Saturday, September 30, 2017

Chilao Campground

We are definitely on a camping kick.  Ever since coming back from Peru, where we "glamped" our way through the Andes, it feels like we haven't been able to sit still!  We went to Sequoia and Big Pine already, and we haven't stopped the habit of hiking out of the Cobb Estate or Chantry Flats, even though there's nothing to train for now.  Wes just found out about some campgrounds just an hour out of Pasadena in the Angeles National Forest, so we decided to try it out one Friday.  This was our second camping trip ever.  It was fun to get out the tent again and feel that rush when you wake up in the morning and realize that you're outside.  We cooked every meal and just took our time waking up, getting ready for a day hike, and coming back to camp to stretch out on the chairs.  The pace of the weekend is so different when you're off the grid.

I remember feeling super exhausted after work, and I thought that it was very strange that we were loading up our car for a last-minute camping trip (with no reservations) on a weeknight.  It felt sort of unreal and random, and we both decided that if there were no campsites available, we could just drive back home and say that we tried.  That would have been so depressing, though!  The first campground we checked was full, but that one is a popular one.  We ended up finding some availability at Chilao Campground.  There wasn't a lot of light left, so we grabbed the first campsite we saw, filled out the paperwork for the reservation, set up the tent, and whipped up some turkey chili for dinner.

We woke up the next morning to a wonderfully brisk day.  Wes had a hike in mind, so we made ourselves a hearty little camp breakfast and got ready to go!  I'm a total noob and tried to put on my contacts outside...a gust of wind blew it off my fingertip, so...that's why I'm in glasses.

We ate breakfast inside of our tent because there were these crazy bees that wouldn't leave us alone!

The hike that we did to the Mt. Waterman summit was pretty, and there was a part where you can see all the way out to Death Valley beyond the mountains.  I think that if it weren't for the freezing night temperatures, we would have been back a few more times already.  Well, I know that it'll be an easy weekend getaway for us for the coming summer!  It's really nice that we now have a weekend activity to do when it isn't snowboarding season.  I might even venture to say that Wes likes camping even more than I do, simply because of all the survivalist technicalities and gadgets that he gets to play with.  I just sit there and make pasta sauce, haha.

Who the hell brings garnish to camping?  We do...

It's really nice that we don't need to go all the way to Sequoia or the Eastern Sierra to get a routine dose of the great outdoors.  This whole area in our backyard is worth exploring, and it would be fun to take other people here for a super low-key camping trip.  I still can't believe that it's possible to be out here at the end of a workday.  It warms my heart (even though my body shivers) to know that there seems to always be an adventure around the corner... we've since acquired some backpacking gear, so who knows what's next.  I just wonder if we'll end up giving into those freeze-dried mountain meal packets...