Activities · Critters · Tales

Don’t Forget the Food

GASP! I missed a post last week! The horror. The shame. Except that 1. what I did instead was good for my sanity, dear reader. And more relevant to your needs, 2. I get to tell you what I did and you get to laugh at with me. I went CAMPING!

Not just any camping though. I met up with a longtime friend of mine, plus her three horses (aka The Lady League, as the horses are all mares). All appropriately socially distanced and with masks, of course. However, since we weren’t going to be sharing any food, equipment, etc, I had to bring everything myself. Cue the extensive and detailed lists!

These started out as very clean, organized pages…

I always plan out meals and snacks in detail because a Hangry Jacquelyn is not someone I like to be around, so I try not to inflict her on people I like. My initial list of clothes and minimal camping gear (I was going to sleep in my car, which simplifies things considerably) started out well enough. But then the inevitable car-creep starts happening… I took the carseats out of the car and look, I have so much room! I can bring ALL THE THINGS! Luckily, I have good editors that reminded me that I was only going for two nights. Party poopers.

Short human + compact SUV = tent car! Also, the borrowed air mattress? KEY.

I meet my friend at the campground, and we get ourselves settled. I get my car into “tent mode” and happily busy myself with making camp cozy and civilized. My friend unloads The Lady League into the paddocks and gets set up herself. I shower the mares with love and scritchies, and sneak a berry to my favorite because I’m that kind of horse auntie. Sshhhhh.

Lady Leaguers conferring among themselves. My favorite is the one napping, one of our many shared interests.

Once we get camp more or less put together, we take the Lady League for a hike. I lead one mare and my friend leads the other two. While this sounds unwieldy, I promise you it’s not so difficult as you may think – she has trained her horses thoroughly and they are very VERY well behaved. On this hike alone, they handled single track trails, uphill in deep sand, downhill to streams, etc, all with very little fuss. Two of them will even let you hold onto their tail and pull you up hills! Great hiking companions, horses. *wink*

We made it to the top of the hill and I commemorated it with this picture of butts.

Once we got back to camp after several hours of hiking in the redwoods, humans and horses alike tucked into dinner with gusto. What is it about camping that makes every calorie amazing? I used a borrowed backpacking stove to make my gourmet meal of packaged tortellini and jarred sauce, and I was impressed. Not with the food, but the stove. It may be tiny but man, it boiled water like a champ!

There are so many good things about this picture, I don’t know where to begin. The small but mighty stove? The horse in the background that would put a body builder to shame? Oh, maybe the hugging salt and pepper shakers…

The next morning we woke up to CAMP INVADERS. No, not raccoons. RAVENS. Cheeky buggers, too – one kept sneaking up to the table every time we turned our backs. Luckily, all that was lost in the morning battle was some tortillas. That is, until we returned later that afternoon to find a massacred avocado and a wounded nectarine. *shakes fist at smart birds*

The ravens made it known who was really boss around camp.

After breakfast on the second day, we took the horses on another lovely walk through the redwoods and then it was time to pack up and head out. Two days went by in a flash, and I had to return home to relieve my very gracious partner of solo parent duty. I surveyed what I brought with me: I ate half of the food, wore most of the clothes, and used almost everything in my MacGyver/gear bin. I call that a packing WIN! *does an embarrassing dance*

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