going camping for the first time in a couple of days

Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2011

I am going camping for the first time. Saturday morning at 5:30am, I'll be on my way to Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite. I hear it's gorgeous, and half of me is excited about it. The other half, kind of grossed out. This may make me sound like the ultimate urbanite, but I have this strange habit that has developed over the past few years that I know I didn't used to have: I wash my hands a lot. And not even after the usual icky things like picking up dog poop, taking out the trash, going to the bathroom. Sometimes, even after typing for a bit, I'll want to wash my hands. Or putting my hand on a dusty surface, or even putting away shoes. I know, it's weird. And with the camping that we'll be doing-- real backpacking where there is no car, no bathrooms, no facilities, I'm sure this habit of mine is going to make me feel more uncomfortable than I would otherwise be. I don't even really "believe" in hand sanitizer, which irritates my hands (I occasionally have severe outbreaks of eczema as well... like now). But you best believe I'll be bringing it, and using it. I've just never been camping before, and I really like taking showers. But I'd like to believe I'm "rugged" enough to be able to be comfortable in more environments than just suburbia and... urbia. So I believe this to be a test. A test I guess I shouldn't be too worried about. I used to train for marathons by planning routes around the Los Altos Hills, at night. I would Google Map a route, then drive there and run it, even if I'd never been down those roads before. I don't know why I liked running at night. I liked the lights and the quiet. But one night, I routed a 16 mile route that took me on roads that didn't have sidewalks. In fact, it didn't even have lights, and I'm pretty sure there are coyotes on roads named "Coyote Creek Rd." It was then I had realized that all this time I had taken for granted the fact that at night, street signs depend on light to reflect off of them in order to be seen. I had no light, so at one point, I had to wait for an occasional passing car to even see where I was. And to realize I was still lost. I hadn't even brought a phone. I survived, obviously. But I wasn't panicked or anything. Just backtracked my way to familiar territory. Then again, nothing has ever really happened to me that has ever made me feel the need to panic. (KNOCK ON WOOD) I'm also comforted by the fact that I won't be going alone, and I'm really glad Quang will be there who I know isn't a camper and who will share in my being grossed out at things and protect me from bears. Yes, bears. So, I guess to sum it up, I'm still a bit nervous. But also excited, and anticipating some beautiful views of nature.