This post has been in my drafts for weeks now – I wasn’t sure what to share or write about, but I suppose sometimes all you need are a few images since a picture is worth a thousand words.
Camping Trip to Happy Jack, Arizona
I haven’t been camping in a long time and the last time I went camping was when I was around 12 years old. It’s been well over a decade. This guy I was seeing has a tent that goes right above his Jeep, which I didn’t know something like that even existed! He has never used it before, so we decided to take it out camping with his dog Ranger.
Since I haven’t gone camping in a while, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Luckily for me, he planned the whole entire trip. I was in charge of looking for a campsite and while I hate to admit it, we did not end up going to any of the campsites I suggested. With that being said, I contributed 0% to this camping trip.
We went up to Happy Jack, Arizona. The drive was about 2.5 hours from Phoenix. We drove up on Friday after work around 5 pm and got to the area around 8 pm. It was fairly dark by the time we arrived, so we had to set up pretty quickly. The area we stayed in was really nice and I really enjoyed it!
Here are ten things I learned or thought of while camping in Happy Jack:
- Tearing your bicep is a very serious injury. I didn’t tear my bicep, but unfortunately, the guy I went camping with tore his bicep while loading the tent on top of his Jeep. I stood there and watched as it happened – confused and unsure of how much pain he was in. What a pleasant start to our camping trip! The next day, his arm may or may not have been purple. He also may or may not have to get surgery… He did.
- You have to go to the loo in the woods. This is real camping now. It took me a while to mentally prep myself that I had to go into the woods. I don’t believe I have the mental capacity to do the other option if you know what I mean.
- Time goes by really slowly but in a good way. It was the morning after our first night, we were sitting and watching the trees. For the first time in a while, I can finally catch my breath. Nothing in life mattered except for that moment. Being the type of person I am, I’m constantly worrying. Worrying about the health and well-being of my family and friends. Worrying about clients and work, whether I responded to an email or not. For once, I wasn’t glued to my phone or my inbox.
- Silence is good. We spent the majority of the day in silence. We spent the day either watching the fire, sleeping under the trees, or listening to the sound of Mother Nature. These moments felt surreal because it was nice to be in my own thoughts.
- I will rather be alone in the woods than be near people. Have you seen the movie Hush? I watched it a few years ago on New Year’s Eve with my family and cousins. The movie is about a deaf author that lives in solitude in the woods. Long story short without ruining the movie, a serial killer deduces that she’s deaf. Because of this movie, I would want to be around people when I’m in the woods. While we weren’t too far from the streets, someone did pull in near us on the first night. I remember my heartbeat was racing and I thought to myself, if I die, I die. In other words, I accepted my faith if death was upon me that night. Nothing happened, but it definitely shook me to my core. This is why I would like to be alone rather than be near people.
- Hot air rises. In case you forgot how a hot air balloon works or why people say “stop, drop, and roll” in the event of a fire, here’s an elementary science refresher. Since the tent was on top of the Jeep, it was fairly warm during the night while it was ~50 degrees outside. I love the warmth, so this was perfect for me.
- You can get dogs rattlesnake trained. I actually did not know this was a thing, but it sounds very useful. Ranger would occasionally wander around the area, so it would have been nice if he was rattlesnake trained. I’m not sure when rattlesnakes are in season or if there are rattlesnakes in Happy Jack, but luckily, we did not see any snakes during this camping trip!
- I ate the best sandwich ever. No, it truly was the best sandwich ever – wheat bread, turkey, lots and lots of mayo, lettuce, red bell peppers, and onions. Never in my 25 years of living on earth have I had a better sandwich. Oh, my mouth is just drooling right now while I’m thinking about it!
- If someone asks how I want to die, my response will be “with a smile”. It sounds cliché, but it makes me laugh. Usually, when people ask me how I want to die, I say a quick death. A death where I have 3 seconds of knowing I’m about to die and then die. Simple and easy, but now, my new answer will be “with a smile”.
- In the state of Arizona, you don’t have to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. When we were driving back from Happy Jack, we were behind some motorcyclists. One of them had a helmet in their backpack. The guy I went camping with told me that it’s highly likely they’re either from or riding through California since it’s mandatory to wear a helmet from there, whereas in Arizona, wearing a helmet is not mandatory while riding a motorcycle.
I can’t wait to go camping again! Later this month, my family and I are renting a cabin in Pine, Arizona for my dad’s 60th birthday. Then in October for my birthday month, Mai Ly and I are planning on doing a weekend trip camping. However, I am hoping to squeeze in a camping trip before that!