Single Mom Camping Update
One of the questions I have been asked since getting back from my camping trip is, would I do it again? Let me reset the stage for you; it was jut my 12 year old daughter, my pretty princess English bulldog and myself for 3 nights in a popup camper at 9K feet at Mueller State Park outside of Colorado Springs. I had never towed anything before and hadn’t camped in years let alone as a single parent. I was excited, intimidated and a little anxious about how it would all come together. The upside, I did feel like I was as prepared as I was going to be. I had numerous lists on my phone, in my planner and on sticky notes throughout the house. I had my tires checked, oil changed and a tow put on my car. I had also googled anything and everything I could about camping and about the area. The geek in me was ready.
For me, being prepared takes away a good chunk of my anxiety. If I’m prepared and have done my homework I always feel more confident and usually have a better chance of success. I tackled camping the same way. I also tossed out most of my expectations and concentrated on having an experience with my daughter. That for me was a HUGE shift and really set the tone for the trip. No expectations but an experience meant that when the ‘ball-hitch’ wouldn’t disengage from my car for two hours, I didn’t have a meltdown. I was frustrated, tired and extremely hungry but got to show my daughter that you keep working a problem and you don’t give up. I honestly think that lesson was as much for me as it was an opportunity to show her.
Camping gave my daughter and me a lot of great experiences together. It was a lot of hard work and not a typical ‘vacation’, but I am so glad that we did it. The set up and break down of our site, making fires and cooking 3 meals a day over a fire took some serious time. Going to the bathroom with a lantern at midnight in black bear country pushed my comfort level. What I loved was seeing the shift in my daughter. Not just the unplugging from technology shift, but her willingness and volunteering to help me. Sometimes I had to ask for her help, but more often than not she would offer to help. I also saw her conquer some of her own fears of the outdoors and do more things independently. We went to a Wolf and Wildlife Sanctuary, Cave of the Winds and even went fishing for a little bit. We made s’mores, worked on making dream catchers, played cards, journaled and were also able to just sit and just enjoy the incredible views. For me, a glass(or two) of Kim Crawford at the end of the day while looking out over the mountain range was beyond spectacular and so good for the soul.
Would I do it again? I can’t say that I would go camping with just the two of us again. I am thankful for the experience and memories, but if we were going to go again we’d both rather try it again with friends. That being said, I wouldn’t have changed a thing with our camping trip. Even my pretty princess dog enjoyed the trip. Probably didn’t hurt that he had bacon both mornings.