I was at the age of eight when my family and I went for a camping trip. I was in the company of my parents and my elder brother. Since we were headed for a camping site we packed our luggage into our car and drove off. We made the three hour drive to the camping site was several miles away from home. The drive was not an exciting one as I was bored to such a point that I had to keep myself busy. I ended up playing with the car window making drawings on them. At some point I faked being a dog and even peeped head out of the car window.
On arrival I could not stand the fact that we had just left home for this place. At the camping site there were tents but no structured toilets for short or long calls. The nights were extremely long for me as I could not find any sleep. This was not the case for my brother though as he calmly slept all night quietly. I noticed that the sounds of the jungle were rather strange and disturbing.
The following morning the whole family decided to go out to swimming on a serene and quiet river nearby. This idea made my mother and my brother so excited. At some point my brother even tried his hands on fishing by tying a code on to a branch and attempted fishing. This however did not work even after placing some lure on one end.
All of a sudden my father came from nowhere and ordered us to stay away from the stream stating that he had just spotted a serpent. At some point it sounded like my father wanted to drive us away from the stream because no one saw any evidence of a snake. I even demanded to take a look at the creature but my father declined so we had no choice but to leave the place.
After the commotion my father we started roamed around the forest. This did not go down well with my mother who was bothered about the idea. I was also apprehensive about it but my father seemed quite sure of what he was leading us into. After some few laps my dad decided to take us all back to the exact point of our camp.
My mother started preparing us some dinner. After making a bonfire we all sat around it at night singing all kinds of songs. We ate a variety of food including marsh mallows that my father made for me and put them on a branch. My mother also made delicious sandwiches too. When bedtime came I had to ask my mother to let me sleep in our car because I could not get any sleep. We travelled home next day safely without experiencing any hitches.
As I have seen in documentaries and films of the horrific experiences when families go on trips, it did not happen to us. I was highly expecting that something of that kind was going to happen even if it did not. My brother will always joke of this experience up to this day and laugh about it whenever he gets the chance to do so. It does not end with him; even my father will pick this subject and tell it to every visitor to our house.
Although it was not that much exciting I would not decline from going any other camping trip in the near future. But I strongly think that it would be much more interesting if I were to go camping with my mates.
I must say that camping is one of the things I enjoy doing in life. To begin with, there is a myriad of camping sites in the United States that I never lack a place to spend the time from. I therefore go for camping at least once every year. Nothing can be as fulfilling as spending time with nature. Most of us are used to the houses that we forget the relaxation we can get just by bonding with nature. For the most part, I have been taking my family with me for camping. On the other hand, I decided to take my friends this time round.
Without much say, it was the most unique experience I have ever had. Since the camping involved friends, choosing the campsite was one of the biggest challenges for the whole thing. There are those who were advocating for beaches, while others were adamant that we go to the forests. A few of us wanted to visit deserted land and have a feel of that nature. At first, it was all chaotic. Finally, we came to an understanding and we arrived at a single site. We all agreed that we needed an environment that is peaceful and calm. No place could give us what we wanted better than the Olympic National Park. All gear was set for that National Park, based in Washington.
The decision for Olympic National Park set the ball rolling for preparations. This was not very difficult for me as I am a regular camper. Most of my camping equipment i.e. mallet, pegs and peg pullers, ropes, tent, tent servicing kit, tent spares, sleeping bag, among others were in good condition. I only had to buy a few provisions in anticipation for the trip. Since we were visiting the national park, it was necessary to carry lighting, air pumps among others.
It was the month of July when we decided to go for this camping experience. When we got to the park, the first thing that caught my attention is three distinct ecosystems. The most striking ecosystem is that of the Quinault rainforest. This may not seem much to you until you come to the realization that there are only three rainforests in the Western Hemisphere and Quinault is one of them.
On the other hand, one of the things that really attracted me was the mountain that offers great opportunity for hiking. While most people prefer hiking on high mountains, at times it is enjoyable hiking on small ones. The loop on the Quinault is about thirty miles. I enjoyed seeing the beautiful Sitka Spruce trees. The Quinault rainforest must be the only where one can come across the largest of Spruce trees worldwide. It was very amazing for me and my friends.
In addition, the feeling of walking through Red Cedar trees was beyond expression. If anyone is looking to spend time in a serene environment, I would recommend this park to them. Apart from the Cedar trees, there are Hemlock trees and Douglas firs. These are some of the trees I only read in books while in school.
Another spectacular landmark is the Quinault River. The river has a glacial curve, which is the basis of Lake Quinault. You can imagine being in an environment that has a forest, a river and a lake.
Staying overnight at the Olympic National Park cost us $5 per person. This is in form of a permit that is issued by the United States Department of the Interior National Park Service. When you go as a group of more than 12 persons, the rate goes up. After we lit a bonfire, we noticed bobcats and I remembered the guidelines for food storage. Luckily, we had kept our food away from animals.
The last place we visited is known as La Push. This is sandy beach with a crescent shape at the Pacific Coast in Washington. Although we only stayed there for two nights, we all wished we had more time to spend at the Olympic National Park.