Sunday, September 18, 2011

Camping in Payson

We have fallen in love with camping on the bike. Unfortunately, camping on the bike precludes us from bringing the dogs along. So, since our return from Utah, we have decided to put money into the truck to set it up for camping with the dogs. We are not trailer people; camping trailers restrict the places where you can go. We camp for rest and food, not to sit around on a couch all day long. So everything is modular.

We really want a roof top tent. The end goal is to buy one when we have money to spare. For now, we have the bed rolls and tent packed in a tote that goes in the bed of the truck.

I have a kitchen box. It is a tool box bought from Lowe's with a sealing lid to keep dust out.
I love my kitchen box. It might not seem like much, but I have everything i need in it. Cutting board, grill, coffee press, two camping cook sets (GSI MicroDualist and GSI Pinnacle Camper), two knives, sporks, foil, paper towels, folding cooking utensils, sponge, soap, kitchen towel, scraper, seasonings, extendable grill utensils, Clorox wipes, can opener, sugar and coffee. No one seems to get as excited about it as I do.

We splurged on a camping refrigerator. It certainly made this weekend so convenient. I didn't have to worry about melting ice ruining my food. And it holds quite a bit. It was a worthy investment.

This weekend we were able to test out our new kitchen box, fridge and tote boxes. The Casa Grande 4 Wheelers were heading out to Payson to run some trails. The hubby and a few guys from work wanted to go. The other two families were going to cram into a camp trailer for the weekend. We didn't particularly need to utilize the kitchen, but wanted to test it all out this weekend.

So six adults, four children, and four dogs (Bear stayed with a friend) traveled up Route 87 from the heat of Phoenix to the cool weather of Payson. Camp was hastily set up before dark, dinner was cooked, smores were enjoyed by the fire and we all turned in for the night. 

The next morning, the boys all loaded into rock crawlers for a day of being boys, and the ladies stayed at camp, entertaining dogs and kids alike. 

One mom turned in for a nap and another took off on a short hike with myself, the kids and dogs. I don't care for sitting around all day, and the woods needed exploring. Many a tree was devoid of a marking and Rommel was intent on fixing that. 
Elly was encouraging the boys on while Meeka was leading the pack.  It was a good hike. It was a great day weather wise. It is still in the high 90's in Casa Grande, so to be hiking in jeans in the mid-low 80's was incredible.

Brats and hotdogs were grilled, then commenced the lounging. The greatest part about introducing a gaggle of children to nature is that they easily entertain themselves. The greatest part about hiking with your dogs is that they lounge for the remainder of the day. 



Meeka (friend's dog)
All at rest. 

The boys finally returned from adventuring (and had a blast). Carne asada was cooked over the grill, ice cream was had and a final fire was made.

Elly, the 65lb lap dog, cuddled with her pop before napping on the ground.

All in all, it was an extremely relaxing weekend. Every person enjoyed nature in their own way and came away happy. Our little orange tent provided ample shelter and comfort, much to the surprise of the ladies of the camper trailers. We're thrilled with our camping set up and can not wait to add our roof top tent.