This past week my daughter and I went on our first solo trip camping. We had been a couple times before with friends or family, but I never thought I would be capable of sleeping outdoors with her alone, providing food and safety, and handling all the things necessary for camping.
I decided to try this past week to do a camping trip with just her and I. We visited the Washington Coast, stayed for a couple nights and had an AMAZING time!
We visited a state park on Camano Island. Beautiful, lush green forest surrounding us. Blue water in every direction you drive, with countless beaches to visit. On one such beach, overlaid with algae covered rocks and broken driftwood, Ava and I dug for hermit crabs, skipped rocks and watched as some weird beach creature sprayed water at us from under the rocks.
The night we got there, we were able to set up a tent, albeit a little backwards and not with all the pieces, but it was standing, sturdy, and the only problem that was caused was when the huge wind gusts came that night and shook the sides of the tents so hard they hit us while we were sleeping. Small price to pay for not taking it a part and doing it all over again. We also roasted hot dogs on sticks, made s'mores and discussed what to do the next day. Which included hiking and cooking a steak on tin foil over an open flame.
My uneducated thought process lead me to believe that there would be showers at this campsite, though I was mistaken. I'm someone who could shower multiple times a day and be happy, so it was difficult to go a couple days without one. We decided to empty the ice out of the cooler, take the cooler over to the well and fill it with water out of the well, and take partial showers behind our tent. It was so much fun and made me believe that I have this camping thing handled. Ava on the other hand, screamed when I poured the cold water on her to try to rinse off the soap.
As we snuggled up that night on our twin size air mattress, because that is what I grandmother unknowingly gave me to use, I felt a new love for my daughter. Her entire life, there were things I avoided doing because I didn't think I was capable of since we don't have a man in our lives; camping was one of those things. But I laid there, proud of us for surviving in the outdoors, making fires, cooking food on a campfire, hiking through the woods, and having the most memorable time doing it all. Sharing those moments made me so grateful for the fact that it's her and I, allowing us to have such a strong bond and an endless love that is shared between a mother and daughter.
I plan on camping with her so much more, and exploring more campsites in our area. We're lucky to live in a state that has differing landscapes from one side to the other, allowing us to experience a multitude of different environments. On to our next adventure...