Justin and I have been talking about camping together pretty much since we started dating. It only took roughly three years to actually go out and do it. After throwing around the idea for several weeks, a free weekend (which are far and few) opened an opportunity and we were quick to plan a night under the stars.
Friday morning Justin went into work, while I took advantage of the cooler than average morning temperatures and went on a run. Lately I have been noticing how much slower I run when it is 80-90 degrees outside, so I was happy to see my best clocked time in a while.
Around lunchtime, Justin and I loaded up the Kayaks (courtesy of my mom and stepdad), packed up the car, and headed up the Cascade Lakes Highway to Sparks Lake. We unloaded the kayaks, stuffed our gear wherever we could find space, and paddled away in search of a perfect camping site.
The sun was shining and a nice breeze welcomed us on and off as we paddled along. Quickly noticing the popularity of the lake and her campsites, we began to question whether we would find a place that was more isolated and near water. Eventually, we did.
There is something incredibly romantic about camping. Stepping away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and distractions that too easily interfere with the simplicity of togetherness, I felt relaxed and calm as we stepped foot on our campsite.
The first thing we did was set up camp. We cleared the area and put up our tent, got the campfire and cooking stove all ready to go, and organized various bags and belongings into their overnight positions.
The views all around were breathtaking. South Sister, Broken Top, and Mt. Bachelor all created an indescribable panoramic view from our campsite.
After all of our hard work, Justin had a Master Chef moment and prepared a meat, cheese, and bread plate to appease our appetite and hunger pangs. Because we went all out backpacker style (no cooler or ice) we made do with salami, Laughing Cow cheese, and flatbread. It definitely hit the spot.
Following our late afternoon snack, we headed back out on our kayaks for a stroll on calm, smooth water. The evening sun was glistening off the scattered clouds, creating a beautiful view sky blanketing the mountains and scattered trees.
Justin fired up the Whisperlite stove and heated some delicious soup for dinner.
We sat on a nearby log and ate dinner while watching the sunset.
A beautiful and quiet way to enjoy good conversation and a warm meal. I’ve always believed that the best way to get to know someone and find out if you are compatible is to either go on a multiple hour road trip – restricted to the space in a car – or an overnight camping trip. These times bring out personalities and qualities that we don’t always see or notice otherwise. Needless to say, Justin was the perfect camping companion.
We were lucky to be able to share a brilliant sunset as we started a fire and roasted marshmallows. I could not believe how quickly the time passed – before long we were snuggled in our tent and talked until we both fell asleep.
Our campsite was situated in a way that would immediately be hit by the morning sun. Just after six the sun struck our tent, instantly awakening us, thus we slowly crawled out of our sleeping beds and unzipped the tent to see what the morning would bring. As I exited the tent in search of a place to go to the bathroom, I was suddenly stopped in my tracks – spiders, webs, everywhere. At some point between the late hours of the night and early morning, several spiders had decided to build a fortress of webs around our campsite. I grabbed a nearby long stick and began swinging aimlessly into the air to create a path to a place where I could go. When I got back to the tent there were a few spiders scattered around it, clinging on for dear life. Justin and I now call this campsite area, Spider Cove.
We enjoyed the morning air and sunrise, before packing all our gear and loading the kayaks to make our departure.
The water was perfectly smooth and the temperature already warm. We glanced back as we were paddling away and made talk of “next time”. What a great first memory and experience camping with my husband. Hopefully, many more trips will soon follow!