Because you can learn things about yourself even when you thought you knew everything there is to know… I thought that living a little over four years in rural Wyoming had beaten most, if not all, of the city out of me. But I discovered during our vacation, that I am still just full enough of city to dislike camping. Oh boy did I dislike it. We spent all day Monday, Monday night, and most of Tuesday roughing it in Escalante, Utah before we both, tired, hot and dirty, said eff this noise. Call a motel. Tell them we’re sick of camping and we’re coming down. But to show I’m not a totally unreasonable person and I did have good reasons for not having a totally good time, here are the top reasons why I did not really enjoy my first time camping:
1. That camping spot is full of this horrid red sand that gets. in. EVERYTHING. Your teeth, your hair, the crack of your ass, your shoes and socks. Every foodstuff you put into your mouth tastes like this sand. Walking in it very far is impossible. Go a few feet (say, from the tent to the potty) and it felt like walking 20 miles.
2. It was approximately 1 million degrees. Being so far into Fall and because it has been getting cooler and cooler back home earlier than usual, we figured it would be decent for camping, too. Nope. “Indian summer/unseasonably hot” they all said. It was that strength sapping kind of hot, too, where sweat just pours and pours off you.
3. I had to pee in a bucket. Erik was kind of enough to set up a privacy tent that goes around the makeshift potty but still. Peeing in a bucket is not my idea of a good time.
4. The ground is hard to sleep on no matter how many foam mattress thingies you lay down, and the tent trapped all that heat inside it. My back has still not forgiven me for making it endure sleeping in that thing.
So there. I didn’t like camping. This time. But I went in with no expectations and tried something new. Our spot sure was pretty though, under a juniper tree and near a large outcropping of red rock:
But this is a blog about food, right? Well we had some just okay then great then decent then great food on our sojourn. In Green River we ate an okay breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon, etc., at a place called Penny’s Diner. Erik had biscuits and gravy and the gravy obviously came from a powdered package. Boo. In Grand Junction, we had an awesome dinner and beer at the Rockslide Brewery:
We made one grit free dinner while camping – tacos on the propane grill:
In Escalante, we stayed in a little motel that had a brand new restaurant attached to it. The first night, we had a buffet dinner, with some really tasty and well made brisket (all their beef is grass fed cows raised right there in town). We ate great breakfasts there too – one of which was a breakfast panini with eggs, smoked cheddar, tomato, locally made sausage, and an herb butter on toasted ciabatta, and real sausage and gravy on biscuits for Erik. At the Escalante Outfitters cafe we both had calzones that featured local sausage, pepperoni, roasted garlic and other delicious fillings, and a large, fresh side salad. In Bryce Canyon, we had a dinner buffet right next to our hotel.
The best meal we had though, was at a greasy spoon in Salina, Utah, a place called Mom’s Cafe and whatever images just popped up in your mind hearing the name of the place, that’s exactly what it’s like. We had breakfast and the plates were MASSIVE. Erik ate grilled pork chops with biscuits and gravy (two breakfast plates, essentially) with eggs and hashbrowns. I had the standard eggs, hashbrowns, sourdough toast and they gave me two huge sausage patties:
So I had a good time, all told. Sure, it was hot and dirty and miserable camping but fun all the same. Next time though, I’m making Erik take me to an established camping ground (not real camping, he says) with no red sand …