Sunday, May 06, 2007
I didn't take this picture but I love this picture of me walking on a beach in Costa Rica a few years ago.
I have described before that I find oceans to be a place where I can relax, "let my hair down." Even though, now that I have long hair, I find getting salt water and sand in my hair most unrelaxing. Which is one reason I probably will get all that hair chopped off next month.
I probably love the sea so much because of the many childhood associations I have of visiting it. I love walking barefoot in the sand, hunting for shells and agates, sitting on the sand with my face to the sun and feeling the breeze and warmth on my face.
This summer, I'd like to take my kids camping on the beaches where I hiked as a kid. I feel guilty that my oldest is 15 and has never been camping. Yes, I have offered him a number of high quality life experiences including international travel, summer camp, music lessons and so on, but still. Where would childhood be without camping--unrolling your sleeping bag in a tent, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on a stick, fighting off ravenous hordes of mosquitoes and so on?
I want to spend a night listening to the foghorns off the Washington coast from my warm sleeping bag and get up in the shivery cold morning to light a fire to make burnt pancakes for the family. I want to introduce my kids to the infamous taste of Tang (do they even still make it anymore?). Well, life would go on without Tang. I wonder what freeze dried foods they sell at REI these days? They used to have such appetizing names as "Turkey tetrazzini." Food like that could only taste good after a long day spent hiking.
I remember REI from the days before it had a catalogue, when only a privileged few Seattlites, could go to the downtown warehouse to get backpacking gear. We'd always buy our sleeping bags, sleeping mats, tents and hiking boots there. Also the food and maps of where we were going. One longish trip, I got bored and wandered around the store filling out entries for a give away they had at the store. I kept filling out the forms even as my folks were waiting in the checkout line. I must have stuffed a lot of entries in the box nearest the register because a few weeks later I learned that I had won my very own, large hunting knife. Fortunately they let us trade it in for an upgrade to my sleeping mat. For a few weeks, I had the most comfortable camping bed in the family.
I doubt we would manage to backpack this year. Too complicated and I'm not sure if my younger son would cooperate with carrying his gear for very far. But there is car camping which requires less gear I don't own (backpacks, ultralight stoves, water filtration devices, cook pots, and so forth). Unless you count my childhood back pack which is still in the garage growing mildew because I can't bear to part with it.
The other major complication of backpacking would be how would I carry all my camera gear? Well, one thing at a time. First I have to figure out what we are all doing this summer. Which reminds me, I'm supposed to be doing that today.
I hope there is a beach trip in your not-too-distant future. Enjoy your Sunday.