Monday, January 20, 2014

Who Says You Can't Camp in the Winter? Day 3

The wind picked up overnight.  Elly survived without having to defend camp from the ferocious fox stalker.  Our breakfast was quick as packing up camp would take a while….for ½ of us anyway.  Mike pitched in while I exercised the dogs before our journey home.  And pulled more cactus needles from Rommel's feet.

On the road, we ran into some adventurers of the retired age group.  They were thrilled with our camp rigs.

We saw cows.  Or as Elly thinks, big dogs.

Once past the rough stuff, we landed in a parking area and made sandwiches before hitting pavement and heading home.

Even with the windy days and cactus riddled paws, we had a great weekend.  I've been needing a weekend away.  Unplug, turn off the phone, forget TV and Facebook, shut out work woes and just exist outside to clear my head.  I didn't think about work - much.  I didn't miss my BlackBerry, or iPad. No one felt the need to fill the silence with needless talk.  Conversations were worthwhile and meaningful. The quiet times were welcomed.

We were thrilled to really test the teardrop.  It performed wonderfully.  I was impressed with how agile it was off road.  Mike was happy with how nicely the Jeep pulled it.  I'm over the moon with how easy setting up camp is.  With a few personal touches, it will be perfect.

And the best part of camping:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Who Says You Can't Camp in the Winter? Day 2

The wind came….overnight….with a vengeance.   And we ALL blamed Mike.  He made a foolish comment last night about how we were lucky we weren't faced with Mormon Lake winds.  (aside: every Overland Expo at Mormon Lake is like being in a dry hurricane)  Wind and dust blew through camp, killing my allergies.  We escaped our windy plateau with a hike.  The boys were hoping to stumble upon some cool mining things.

We made it to the top with relative ease and enjoyed a killer view.  If you look close, you can spot our camp.

We made it all the way to the bottom and Rommel had his second of what would be several major cactus blowouts.  Both back feet were FULL of cholla.  This would be a common scene throughout the weekend.  Mike and I spent well over an hour of time collectively plucking needles from his feet.

We made lunch in the wind and I snapped a shot of where we hiked to.  Up there.  

The wind gradually let up.  Mike and I took warm showers (can I emphasize enough how amazing it is to have hot running water while camping? No? Well, it is), and enjoyed a short nap.  By dusk the wind died down enough for another short walk up the road for more sunset shots.

Before leaving for the weekend, I pre made taco meat for taco's in a bowl.  So dinner was easy tonight. 

Another fire was made but our camp mates turned in early.  Mike and I sat by the fire with Elly (Rommel went to bed), for a while.  She perked up and it wasn't until I turned on my head lamp that I realized why: eyes.  I knew where all of the dogs were so the eyes I saw weren't part of our camp party.  Mike grabbed a flash light and behold, a fox.  That did it.  Elly was a wreck for the rest of the night.  On high alert.  After waking us for the third time, she got booted to the Jeep with Rommel.  There was no fox invasion of camp, and we slept much better.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Who Says You Can't Camp in the Winter? Day 1

You've got to love holiday weekends.  Three days off work to do whatever you want.  I've been itching to get out camping for a while now.  Things kept getting in the way.  We hadn't tested the trailer since it was done.  So we teamed up with our trusty camp mates and boogied out to Superior.

Mike and I have been out here a bunch.  Its the back end of long route that starts with Box Canyon in Florence.  Mountainous, lovely.  And we had wonderful weather.

This is the roughest route and roads we've taken the trailer on, so pardon the million pictures of our rig killing it on the "primitive roads".  We traversed up and down mountains with a specific destination in mind: a flat and former mine site.

About noon, we pulled into a wide spot to make sandwiches in the sun.  I'm thrilled with how convenient our trailer is.  Pop the back open and BAM! lunch.  Open a side door, and BAM! a seat.  Mike mounted our Fox Wing onto the custom roof rack he welded.  Instant shade.

After lunch, we hit the trail again, towards our destination.  We let Pete lead the way.  Its odd to see our old trailer being pulled behind someone else's vehicle.

This area is just beautiful.  Mountains and valleys and views forever.

Eight miles can take a lot longer off road when towing rigs, but we landed in our camp spot for the rest of the weekend.  I marveled at the continued convenience of our Krawler: aside from staking down the Fox Wing awning and setting up our seating area, we can park and immediately camp.  Its great.

Our camp mates constructed a small city: roof top tent for the kids, Fox Wing awning, ground tent for the parents. We camp in style.

After the staking was done, Mandy and I made steak and green beans for dinner.  I hastily ate, set up my tripod and snapped some sunset shots.

The wonderful 70 degree day gave way to a chilly night.  Dishes were washed (hooray for hot water!), a fire was made and smores were enjoyed.  The kids turned in early.  As enamored as Mike and I are with our new trailer, the dogs aren't as enthusiastic.  They are tent dogs.  As a compromise, we laid out their dog beds and blankets in the Jeep.  Rommel went right to bed.  Elly waited and nagged us to go to bed for hours.  Rommel slept in the Jeep all night.  Elly invited herself into the trailer.  She's an impossible sleeper.  Morning came too quickly.