When Chad and I got engaged, I excitedly added tons of camping gear to our wedding registry. I was raised on family camping trips during the summer, so I thought a tent, Coleman lantern, and sleeping bags were standard items on all wedding wish lists.
In contrast, Chad grew up with tent camping being something you had to do for Boy Scouts. It's really not his thing. Can he do it? Yes, and exceptionally well, I might add. Does he love it? Not so much. Does he love me? Yes. So, occasionally, he has humored me with overnight excursions into the great outdoors.
Our first camping trip was over Memorial weekend in 2006. We had been married less than a year. It was memorable.
It was memorable, because when we pulled into Yellowstone National Park, and stopped at a little store to buy some ice, the people laughed at us when we said we were going to be camping in a tent.
It was memorable, because shortly after we drove away from their chuckling faces, it started to look like this:
It was memorable, because by the time we reached our reserved campsite, which was HOURS away from the main gate we entered through, it was pitch black. We'd never set up our tent before.
It was memorable, because we'd planned on sunshine and flip flops. I had camped at Yellowstone with my family as a child, and I had memories of tank tops and sunscreen. I obviously forgot to consider what mountain weather is like in the spring, as opposed to the summer. I had honestly packed my bathing suit, planning to lay out and catch a few rays. We had each packed one hooded sweatshirt and a pair of jeans in the warm clothing department, which we slept in and wore while driving around looking at bison from the heated car the next day.
It was memorable, because we cut our trip short, packed up in a rush, and booked it out of that frozen death trap.
While we were still in Utah, we tried camping again in Arches National Park. This trip was also chillier than we would have liked, but with better preparation, we were at least warmer.
However, this time around we didn't reserve a campsite ahead of time. So we got stuck with a primitive campsite, with a rather interesting toilet situation.
My favorite part of this trip was when this rugged fellow camper saw us walking and told Chad how lucky he was to have found a girl willing to "rough it" in the wilderness with him. After the man walked away, Chad reminded me that in this regard, it was me who was lucky to have found him.
And he was right. I am so lucky.
I'm not sure Kaden will sleep a wink in the tent tonight next to his daddy. But at least things can't get much worse than an unexpected snow storm, or a toilet seat on top of a hole in the ground.
I can't wait to hear about their adventures tomorrow.