Here Come The Hot August Nights

Western Ag Vignettes

A time for camping!!

Published on: August 1, 2013

At a time when the world seems to be plugged in, let's take out the earplugs,  fingers off the keyboards, and just relate to the good life.

August, when summer gets serious, is a great time to take advantage of nature's bounty and hike a river or climb a mountain. :Pull out the tent and  find the coolers and head for the camping ground with the family for a real experience rather than a virtual one.

My favorite things are camping, hiking and photographing the wonders of summer. In fact, after the three-hour task of setting up the campsite is completed, and it is time for kick back with a cool drink and look up into the canopies of pines, I am home.

If there is a nice lake or river for fishing nearby, my pleasure compounds, but just sitting around the campfire later on is probably where some of my best memories originated with my children as they grew up

They still talk about the trails and the waters we camped near, and of the cinnamon bears knocking down trash cans as it moved through the area in the  night, and of singing "Bingo" and

fishing for the big Cutthroats in Yellowstone River.

One of their favorite recollections is listening to my old  radio program tapes after everyone was in their sleeping bags. Old time radio like Suspense and Witch's Tales kept them quiet and closely listening.

My children grew up with TV, and old radio programs were alien to them. I think that's why they were so interested when I introduced them into their lives at Yosemite National Park a long time ago now.

The kids are gone now, but I still love camping with Sally, and every now and then we'll play one of the old radio favorites as a nostalgic moment. While the thrill of bringing our children into the woods was one of the most right things I did with them, I can still revel in  the camping spirit when we sit, just two of us now, beside campfires and watch the flames flicker with a million memories

I plan to take two of our grandchildren camping for a week this month, but I am already concerned over how I will handle their electronics. They'll want to bring them, but the sight of the two boys playing games beneath the trees, or texting on their I-Phones around the campfire doesn't set well with me.

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However, if I ask them to leave the games home, that could lead to arguments.

I even proposed leaving cell phones home, but to no avail since their complaint is that some emergency may arise with others in the family and the phones would serve a purpose. My argument is that when I camped with their parents we did not have a phone, and things worked out very well even on two-week outings.

However, I am told I am living in the past and need to get on board with today.

My reply is that camping is an escape from the world, so let's do it right.

Of course, I cannot win.