As I sip a hot mug of Vashon Island Costa Rican Reserve, I close my eyes and imagine I’m here…
…pulling back the tent flap, breathing in that crisp mountain air, and looking out with awe and appreciation. The camp fire is crackling and emitting its strong, sweet aroma. I take a seat in one of our low, polyester camp chairs. My legs swung over one arm rest, and my back pressed against the other. The same mug of coffee, enhanced through the process of camp fire percolation, warms my hands.
There are just too many beautiful things in this world to be thankful for, and the mountains are top on my list. Obviously, I’ve got camping on my brain. I love the smell of campfire. Some folks can’t wait to wash up and rid themselves of the stench. But, like paint or oil pastels smeared on my hands after an art project, I revel in the grubby sensations and scents. I take pride in ownership.
When the winter is dark and cold, I dream about spring and summer. I get inspired and start planning our weekend getaways. Spots fill up fast, and there are certain locations we definitely want to revisit.
I’m thinking more strategically this year. We’ll hit the mountain sites early before fire season really kicks in, and the Forest Service bans open flame. Of course, we’ll visit the Okanogan Valley. That’s my power place–where I go to rest and rejuvenate. It’s where I touch the Great Spirit.
Then when the temperatures are really high, we’ll head over to the coast and bask on those temperate beaches and feast on Dungeness crab. There’s just something about the ocean that’s so invigorating and cleansing. I think it has something to do with the ocean breeze. It sweeps past your cheeks, maybe causing your eyes to water, and makes your skin tingle. Then there’s the sand. After a day at the beach, your skin is scrubbed clean and smooth. Sure you’re left with a bucket of sand in your shorts, but it’s worth it. Don’t you think?
My calendar isn’t complete. I’m open to suggestions. What are some places you’ve visited and recommend? They need to be family-friendly, though. Extreme backwoods camping will have to wait until the kids are a little older.