This past weekend we were lucky enough to go camping with our friends Amy and Peter and their boys. Tom took great joy in telling our local friends that we were going someplace incredibly exotic – perhaps they’d heard of it… San Rafael. For those of you who aren’t from our neck of the woods, it means we were camping about 15 minutes from home. In essence, it means that the campsite nailed my all-time favorite getaway goal, which is minimum travel distance for maximum effect. It might have been close to our home, but we were surrounded by campers from all over; our neighbors the first night were from Chile! They were on a bike tour starting in upstate Washington and traveling the way to San Francisco – with no set route or plan for each night’s stay. Suddenly our back yard camping felt a bit more exotic.
I’ve decided that camping is really a Virgo’s dream scenario. Think of the lists! The careful minimizing of supplies! It’s euphoric. Our friend Peter is just one badge shy of an Eagle Scout, and Amy is a list maker like me, so it’s insanely satisfying to talk to them about what they bring and the solutions they’ve come up with for comfort vs. carrying, in terms of what to pack. Peter even had his Boy Scout handbook with him – it has illustrations on how to pack your bag, people. Pages of knots and tent styles and fire structures. I get light headed just thinking about it.
We were staying at China Camp State Park, and on Saturday we headed over to the beach to play by the water and explore around a bit. I hadn’t been there in years, and it was a beautiful afternoon to enjoy the bay. The area was named after a Chinese shrimp fishing village from the late 1800s and you can stroll through some of the old buildings that still stand along the shore. Now it’s pretty quiet except for the day visitors and the mountain bikes whizzing along the trails nearby. The kids love, love, loved it. And of course you know what the whole weekend is about. You pack, and plan, and anticipate, just for this moment:
That’s what it’s all about. Ok, that and the beautiful moments falling asleep and waking up in a tent, listening to the sounds around you and bathing in that gorgeous filtered light. Sunday morning we woke to a quiet warbly scratchy bird sound outside our tent. Tom thought at first that it might be quail. Turns out that instead it was….
The blurry turkeys of San Rafael!!!! I just poked the lens of the camera out of our tent to grab this photo of them pecking around the fire pit before they scuttled off into the woods again. I know you’ll all think I photoshopped this just to get fame and fortune, but I swear the blurry turkeys exist in the wilds of China Camp.
I’ll leave you with the obligatory morning toast shot with vegemite. These were some happy campers. (I stuck with the muffins, though.)