Despite growing up in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada, I didn’t want any of that nature garbage.
I blame a church camp I attended throughout my youth for turning me off the great outdoors. While attending that camp, I was forced to endure such inhumanities as hiking in ugly shoes, sitting around the campfire singing terrible songs, waking up with my face in the dirt and purifying my own water.
Yeah. You’re thinking, “Wow. Was this in a North Korean labor camp?” Pretty close!
But then I got older and realized that camping doesn’t have to entail doing a damn thing, and that not doing a damn thing could also be enjoyed with a drink in hand. Turns out the scenery is nice, too. After a few years of camping, I took up hiking. Now I do it as often as I can and love to talk about it when I’m not.
So much for not liking nature.
You can find me on my hiking Instagram at @haydayhikes.
Does Darren live to camp? Or does he camp to live?
You just had your mind blown.
No one who knew him during his city slicker days can believe Darren’s now an avid camper, but he took to it like S’mores to a campfire. And why shouldn’t he? It’s clean air, good friends and cold beer. Lots and lots of cold beer.
It’s also being dirty. Seriously! You get filthy in no time flat. Like this one time, Darren was in the tent getting ready for bed, and when he took off his shoes, his feet were covered in grit! And he had been wearing those shoes (with socks) the whole day! How did it even get in there?! And don’t even get him started on what your fingernails look like at the end of a weekend…
Anyway, camping yay!
Steve loves talking and writing about himself in the third person. He’s from the Midwest, where camping is near-impossible half the year, and a mosquito suck-fest the other half. Steve started camping in earnest while living in Arizona, as it was a convenient excuse to take long exposure photos of the saguaro and stars late at night.
Steve also loves to get out away from urban light pollution and just stargaze. Steve’s favorite places to do that are Yosemite and Death Valley. Yosemite for the awesome granite framing the night sky, and Death Valley for the extreme silence of the valley at night.
Steve’s favorite place in the world is Yosemite; he still gets a little teary-eyed every time he stops at Tunnel View.
Nabby was a 14-year and 5-month old Pembroke Welsh Corgi. On camping trips, she served as Head of Security, which entailed alerting the humans to any and all interlopers, keeping an eye on the other campers and letting the humans know when someone was using a water spigot somewhere.
Nabby also served as the Director of Food Waste Prevention, which meant that she ate all of the leftovers. She never dropped the ball on that one.
She passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving Day from a sudden illness. It was the only truly bad day in her whole life. You can read more about Nabby’s life and adventures with us in a post by Heather, as well as a post by Darren.
Though the humans caught her sleeping on the job a lot, they’re a little lost without her.
Rufus, also a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, was Heather and Darren’s special camping buddy. At night, he snuggled with them in their sleeping bags. Every morning, he’d roll over on his back for belly rubs. During the day, he dug holes to sleep in. On birthdays, he’d wear a party hat to celebrate. He had one floppy ear.
Rufus got cancer that was discovered in November 2011. He never complained as he endured chemo, surgeries and repeated vet visits. Heather and Darren said goodbye to him in March 2013. He was only 8, which is especially sucky.
He was a tough guy and all heart. The Campers miss him terribly and it’s not the same without him.