Today we went out to spend a gift card from my husband’s dad, and we ended up buying a propane campstove. Later we went out with a couple good friends of ours and talked about some weekend camping trips as soon as it gets just a little warmer. Because of dryer, hotter summers these days there is usually a no-fire ban in campgrounds in BC, thus the stove. But we are pretty set. We have a tent, sleeping bags, cots, and iron skillet. We have a Spanish wine skin that’s good for water. We also have a cooler.

It has been far too long since I’ve been tent-camping, but tonight we dreamed of heading out on a Friday after work, pitching camp that night, doing a long hike the next day, and hanging out around a campfire (if it’s possible) or no fire, under stars on the second night, sipping wine or beer, engrossed in conversations that, among our friends is usually contemplative and funny, philosophical and endearing all at once. I realize how much these friends mean to us–the guy has been best friends with my husband since grade school, and his girlfriend is sweet and pleasant to hang with. I love being around easy-going people like that.

These are the kinds of things–camp trips and hikes–that I can’t wait to photograph and blog about, though for now, the running is the constant, year-round sport hobby. I cannot wait til the coming week to continue to explore the trails near campus that I encountered late last year.

But it’s always nice to dream of getting out into further wilderness than the urban trails in the pockets of civilization where I generally run. We can drive less than an hour and be in some very isolated places.

Over 100 years ago, John Muir wrote of national parks:

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

Here we are, over a century later, with less green space and a planet at risk, and yet it’s not like people have forgotten the beauty and necessity of the wilderness. We are just ever at war with the excessive resource grabs that pollute our planet and make our life more convenient. Even modern movies often hint at how important nature is–Star Wars, for instance, has a scene remarking on a very green planet–not seen usually in such a galaxy. A divine facial expression brightens the tense character’s face, amidst an otherwise race for goodness vs. evil, and she momentarily stares out at the beauty and takes it all in. I have to say that the most important thing to me these days, outside of family and friends, is to spend time outdoors taking in what so many take for granted.

As a child I camped often. We were outdoors far more than I believe that many children are today. I recall the many summers swimming, horseback riding, and so forth–repelling down cliffs and rafting in Wisconsin. British Columbia still has far more wild areas than my childhood home, and I can’t wait to get out there!

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