As difficult as it is to admit, there are too many things which I still have yet to do in life; here you thought I'd accomplished everything under the sun. Recently, I embarked upon my first camping trip with four of my buddies whom I've known for close to twenty two years and change.
During my younger years, my family wasn't one which was sold on spending the night in the woods; the trips we did go on were usually close by and almost always to Yosemite National Park (when we did make the trek up the hill). So as one can imagine, I've never really had the desire to sleep under the stars, not take a shower, and yeeeeah piss in the woods; I've seen too many movies and my character usually dies first.
When the idea of camping came up a few weeks ago, I thought to myself, "Self, this isn't your scene", I even attempted to back out the night before we left town but I called the wrong friend who simply walked me down the cliff/fear. Maybe I knew what I was doing when I picked up the phone and told him that the only skill I had to bring to the table were some jokes and laughter to which he quipped, "You're not that funny, we'll be fine... And you're going too."
The road to the campgrounds was quite sketchy to say the least, the last twelve miles into the site took about an hour and fifteen minutes. It's not too often that I pray and ask for safe trip whilst in a vehicle but this ride had me throwing up every religious sign that I knew. Did I mention that it was raining too on this windy, narrow ass, one lane road (I used the word ass for inflection, it's not a bad word, do not tell my parents).
Upon entrance into the campgrounds, we found our marker and began to setup shop all while the rain slowly came down on us. There were two guys grading our tenting area, two guys setting up the canopy over our dining tables, and me keeping watchful eyes on any instructions coming my way. Look, SUE ME, I've never set up a tent before and it's best not to get in the way until one is asked TO get in the way. I know I'm poking fun at myself but I wasn't as lost as I'm making it out to be, I was just fine and able to help get things in order.
Not every decision I make is an easy one! Some people think that I just get up and do whatever I want whenever I want and the truth is I pass up so much stuff/adventure simply due to my fear of the unknown and also my desire not to be overly busy. I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination however, I have a passion for travel, culture, and friendships; I guess that's hard to explain to others who don't share the same drives and simply look at things from a different angle.
I've stood at stared off at many a beautiful sight over the years but it's the times I find myself within nature that I'm left in awe of the world around us. The shooting stars, the flying bugs, the soft ripples, and the billion stars had me wondering why it took so long to be right here right now.
This weekend was sort of a right of passage, as I was allowed to cut wood, cut gas, cut sleep, cut my finger, play with knives, drink beer, whiskey, and water, plenty of water; we played cards, played the guitar, played wiffleball, and frisbee too.
Over the course of a few hours, I was able to remove the feelings of inadequacy that had been built up from years of fear of the outdoors; I hope this better serves me if I get a wild hair to pack the Prius up and drive to a site for a night or two. Not everything I do is about me, now, sometimes it's about the boy who never got the chance to experience his right of passage.