Camping, not glamping, with a stowaway!

September 29, 2017

Jeff has never been a fan of camping. A little here and there, not too primitive and not too long.

But I like to camp. There’s something romantic and exciting and earthy about it. For the first time in our married life, he and I went camping together with just the two of us.

We had packed some of the food in the cooler but the sandwich fixin’s were in the cab of the car. When we got to the campground, I was puzzled that my usually tidy husband had gotten into the Great Seed Bagels and left the seeds scattered all over the seat.

I like the little rocket stove that folds to pocket size when not in use. The fuel provides the base.

These trees were growing over an old stump. They look like they want to get up and walk away.

It was raining in the Fairholm campground at Crescent Lake (Olympic National Park). Long traffic delays put us there in the evening, and we were hungry. A pause in the rain last just long enough to get the brand new tent unfolded. I tried to figure it out while Jeff went to pay the campground fees.

There’s a special kind of panic while trying to set up a new tent in a smattering rain. I managed to get it mostly done/but the rain fly didn’t fit right, so we rotated it 90 degrees and restaked it. It still looked weird. But we fastened it anyway, and put the extra pole and a rectangular sheet of nylon into the stuff sack.

We had bought a Marmot Limelight 3P.  Our son Chris has one and we liked the way it’s more like a cabin, with usable space all the way to the corners.  It turned out that the rainfly fit weird because the extra pole is supposed to cross over the other poles at the peak to lift the ceiling and walls even higher out of the way.

The “extra sheet of nylon” was the footprint, designed to protect the tent floor. That’s a big oops, but we got away without damaging the floor.

Miraculously, after wiping up the rain that got in before the fly was on, the tent stayed completely dry in a significant rainstorm. There’s lots of room and there are dozens of clever little add on’s, that make it comfortable. It’s also well ventilated, even with the rainfly reaching all the way to the ground.

We also each got a Klymit V sleeping pad. They’re extremely light weight but I was actually comfortable, lying on the ground without a cot. WELL worth the money if you’re going to do any primitive camping.

I’m excited that it did so well, since now I’d feel confident to take it backpacking.Surely, it will be even better when I set it up correctly.

The next day, I grabbed the bagel bag for breakfast and realized that something had chewed a hole in the bag and dined on the seeds and part of two bagels.

What in the world? We’ve never had any sign of mice at home. We concluded that a chipmunk must have crawled in the window while we were in a gas station and worked really fast.

But before we left the camp two days later, we emptied everything out of the trunk. One loaf of bread that had been in a different place the night before was chewed into and a hole burrowed through the middle. The critter had pushed all the crumbs out of the package and there was a huge pile. We checked in the spare tire area, we poked into every corner, swept out from under seats. Nothing. 

We kept all chewable food packages in the cooler for the rest of the trip.  We suspect that Stuart Little enjoyed the trip to Olympic National Park, Seattle and San Juan Island, WA. We HOPE that he abandoned ship somewhere en-route but since we never found him in the first place, we can’t be sure. But we couldn’t get all the crumbs out, so our little pal may be feasting in some dark cranny even yet.

But overall, the camping a big success. It’s a BEAUTIFUL place with dozens of fantastic hikes. It was fun to do as a couple and fun to experience such adventures for very little money.


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