camping with photographers

as seniors in college, my fellow photo friends and I decided we should take on a grand adventure to explore the outdoors. the lovely Yvonne took on the organization and planned for us to head west, very west, to the land of a massive hole in the ground…aka the Grand Canyon.

I had been several times to this glorious landscape but had always been to the south rim where the stereotypical images of the canyon come to mind, hot, desert, little vegetation etc….so we planned for the north rim which was one of the best decisions we made. the north rim is close to the border with Utah and has perfect weather in the summer. we were in sweatshirts and sweatpants at night and during the day it was cool and breezy at the campsite under all the pine trees. we never once were sweating bullets until we started our hike down into the canyon. this was also because of the lack of trees and the amount of dust that started to kick up…..my shoes and camera bag were stained for a good two weeks after coming back.

the trip was amazing. we cooked our food over campfire every breakfast, lunch and dinner, we slept under the stars, there were bison roaming close by, we had no cell service so we never had to worry about getting calls or emails, and we simply just hung out and took photos. trips such as these are my everything.

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now, being out in this type of wilderness is fantastic however, there were some things that we could’ve probably done better… our number one was researching the weather. sure we looked up the temperatures for the week on our weather apps, but what we should’ve done was watched how the weather was for a couple of weeks before driving there. we didn’t realize we went during the rainy season…..

the last full day we were there it started to rain around 11 or so, we thought “oh, we’ll be fine”, just wait it out in the car and we’ll have time to let our things dry during the day, which most of everything did except for heavy blankets. we continued to explore for the day and came back to the campsite to find that it had once rained again, ok no worries we’ll go get dinner at the nearest restaurant and left our things dry in the tents and fingers crossed it doesn’t rain again. well, we went to dinner to the north rim lodge’s restaurant, keep in mind we have been hiking for four days, sleeping outside, and haven’t had showers during any of this time. we had been taking “hippie showers” which consist of rubbing sanitation wipes all over our body… needless to say we had some earthy and dusty smells to us, however, the food was incredibly delicious. I remember I splurged on a half rack of ribs and a glass of red wine and was on cloud nine by the end of it.

ok, so after shoving our faces full of glorious food we headed back to the campsite and noticed heavy dark clouds were surrounding our campsite, perfect. we jumped out of the car and noticed the air was much cooler and felt heavy as if ready for the clouds to burst open like eggs and let all of their watery insides drown us…which eventually happened. but beforehand we gathered everything as fast as we could and shoved everything in black trash bags, mainly because our belongings were still pretty damp. I threw out a couple of pillows and an old sweatshirt that all had become ten pounds heavier with the rain. we loaded up the cars and left that night at 9 o’clock because we literally couldn’t sleep at the campsite because of the enormous down pour. neither car could see out the back windows because trash bags were stuffed to the roof, along with other belongings smashed in leg spaces. let’s just say when we finally arrived in Lawrence, KS after that 21 hour drive I had never in my life been so thankful for a shower, a long hot 20 minute shower with countless shampoo rinses. I love camping and being outdoors more than anything but when you have to take the drive home in a car stuffed with damp clothing you become real grateful for a couch and shower.

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