We really wanted to leave the weekend norm and thought a spontaneous camping getaway under the stars would be perfect.
The weekend is always something to look forward to because of all the possibilities, but often the weekend is time to catch-up on all the chores we put off because of work. Camping has always been something we love to do, but we know how it can be a bit off-putting due to the preparation, and the clean up. Luckily it doesn’t have to be such a challenge if you only take the absolute essentials and just enjoy the simplicity of the outdoors.
We knew of a campground that was within a 30-minute drive and found reservations online. We scoured the internet and found a few easy recipes. We chose one a bit strange to us; Mushroom burgers, a new concept for us, we’ve always just had the beef. A quick trip to the grocery store Friday evening, and a basket later, we left with everything we would need for one meal. Saturday we spent most of the day doing the usual weekend chores and being productive, when early afternoon came around we prepped our ingredients, oiled the asparagus, washed the lettuce and zip locked just enough for dinner. We didn’t want to bring back extras or deal with dirty dishes when we returned. After the car was loaded we headed out to the campsite. A few twists and a winding road led us to our reserved spot.
The first thing we did was build up the tent, a backpacking sized tent for easy setup and teardown. We use nails with large washers so we don’t have to deal with those aluminum stakes that always seem to bend. Again our trusty roof basket Ax came in handy, this time as a hammer. Once the nest was set up we moved out all of our food and cookware into the sites storage area. We placed our propane grill over the fire pit and removed the catch tray. Removing the catch tray ensures there’s no messy build up, and since it’s going into the fire pit we don’t have to worry about flies as soon as we get our fire started.
After that, we just sat back on our folding chairs and enjoyed each others company in nature. We kept a look out for shooting stars, practiced our night photography, and just relaxed; deeply. When the hunger kicked in we fired up the propane grill and made our dinner, we brought some bacon along so the burgers weren’t completely vegetarian, but you could skip that step easily.
The Joseph D. Grant campsite has a convenient bathroom located in the center of the camp sites which includes showers, a perfect setup if you partake in some physical activities; There are plenty of trails you can hike to stretch your legs and get some good photos. Plenty of families come and enjoy themselves away from all cell phone service and electronics. You will likely see frisbees and footballs flying around. The campsites are pretty close together, but far enough away especially with the elevation changes that you get your privacy. This is by no means a site to party at, as the Rangers make their patrol letting everyone know its time lights out.
The next morning we packed up the car, showered, and headed back to town. We definitely felt much better after the quick camping adventure and finished the weekend off strong.
The journey turned out great, it was easy, economic, and stress relieving. So now that our quick camping trip checklist is made, we will be making quite a bit more weekend getaways.