigs, and paper to light them on fire. The wood was having trouble burning and I was beginning to feel disappointed. After multiple tries, the neighbor from the other side of me who barely spoke english gave me a half used bottle of starter fluid. He was so nice. The fire definitely started after that. I cooked the best tasting scrambled eggs over my iron skillet. I also boiled water and made some coffee and then tea to put in my thermos. I even warmed up soup.
I laid on my blanket by the lake drinking my coffee and enjoying the view. Half the sky was dark and I was trying to figure out which way the storm was coming from the movement of the clouds. I thought I better clean up the site just in case. I wanted to keep the fire going a little longer to stay warm so I went to buy some more wood at the camp store. As I was coming back, it started sprinkling. I put my hammock in and put everything up for the night. As soon as I was snuggled in my tent, it rained harder. I laid under my blankets and listened to the raindrops, thunder, and wind. As I lay there, I prayed to become closer with Jesus since I haven’t been the best with spending alone time with Him. He showed up with me and a peace filled me. After awhile, I drifted off to sleep while singing to the raindrops.
I woke up with my bladder filled. It was after midnight and the storm ended. I grabbed my lantern and slipped on my hiking boots to venture into the night. I thought I would be scared of the dark but people were around so it wasn’t bad. I had no idea where the bathroom was but after rounding a few corners, I found it. Once I made it back to the tent, I discovered a spider by my head. I cleared my blankets and used a Cheese-It box to complete the murder. I noticed a second one and did away with it too. Earlier that night one was on my face so I brushed it off and pinched him when I found it on my blanket. They must have hid in my blanket when I had it out by the lake. Lets just say I made sure to sleep with my mouth closed.
I woke up with chirping birds and rustling leaves from my chipmunk friends. Yes, I’m secretly Snow White- the blonde version. After getting dressed, I left my tent with a sense of happiness for a new day. I drank some of my still warm tea and ate some soup while relaxing on my hammock. I placed my rain fly in the sun to dry while enjoying the morning. My dad called to make sure I survived the storm and it was good having someone to talk to. Some sun decided to shine through right on me while I was in the hammock so I fell into a little nap while enjoying the nature around me. The warm breeze took me to a daydream in my mind of a blonde haired boy that I like who makes my day every time I’m with him. I wished he was with me enjoying the day with me.
The thought was interrupted with a fly away tent! My neighbors placed their tent to dry in the sun when the wind picked it up and flung it into the lake. I didn’t get to it in time so I let the family know what happened and the dad dived into the water to retrieve his tent. That was the excitement of the day. The day was so nice it dried quickly.
As my camp fire burned and started boiling my water, I knew I couldn’t stand being alone any longer. I had to experience the nice day with someone. I contacted Sarah, my friend and co worker and she came to visit and hike with me. She loves nature as much as I do. It was wonderful. What a good ending to a great camping experience. Now I know that I have it in me to camp all by myself. I survived a storm, built a fire, set up my tent and hammock. I proved it to myself. I will make a man a great wife.