solo-ish camping

solo camping

I don’t know about you, but every time I turned on the radio last week I heard about the Perseid Meteor Shower.

And Saturday morning was no different.

Which kind of bummed me out because I really wanted to see an unadulterated sky filled with meteors, but thought: “Oh well … maybe the Cowboy will be home for it next year and we can go camping.”

And then I thought: “Wait a minute … I can take the kiddos camping.  Why not?”

I mean, I’ve traveled with them by myself and stayed in hotels.  How different could it be to take them camping?

With the dogs.

In the wild.

Out of cell range.

In bear country.

“HahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaHAH,” said my inner voice.  (My mother said I was crazy.)

But I really wanted to see the meteor shower.

I remember seeing it the summer I graduated from high school, right before leaving for college, hanging out with my two best girlfriends, laying on the hood of someone’s car way too late at night and thinking it was an incredible gift and a sign that amazing adventures lie ahead (not aware that it’s an event that happens every August, and that the only reason this was the first time I was seeing it was because it was the first time I’d ever been out past midnight.)

But I digress.

Truth is, I wanted to see the meteor shower.  And our little girl wanted to see the meteor shower (we’ve spent a lot of time this summer talking about the night sky and she was as excited to see it as I was).  And I couldn’t think of a real reason that I couldn’t take the kids overnight on a little camping adventure.

So …

This is the photo I sent to the Cowboy just as we were about to embark on the journey … in case we went missing and someone needed to know what I was wearing in order to find us.


Thankfully, he didn’t need to forward it to the local news station because it would have been embarrassing to have that “out there.”  🙂

We found the “perfect” campsite.


FYI … my brain went to as many insane doomsday scenarios as it could muster over the course of the 18 hours we were away … 

For example, the thoughts that go through a mom’s head as she’s deciding what makes a perfect campsite when she’s alone with two toddlers is WAY different than the thoughts of someone traveling with more than one adult and two kids … like … will a psycho killer be more inclined to approach a camp that’s close to the road or one that’s off the beaten path … if we’re close to the road they’ll know it’s just me with the kids … if it’s off the beaten path no one will hear us scream? … AAAAAAAUCK!

Then the ballerina did a dance to celebrate finding firewood nearby.


And rocks.

Both kids were happy to find rocks.

And I was thankful that no one threw a rock at her brother’s head … even by accident.

I was also thankful that when picking up said nearby firewood, I wasn’t bitten by a rare deadly spider and left paralyzed with no way to get the children (or myself) to the closest hospital about 58 miles away.


Aaaaaaaaaah.  The joy of the campfire.  The relief of not catching my hair on fire while starting the campfire.

Good times.



Fun that kids can have while Mom doesn’t light her hair on fire while building the campfire … so happy that my car’s in the shop and we had to take the Cowboy’s big ol’ rig which gave the kiddos ample play room for coloring.

IMG_0562Fun kids can have when Mom decides marshmallows are okay when she wants the kids to stay up later than usual to see the much-talked-about-Perseid-Meteor-Shower … (So thankful no one ended up in the fire with a need to be rushed to the hospital with face burns, but glad to know I have burn cream in the camping first aid kit if, God forbid, I would ever need it.)

Do you see what’s going on here?  My brain was like a train wreck … Horror thought after horror thought, and I just couldn’t look away.


At last!

We slept in the locked cab of the truck … with all the food and garbage and bear spray.  And I only woke up about 26 times … twice because the dogs were barking … a few times because the dogs were shivering so much on the bed of the truck that the cab was shaking and I thought it was an earthquake … once because a car drove by … once because the kids stole all the blankets and it was about 38 degrees outside and almost as cold in the cab … once to sneak outside and spend a blissfully quiet (and terrifying) 15 minutes looking at the meteor shower convinced that in the darkness someone was approaching camp, only to realize it was just the sound of the river about 100 yards away.  Does that add up to 26?  Anyway … you get the drift.


There were angels sleeping in our “nest” … a few minutes after sunrise and before they realized they missed the meteor shower.

In closing, I’ll just say this … camping without the Cowboy was majorly different than camping with him.  Despite all the crazy goings on in my head for these few hours, the kiddos had fun.  They explored.  They toasted marshmallows.  They got good and dirty.  And they both wanted to stay another night.

I’d say it was a success.

Seeing the meteor shower was a different experience this time than when I was 18.  And while I might want to lose the crazy brain syndrome, I’d be psyched to do it again.

ADDENDUM:  Here’s what we brought in our cooler for dinner, snack, breakfast, snack (because that’s what I always want to know):

SATURDAY DINNER:  Raw milk cheddar cheese, apples, roast beef, sourdough buns, homemade blueberry kombucha

DESSERT: Marshmallows.  The big ones.  Totally not healthy.  But we don’t camp enough for me to stress out about it.  One day maybe I’ll make my own so the kids don’t have to have the HFCS, but I figured it’s one day.

SUNDAY BREAKFAST:  Applegate organic uncured bacon.  Musli soaked in yogurt and honey.  I had tea.  Kiddos had more homemade blueberry kombucha.

SNACK on the way home:  Applegate salami, raw milk cheddar cheese, apples, water

What happens when YOU step out of your comfort zone?

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