This is the time of year that I'd be camping in the Rockies, loving the scenery, the critters, the photo ops, and best of all, the temperatures at 8,000 feet. But not this year.
One of my friends just got back from a trip with her husband and kids to Washington State. Another friend and her husband have escaped the Arizona heat for an Alaskan trip including a cruise. My brother and his wife are in Iceland as I type, and have already emailed the first pictures of puffins back.
I was busy envying them, looking forward to my own retirement when I can make those kinds of plans again. Still haven't figured out what kind of mobile accommodations will fit the dreams Steve and I have. It has to be the right combination of cheap, dependable, comfortable, house whatever dog(s) are in the family at the time, and be accessible. Easy on the stairs, easy on the dwindling shoulder and knee strength. A pop-up tent camper would be ideal - if it doesn't require arm strength to raise and lower or level. A conversion van would be ideal if there's room enough, and that means a queen bed that doesn't take an athlete to enter and leave. Maybe a tow-behind hard body, but they get really expensive. A toilet inside is nice in the middle of the night, but who's going to climb underneath to hook up the septic? Not us. We could abandon the sleep-in vehicle in favor of motels or cabins, but they leave out lots of the fun, and there's all the hauling in and out every night and morning. There's an RV in the driveway that I no longer trust for long trips and
not at all without one or more of the kids along, and we'd like to be
secure and independent.
See where I'm going with this? All those choices, and none perfect. And meanwhile no time to go summer camping anyway.
On the other hand, there's the twice-a-year trips between here and Arizona, spring and fall. We're working on incorporating variety into the routes, not just eating as many miles as you can in 3 days one way. We've already scheduled the fall trip, and Steve is working on setting up some kind of family get-together in Colorado if he can, or perhaps stopping at his brother's place in Idaho. We'll see.
And this past week I did one more thing to soothe my camping-hungry soul. I bought my airline tickets for a trip down to join Steve just before Christmas, while there are still semi-reasonable prices available. Yeah, I know, this has nothing to do with camping, so go figure how it works.
And hey, we could have a bonfire in the back yard any time. That is, any time we're willing to donate a quart or two to the mosquitoes. Or maybe buy stock in Off!
So friends, send those pictures from your vacations this way. I'm enjoying them right along with you.