FIRST CAMPING TRIP OF 2014
Antelope Island State Park – Utah
April 21-22, 2014
Finally packed up and on my way. The drive through the city was as expected…nice and boring and frustrating because I wanted to get there NOW!
I finally got to the park gates, paid the $15 fee, and started across the causeway. I didn’t remember to record the drive, but it probably wouldn’t have been a very good video as I was heading west and the sun was directly in my vision and would have been glaring the whole scene on camera too.
People had been warning me about the bugs, but I didn’t bring any insect repellent. I have been to Willard Bay State Park many times, and they have TONS (probably literally) of bugs, and I’ve never really been bothered by them. But the ones at Willard don’t bite/sting…the ones on Antelope Island do! The whole time I’m setting up camp, I’m getting little pinches and stings all over my face and neck.
I hurried to get the fire going, so that I can sit in the smoke and use that as a bug repellant. Since I was in a hurry, I made the fire wrong. I put kindling down, then plopped a single log on top of that… the kindling had flames, but the bigger chunk of wood didn’t have any air circulation under it and really just smoldered… at least there was plenty of smoke for me to sit in!
There was a little black beetle bug sitting in a space between my car and the campsite. Every time I went past, it raised up it’s end and waved it at me. I think it was a stink bug warning me it wanted to spray (never did, though).
Didn’t see any Bison, but did see evidence…very old droppings! LOL
I start to get a little nervous. I know the wildlife there, so I knew what to expect. The sun had set just under an hour ago, but it was still rather light for a while. The birds were twittering, squawking and otherwise making nice background noise… until they all went quiet suddenly!
A bison I can see coming, and birds probably wouldn’t have “alerted” to that anyway. So now I’m wondering if there’s a cougar slinking around somewhere, and I get on high alert too! After a few moments I heard a coyote do a yip-howl, and felt much better. A coyote is more intimidated by humans, and I could likely scare one off with just standing up and waving my arms. A cougar, especially a hungry one, would be another matter!
The fire is out and it’s dark enough I don’t feel safe with being outside anymore (coyotes still yipping ever so often). Plus, I want to get enough sleep to get up in a few hours to watch the meteor shower. So I pack up all my food and put it back in the trunk of the car so no critters will get any bright ideas about a midnight snack from my camp.
Even with the windows rolled up, I can still hear coyotes carrying on ever so often. The sky has large patches of clear space and stars twinkling though. Looks promising for the show!
April 22, 2014
Finally get to sleep. I’m warm, but underestimated how uncomfortable the back seat of a car is. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was flat, but there’s that hump in the middle between the two main passenger seats (supposedly 3 people can ride back there, so why the huge lump??). And a seat belt was jabbing me in the ribs.
Woke up just before my 3:45 alarm. The sky is one huge dome of dull gray…not a single star can be seen glimmering. Bah! So much for that idea. I decided to go back to sleep until the sun is up.
Once again beat my alarm by about 15 minutes. I get up, get dressed – and very surprised it’s not colder than I thought it would be – and use the toilet, which smells pretty good for being a hole in the ground kind!
While I was awake, but still in that mode of sitting around and getting more alert, a beautiful yellow bird flitted to the bushes next to my car. I scrambled to get my phone off the charger in the front seat to get a picture, though it doesn’t seem to be quite as nice as I wanted. In flight the bird showed off it’s bright colors more, but being landed it of course wanted to blend in with the ground cover.
Now that the sun isn’t blaring into the front window, I enjoy the scenery a little more. And finally remember to record a bit of it. Of course there’s lots of different birds, and I finally saw a larger animal! There was a lone deer on the causeway, who ran off when a construction truck went rumbling past. I could see plenty of tracks in the mud of the salt flats a little closer to the main land too.
Whenever I tell people I went camping the other day, as soon as they realize I meant JUST me… “You went by yourself?!”
Um…is there some law saying I can’t, that I don’t know about? I don’t understand why this is such a shock. Yes I have a bad heart, and it does randomly have “episodes” that need a trip to the hospital to remedy. Yes I’m a little 5-foot 80 pound weakling girl. Yes I’m going in just my car with a cooler of food.
Yes, I can do this! I can’t refrain from having fun for all the “what if”s. What if my heart went crazy? Cell phone, and I pace myself so I don’t get over-exerted. What if I can’t prepare my camp on my own? Don’t take too much and distribute weight into smaller loads. What if it gets cold? I have wool blankets (actually had to take the blanket OFF a couple times last night as I was so warm!). What if there’s wild animals? That’s why I’m in a car, not a tent!
I’ll be honest that last night was a little intimidating and daunting. The fire didn’t get going big enough (my own fault for rushing it), and therefore got into my car as soon as it got dark enough I couldn’t see anything bigger than a chipmunk coming near my camp. I had plenty of gas so I could run my car and use the heater if needed…but I didn’t, as the wool blanket was plenty!
But I had fun, and I will definitely do this again! All by myself!