Since basically the day after Ryan met me he has been wanting to take me camping with him. For months I’ve been able to come up with suitable excuses like, “It’s too cold,” “It’s too hot,” “I don’t have any gear,” and “I don’t want to get eaten by a bear.” Always the gracious and patient husband that he is, Ryan put up with my rejection, but after his recent and successful rock climbing trip, demanded that we go because it’s not too hot, or too cold, we have the gear and he swore that no bears would get me.

Now, I’m no princess or nearly as high maintenance as I may seem, but there is one thing in particular that terrified me about camping in the wild. Bears, yes, but there is the little additional problem of that fact that I’ve never… er…. “relieved myself” in the wild. I have major bathroom anxiety anyway so asking me to take care of something like that in the wide open? Not likely. But I put on my big girl pants, packed up my stuff and we headed out on Saturday morning for the great wild of Kings Canyon.

The trip started out on the rough side, as we had to head back home after only 20 minutes on the road due to forgotten pillows. Then, while heading into the foothills, the automatic window in the back seat of the car broke and would not roll back up (much to the dog’s delight). After a few stops and some handiwork with duct tape, we were back on the road. We made the long and curvy drive into the park, and then headed down an even curvier dirt road, where we finally arrived at our destination (somewhere near Chimney Rock) – the same place Ryan and his friends camped a few weekends ago. It was a great spot, complete with a rock that had a face! 🙂

We got our tent and gear set up. Well, I should say that Ryan got our tent set up, along with the rest of the camping essentials. We rested for a bit and then headed out on a hike. I love my husband very very much, and I love that he thinks I’m a sort of Superwoman, but this hike almost killed me. I love walking. I love nature and the outdoors. I love the mountains. I HATE hiking. As my heart pounded and I sucked in every precious breath, Ryan and Jackson darted up the [ridiculously steep and treacherous] hill like ravenous squirrels.

Ryan promised that the view would make it worth it. I’ll let you decide…

Jackson really seemed to enjoy it. It was a beautiful spot, I must say. After seeing the spot that Ryan and his friends climbed in person, I must say that he is AMAZING. I felt dizzy with vertigo just standing at the top of the mountain. I’m in awe of him after seeing the rock they climbed. It took 47 minutes to climb that mountain… and 12 minutes to make it down. 🙂 Thank God for downhill!

We rested a bit more, gathered a ton of firewood and then built our fire. Ryan is amazing at making fires and there is just something calming and hypnotic about a [contained] fire in the mountains. We made a delicious dinner of spaghetti and garlic bread and talked until the sun went down. As boredom overtook us, we decided to head to bed… way too early. Next time we will bring games, friends or S’more fixin’s… or all of the above.

I slept for two hours and then promptly awoke and laid for hours and hours, and at one point felt scared half to death by the sound of something crashing through the trees in the distance. As the dog started to growl, I prayed and prayed to forget about it and fall asleep.

By 3 am I was almost in tears because of the lack of sleep and the only sounds filling my ears was husband and dog-snoring. Sleeping in a sleeping bag takes some getting used to, as does sleeping in the cold. Ryan had pity on me, crept out into the cold night and retrieved some earplugs from our car. He re-stoked our fire and sat by it to give me enough time to fall back asleep in our tiny tent. I finally fell into a deep sleep until about 7:30 in the morning. Rough night.

We awoke the next morning, cold and only slightly rested. We had a quick breakfast and then started to clean and pack up our stuff. It seemed to be over so quickly! But, we had a great time soaking in the beauty of God’s creation and the precious quality time together. My husband is my hero and I hope to “get up to speed” so that we can spend many more times like these in the mountains together.

P.S. I conquered my fear and “did my business” in the wild!!! 🙂 I was proud… and relieved that I didn’t pee on myself.


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