I camped and, despite my initial apprehension, it turned out to be a really good experience. Yes, it was freezing (literally) and I slept for a total of fourteen seconds. But I also discovered that there is something wonderful about the simplicity of being in the middle of nowhere but nature. Before going to bed (and with inspiration from a hefty dose of wine), I convinced Andrew to go on a midnight hike and lay down in the middle of a field to look at the stars. (I would also like to note that it was HE who fussed, “But I’ll get my jacket dirty if I lay down!“) The moon was so bright that everything was illuminated and the only sound was wind rustling the nearby trees. In that moment, I couldn’t figure out why I’d want to go home again.
Now I’m back here and grateful for the return of feeling in my extremities, but admittedly, I miss being that tiny speck in the vast everything.
It was 30 degrees warmer at my house and in a large percentage of America when we arrived at the campsite. WHY DID WE DRIVE TO WINTER TO SLEEP OUTSIDE.
When we first arrived, Andrew used the remaining daylight to set up the tent. I used the time to put on all of the clothes I’d brought, including tights, lined pants, sweatpants, two pairs of wool socks, a tank top, two baselayers, a hooded sweatshirt, a wool coat, a neck gaiter, a hat, and thermal gloves. You could have hit me with a truck and I’d have simply bounced off with a soft thud.
Caitlin laughed at my coat, saying, “You’re probably the first person ever to go camping in a pea coat.” Dude. I don’t own non-cycling outdoor apparel.
I spent 90% of my waking hours at the campsite glued to this fire. At one point I was so close to the heat that my shoes started to smoke. Apparently $7 sneakers from Target are highly flammable.
One of several hikes I took while camping. (That is not a sentence I expected to write at any point but life is all about evolution.) Other than actually enjoying the experience of hiking, it was also the only time I stopped feeling cold. The land we were staying on was breathtakingly beautiful.
Of course I roasted vegetables in addition to marshmallows. I’m a cyclist with an eating disorder. Duh.
Because my life is an indie movie, one of the guys pulled out a ukelele and played/sang for the group around the campfire.
Andrew and I awoke to a beautiful fall morning that was still absolutely fucking freezing.
Hooray! Caitlin did not die of hypothermia overnight.
I got restless after breakfast and set off into the wilderness without telling anybody because that always ends well.
It’s like every autumnal landscape stereotype threw up to create this moment. It was incredibly beautiful.
I found a patch of cottony flower things that were very Dr. Seuss-like.
Taking one last moment to soak in the natural beauty before getting in the car to head back to summer.
Coffee stop in Thomas, WV. I wanted to go to the counter and be like, “Hi, can I get every ounce of boiling hot caffeine you have here just poured directly onto my face?” but instead settled for a large Americano.
One final stop before crossing the VA line towards home. I’m not sure what shiny object had caught my attention in the woods. Also, those enormous $12 sweatpants from Target quite literally saved my ass this weekend. They’re so warm and soft that I’m going to wear them until April.