That Time We Went Camping

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Turns out it takes a lot of time and money to buy all of the camping essentials, pack up your car, set up a camp site, all in an attempt to make it feel a little bit like home. It might just be cheaper to ... stay at home.

But where is the fun in that? Would you just look at the smile on this guy. It was totally worth it.


After reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I wanted to hike the PCT. After camping in Iowa for two days, I now realize this is no longer a want of mine.

We pulled into Dolliver State Park in Iowa Saturday afternoon. I know camping in Iowa seems a little odd, but our choices were limited... And all snarking aside, this park actually turned out to be very cool. We hiked some awesome trails hidden deep in the forests of Iowa, played in crystal clear creeks, and mingled with the local camping folk.

Speaking of camping folk. They are a different breed than say... resort folk. Not better, not worse, just different.

The second we pulled into the campground all eyes were on us. "New people," they all were thinking. Chris and I felt like rookies as we popped up our lone little tent, surrounded by people in their massive RVs decorated with lights, outdoor rugs, and even some makeshift front yard fences.

The second we got everything set up we went out to explore. We hiked around 15 miles each day. The trails were what my childhood dreams were made of. Steep cliffs buried deep in the woods, fallen trees we had to climb over, and secret little creeks waiting for us like a prize at the end of the journey.



Chris suggested we really embrace camp life, so we brought our bag chairs with us and plopped them down right in the middle of water. Unfortunately we only brought two. So Harlow stole mine the second I got up.


I can honestly say this might be the first time in Har's life I've actually seen him exhausted. He could barely keep his eyes open. For every mile we walked, he ran about five. This camp site was his Disney World. He chased deer, rabbits and squirrels until he couldn't run any further.

Harlow was all wolf during the day, acting like a big shot as if he'd lived his entire life in the wilderness. But the second night hit he was back to his diva city dog antics. He started out sleeping at my feet, but after the first boom of thunder he jumped up begging me to let him in my sleeping bag as fast as he could. Have you ever slept in a flannel sleeping bag with a sixty pound dog? It gets a little warm.

Speaking of the thunderstorm.... That was terrifying. I've never slept in a tent where the thunder is so loud it shakes inside your chest and every time lighting strikes it illuminates the entire tent in an odd bright green light. The only reason I survived that first night is because I drank a lot. I'm not ashamed to admit that, I knew it had to be done.

I'm going to call this part one of the camping series. In tomorrow's post I'll talk about the camping "friend" we met who thought it was funny to tell jokes about how superior men are to women. Spoiler alert: it didn't go over well with me.


28 comments:

  1. this is seriously gorgeous! it looks like y'all are camping people to me! except you just need some cots so you don't have to sleep on the ground. harlow does look like he had a blast. an exhausted dog is the best.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm reading Wild right now and I find myself thinking that I want to hike the PCT. Then I remind myself that I refuse to even go camping unless there are showers and toilets.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love camping, and our puppy loves it too. He does the same thing as Harlow every single time. He also eats like a horse while we are camping, so we got him an awesome little puppy back pack and he hikes his own food into the woods for us. I think it's fair and really, that thing barely slows him down.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never been camping before. I really want to go one day! Harlow is such a cutie.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This makes me want to go camping immediately. I love it so much, but only once in awhile, not all the time. Your thunder experience makes me want to blog about my thunderstorm and flood during tent camping experience. Scary to say the least!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why were there not camera crews to film this hit show?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds fun! I really want took camping I haven't been in years. But as you said it's quite expensive so I think I'll settle for a cabin at a state park

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hahahaha...I just recently started following you in Instagram because I love your dog, lol. And you're pretty funny too ;) But this is such great timing for me to read because my husband and I have been discussing going camping. We are really like um, not sure how to say it, but we own a Hilton card, so neither of us has ever been camping. Nor have we had the real desire to, but we're living in Texas this summer and it's just something we feel like we should do. We would totally get the "new people" stares. Like he wants to get a tent thing that goes on the back of his truck so we would put an air mattress in and sleep there. Would that be so weird? Probably..haha. I think we should though because it would just be too funny. I am looking forward to tomorrows post. (do you have to talk to other people when you're camping? because that's a part I wouldn't be into haha)

    x. Morgan / www.morningappleblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really don't know anything about Iowa but these photos look beautiful! I'm sure Harlow had the best time, camping really is Disneyland for dogs!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I always tell myself camping would be fun and then I remember the reality of how much work it is. Maybe I'll go glamping - that sounds like a good city girl compromise. Glad to hear you guys had fun and survived - and that somehow Harlow got worn out. That's a mini-miracle right there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What great scenery! Love it! Your lil tent is adorable. :)

    Mandie ~ http://badbrewpack.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. May I suggest another great camping spot in Iowa? Check out Decorah, farther north, but scenic and wonderful ...worth the drive! Thanks for sharing your adventures in Iowa.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have been camping twice in my life, once as a child with my parents and once with Tim when we were dating and have to say I am no fan of camping hence why I have not been again

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow... I can't tell you the last time I just walked around in the woods and played in a creek! You have me all nostalgic! I love the story about sharing your sleeping bag with Harlow haha.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Most of my childhood was spent hiking and camping. I actually miss it but like you said, the amount of money you have to drop to sleep on the ground is a little ridiculous. Maybe next year?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dolliver! I camped there one night with the Boy Scouts when I used to live in Fort Dodge (I think I was 6 or 7 years old). I don't remember anything about it, other than some very steep climbs.

    ReplyDelete
  17. 15 miles a day?! That's awesome! Look beautiful!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love this! Harlow looks so happy...were you allowed to let him off leash, or was it quiet enough on the trails that it didn't matter? This location looks so nice...

    I love your thunder post too, though I have no advice on that. Matilda hides in the tub or under a bed. Why is that vizslas think a bathtub is safe?

    ReplyDelete