When Chris sets his mind to something, there is NO GOING BACK, and that truth was once again confirmed this week when he got the camping bug. I came home from work on Wednesday not really expecting to follow through with our camping plans only to find that Chris had spent his entire paycheck on camping gear. He found some fishy guy on Craig's List who was selling his "roommate's dead uncle's estate" which happened to consist of enough partially used camping gear to stock an outdoor equipment shoppe.
So, after coming home with a truck load of more-than-likely-stolen camping gear, and getting that "you didn't stay within the budget" look from me, Chris explained, ".... but we can live out of our tent if the world ends!" I highly doubt that any tent is going to withstand nuclear warfare or natural disaster better than our HOUSE, but I didn't feel overly confident that Mr. Craig's List had a very forgiving return policy (especially since he was trying to sell Chris more-than-likely stolen guns), so the three of us, Chris, Snoopy (Chris' dog that he got when he was 12), and I left for the mountains.
We didn't get to our campsite until late, late on Saturday night and then realized that we forgot ice for our coolers (big necessity since we packed meat). So we drove 45 minutes back down the mountain to the nearest town and back up again, landing us at our camp sight around midnight. The late night drive was well worth it though. We saw about a dozen elk along the road and used our spiffy new spotlight to beam them in the eyes as we pulled up along side them. They hand some kind of fear-induced spotlight paralysis so we were able to get fairly close. It was very cool.
After we got our tent set up in the dark and failing to start a fire (even with the help of a lot of lighter fluid), we decided to call it a night.
This is what the glory of the following morning held:
A hot breakfast (always best enjoyed in the mountains), cooked over our new "kitchen unit" thanks to Chris and whatever poor chap either died or got robbed so we could enjoy it.
A new found appreciation for Arizona. Of course it's classic beauty is the striking desert sunsets and silhouetted cacti, but northern Arizona is blanketed with piney mountains. There were even a few clusters of yellow aspens dotted among the pine meaning that I got to enjoy turning leaves this fall!
Quality time with Snoopy. Can't you see the little old man within?
I thought that Snoopy would absolutely love the whole camping experience--turns out he's a little too domesticated. He tried spending the night in Chris' sleeping bag, and liked to be babied (as you can see).
We found a beautiful lake. (I didn't realize that there were natural bodies of water in Arizona. The only ones I knew of were man made lakes lined with condos--Florida wanna-bees.)
We soaked up some sun and aired out our ears.
I discovered that I, like my dad, have the Grilling gene.
We attempted to make a masterpiece of a dinner and were confident that the more coals we buried our dutch oven under, the better it would turn out. Apparently it was overkill, because we had a charred burnt mess of a dinner, and I had a charred burnt mess of a dutch oven to clean when we got home.
We discovered beautiful sights.
We snuggled up in our tent with hot coco and loved on Snoopy.
Then we whimped out around 10:00 our second night in the mountains and drove home to sleep in our warm beds.