So as you read in my previous post, I went camping last weekend. And I know I never write anything too thoughtful or meaningful on this blog, but here’s 4 things I’ll share.
You should see the Milky Way at least once in your life.
Because it actually looks like it does in the pictures.
There are not very many vivid memories you’ll carry with you in life, but if I had a “I remember that like it was yesterday moment,” it would be the time I saw the Milky Way when I was in Missouri (lots of open skies and redneck farm country out there). There was supposed to be a meteor shower that weekend, so some college friends and I packed in a car like sardines and drove to the middle of nowhere (the redneck farm country) to watch it.
We drove miles past the last city streetlight, past several fields of sleeping cows, and down a few dirt roads until it was dark. And there wasn’t any moon that night, so it was pretty much pitch black. As Spongebob would put it, it was “Advanced Darkness.”
when I got out of the car, the sky was actually pretty bright. And I thought, “dammit, we’re not going to see anything with this giant cloud in the middle of the sky.” Once my eyes adjusted and my brain registered what I was seeing, I realized that it was the Milky Way. And it looks just like it does in the pictures.
I didn’t see the Milky Way camping last weekend, you have to drive pretty far out to see it in its entirety, but did see a few shooting stars.
Unplug once in a while.
Yeah, you’ve heard this one before, but I feel the need to reiterate it here. The whole weekend I was camping, my phone got ZERO reception! And. It. Was… kind of nice actually.
You see, all you damn kids these days and your SmartPads, Picture-Tweets, and Willy-Gadgets! You don’t know what its like to live without technology for even a day!
Forgive me for sounding like a disgruntled baby-boomer, but I have to agree with this one. Try spending an entire day without your phone. Also, get off my lawn.
The grass is not always greener.
Really, it’s not.
There was some great fishing on the Apple River, just steps away from the campground. It was a picturesque river where I caught several Smallmouth Bass. However, I’m not immune to the part of human nature that seems to crave a change of scenery at every moment. And it wasn’t long until I set off from the river to greener pastures.
My first mistake was when I picked up one of those stupid campground pamphlets at the park office. It had a map of the area for sightseeing stuff. And when I flipped through it and read about a nearby lake that boasted good fishing, I couldn’t resist. You bet I packed up the car with fishing gear and snacks and set off on a 30-minute drive to these nearby lakes with “great fishing.” I thought I’d find some awesome fishing in some pristine Midwestern wilderness. Just like it said in the pamphlet.
You know what I got?
A mid-afternoon hike around a tick-infested, overgrown lake with no fish. I was there for all of 30 minutes.
You know where I ended up right after?
Back fishing on the Apple River, right next to the campground.
You can drive to the deeper lake or hike to the next river, but most of the time you’ll do just as well at the spot next to the campsite.
Don’t wait for the “perfect moment” for anything.
Because it will never come.
Camping last weekend was awesome, but it could have been more fun with a few more people. Ideally, I would have booked a few side-by-side campsites and spend a few summer nights with friends around a bright campfire and a beer-filled cooler (despite the campsite’s no-alcohol policy). But I’m realizing plans like that are rarely going to happen in life, especially the older you get. We get busy with work, have families, and generally, just get lazier and more boring. Also, there’s also a million reasons to not go camping. The weather might be looking a bit dicey, you’re out of bug-spray, and gas prices are running high. But even if conditions are perfect, good weather, good company, and a weekend set aside just for a camping trip- you still aren’t protected from getting a flat tire on the drive out. You just have to fill up your gas tank and risk it.
The same mentality could and should go for other aspects in life. That job you’ve been reaching for, that business you’ve wanted to start, or that trip you’ve wanted to take. Don’t wait until conditions are perfect, because they never will be.
Picture 1: Eric Hines via news.nationalgeographic.com
Picture 2: via hoodblogs.com
Picture 3: via celebratewomantoday.com
Picture 4: via Unknown