I learned on our trip to Acadia that car camping is pure luxury compared to back-country camping. Of course, when you hike in, haul all your own supplies and stay in the woods overnight as a duo, you feel pretty badass, but there’s something to say for water spigots, air mattresses and firepits.
This week, we stayed one night at Leo Carrillo State Park. Sycamore Canyon was our first choice (we stayed here a night over Thanksgiving), but they were full when we drove up Saturday. LC ended up being the next best option and luckily, they had spots available.
After setting up camp, we hiked up the Willow Creek trailhead to the Ocean Vista point, then out a ways on the Nicholas Flat Trail (to see where it went), turned around and followed the Nicholas Flat Trail back down to complete the 2-mile loop. I think we ended up walking about 3.5 miles if you include the extra loop we took down to the ocean path. It was an uphill, but fairly easy hike. The view from the top was great and we considered it a “win” for not having real hiking plans otherwise.
Back at camp, we had “quiet time” where I get to read/write and H enjoys his hammock. I wanted to see the sunset at the ocean, so we walked back down there around 4:30pm and waited. It was windy and cold, but so pretty. Can’t be the golden hour, especially with the wispy clouds turning pink.
Our favorite part of the evening was our attempt at cooking real food over the camp fire. H got the fire going despite very damp logs and I wrapped up our “hobo packets” of chicken, carrots, onion, potatoes, broccoli and butter. We were a little skeptical that piling food into a tinfoil packet and placing on hot coals for a 1/2hr would create an edible meal, but we had the time and food to experiment with, so why not?
After some concerns about timing, in which we opted for the longer cooking time and played a new-to-us game called Spot It!, we took the food packets off the fire. Lo and behold, the food smelled amazing and was perfectly cooked. Success!
We were so psyched about our meals that we ate every bite and continued to exclaim just how delicious it all was as we ate. Love trying something new and it working. Love eating real, steaming hot food when staying outside.
We spent the rest of the night sitting around the camp fire, looking at stars, eating s’mores and listening to Lord Huron (perfect camping music).
The next morning, H got the fire started up again. I boiled water + milk on our camping stove to make oatmeal, coffee and tea. We listened to All The Light We Cannot See on Audible and I sketched a little. I felt so relaxed and happy. It was great.
I notice when I looked back on 2015, some of my happiest times were traveling – something about the change of pace, the newness, the adventure. This week coming up is the most stressful of my work year with three big events and lots of upper management in town. Getting out to camp was the perfect way to get off the grid, take my mind off the pending ToDos and reconnect with myself and H.
Cheers to more outdoorsy adventures in 2016.