The Camping Trip

One of my best memories from last summer is the camping trip I decided to go on at the last minute over Labor Day weekend.

I’ve had to turn down a lot of invitations over the years.  My friends have invited me countless times to go camping, hiking, and skiing, and most of the time I say no.  Even at times in my life where I have been doing relatively well in terms of getting around and even exercising, I’ve been reluctant to join my very in-shape friends on a 6 hour hike.  I just don’t want to be the person who slows them down.

But last year, at the very end of August, a few of my friends decided to plan a Labor Day weekend camping trip.  Even though they’d tried to talk me into it, I wasn’t planning to go.  I was really worried about my hip issues.  I could barely get around in my house, let alone follow my friends through the woods.

But the Thursday night before the trip, my friend CA stopped by around 10 pm to pick up something she’d left at my house.

Something about how excited she was inspired me.  I started asking questions about the trip.  I said I had second thoughts about my decision not to go.

“That’s it,” CA said.  “You’re coming.”

We talked a little bit more about the details of the trip.  Although my friends had booked the campground for four days, there were actually going to be people coming and going throughout the trip because everyone had various commitments to juggle.  One person was only coming for one night; another was only coming for two.  In other words, I wasn’t stuck there.  I could leave at any time.

That reassured me.  How bad could one night be?  The campground was only two hours away.  I could go for one night, try it out, and come home the next day if it was horrible.

Well, here is what happened.  It was amazing.  I ended up staying all three nights.

The view on the way to breakfast one morning.
Dusk at the lake where we went swimming.
Jon taking a nap after a four-hour hike.
Max and Jon on Max’s motorcycle.

Why did it work out so well?

  • My hips actually ended up feeling *better* than they did at home.  I don’t know exactly why this is; I think a big part of it was that in the woods, I didn’t have to go up and down any steps.  Being distracted by my friends helped too, of course.
  • I usually have a ton of trouble sleeping away from home.  My body always has a horrible time adjusting to a new bed.  But for some reason, the air mattress I shared with  CA was perfect.
  • My friends took good care of me.  No one pressured me to do anything that I was nervous about doing.  Every morning we left the campsite, went out and got breakfast, and then explored the area.  A few times my friends decided to go hiking, so CA would leave me the keys to her car and I would drive around and look at various tourist attractions before returning to pick them up at a designated time.

I’m telling this story right now because I needed a bit of a pick me up.  Whenever I have felt slightly down over the course of this winter, I’ve thought about this amazing camping trip.  I was so nervous about spending even one night there, yet I stayed for all three.  I’m so glad I decided to go.  Sometimes, taking a risk pays off.

Max and the three-pronged hot-dog roasting stick.
Beautiful sky over the parking lot at Stop and Shop, where we bought hot dogs for our last night.
The campfire.

2 thoughts on “The Camping Trip”

  1. Its weird, i just got an invite to go to a similar thing, but I was like ‘No way – Ive got chronic pain- i cant sleep somewhere else!’. After reading your post I am thinking about it… Thanksxxx

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