Camping Stories

by | Jun 18, 2021 | Updates & Opportunities | 0 comments

I get excited when there are lots of big events lined up on the calendar, one after the other, at different places all over the country. It means that, between each event, I get to go camping all over the country!

The end of FPEA kinda marked the beginning of a series of camping stops. First, though, I spent a couple nights at a ritzy hotel in Tampa, Florida, doing some design work for a friend. Somehow, he figures out how to get crazy deals and we ate lots of super fancy meals together practically for free. It was a great time and we really enjoyed ourselves. But I have to admit, by the end of our time together, I was itching to get into the great outdoors for a little change of scenery. It was humorous, then, when the day after I left, we had this brief exchange…

Screenshot 2021-06-16 171553

210602_James Staddon_0648 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 23 mm, 5.0 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

The place was magical! Osceola National Forest was the perfect spot for a campsite that morning! I walked around and took some pictures of the enchanted forest, but those photos will have to wait for another blog post.

The next campsite it was in Arkansas. In the Mike Freeze Wattensaw Wildlife Management Area. It rained so hard and everything was so soaking wet that I didn’t bother to even pull out the camera. I was satisfied with not much more than a wet selfie.

20210607_090750

The next spot was a whole lot better! Black Kettle National Grassland. When it came to running a mobile office, instead of rain, we had to deal with heat. But that’s not that big of a deal when you have a lake to go swimming in! It did concern me that we happened to see a snake swimming by earlier in the day, but David assured me that, because of the way it was swimming, it couldn’t possibly have been a poisonous species. Plus, there were other folks swimming on the other side of the lake…. it couldn’t be that snake invested!

210608_James Staddon_8794 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 18 mm, 25.0 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 200

But that was only the beginning of the heat. And Cibola National Forest didn’t have a swimming hole at it’s dispersed camping area. And if you don’t already know, New Mexico in June is hot! I’m not going to set up office in 96 degree weather again if I can help it. And that was intentionally going to higher elevations to find a cooler place to work than in the valley. And oh, the bugs! That’s where I discovered a fan works really well for blowing them all away.

210615_James Staddon_9210 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 5.0 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

210615_James Staddon_9233 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 2.0 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

Desert camping was a unique experience, though. The late afternoons and mornings were absolutely lovely!

Next, our schedule directed us up to Colorado tor RMHC. Now we’re talking about higher elevations. And, gratefully, cooler temperatures. Pike and San Isabel National Forest offers free dispersed camping, and I was hoping against hope that we could find a place to set up office where there was great 4G reception in the National Forest itself. Starting in Poncha Springs with strong reception and 8 miles to go to the border of the Forest, my heart fell when 4 miles in, 4G dropped to 1 bar. We hadn’t even hardly started climbing elevation yet! And then it just suddenly jumped to 2 bars, then 3. It continued to fluctuate, as we drove up the mountainside, but never below 1 bar, and by the time we got to where I knew we could camp, it was at 3-4 bars! Couldn’t believe it. And the views! It was a dream mobile office location.

But there was one unexpected problem with the place. There were cows all over the place!

210616_James Staddon_9401 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 89 mm, 1-125 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 50

So we decided to camp on the other side of the ravine where the cows didn’t seem to care to go. You can see our tent over there, just to the left of the first bend in the road. It just felt more safe over there. We didn’t want to be laying on pins and needles all night long, thinking that any little sound might be a bull coming to check out the strangers trespassing on his property.

210616_James Staddon_9473 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24 mm, 1-800 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100

And Wednesday night was the last night of camping before the Convention kicked off yesterday!

RMHC

We have a great team. 9 strong. And we’re having a great time.

Will enjoy this weekend of event photography before breaking out the mobile office once again and live another round of camping stories!

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