I've never gone camping before in the five years I've lived in Utah. Sure, I've done outdoorsy things before like hiking and fishing in Utah, but I've never gone camping. Hence, my strong determination to go camping this summer before AJ and I leave on our journeys to DC and Englad. This was bound to be an even more interesting trip as I'm going camping for the first time in a wheelchair, ever.
The drive up the canyon to Payson Lakes was beautiful with both green and naked trees all around us, the sun was setting, and a few deer were skipped off into the forest. The road was windy and seemed to go on forever as we went up higher and higher. When we reached the campsite, we were nervous as there was no one there to guide us, but we just paid our dues and hoped we would find a spot.
It was a lot more chilly than we expected for the month of May, so we were a bit unprepared for the weather. Luckily we brought a few more blankets than usual and all of the girls were bundled up for dinner and s'mores. Dinner was perfect. The boys gathered wood and Ben lit the fire with his savvy outdoorsy skills. We had chilli, hot dogs, Frito boats (chili served with Frito chips), and roasted s'mores. We sat there and reminisced of fun times together and much laughter ensued. We had a great time together.
As night fell, I looked into the sky at the millions of stars up above us. I thought of beauty that Heavenly Father has granted us in the form of stars so bright, skies so endless, mountains so tall, flowers so beautiful and nature so calming. I believe God has provided us with all of this to enjoy and serve as a reminder of His existence. I am grateful for this opportunity to be away from my normal city life to reflect on blessings in my life and think about the adventures that lie ahead.
The boys and Holly did a great job at setting up the tent. The five of us fit into the tent comfortably and I just parked my wheelchair outside. It was a bit of a hassle for me as I had to crawl around or have AJ pick me up and down. It was also annoying to have to be carried in and out of the bathroom as there were no accessible ones. Those are just some of the challenges with camping in a wheelchair as expected though.
|Setting up the large tent|
Unfortunately, we underestimated how cold it could get and didn't bring enough gear to keep us warm. I got a total of 3 hours of sleep that night. It made for a very interesting hike the next day.
FYIW: Bring wet ones, toilet paper, lots of water, gloves, flash lights, sleep cushion, camping potty chair, and other things you think would help you stay comfortable, safe, and healthy. Also, you can't ever pack too much food, so bring snacks and filling foods. Don't forget to bring cash for the park fee!