09-15-2008: What Is Camping These Days
We are at Datil Wells Campground. We have spent the last couple of nights camping here. It only costs $5.00 a night which is nice, we feel like we’ve been spending too much money so it’s nice to have cheap camping. While we were in Santa Fe we spent more money than we intended. We need to buckle down on the spending, but it’s difficult, because when traveling in new places, we want to try the local fair and really experience the culture of the place, but until we start making an income we will have to hold back on the culture.
After Sugarite Canyon we spent a couple of nights at a campground called Fawn Lakes just outside of Red River, New Mexico. Dan finished up his books while we were camped there. It was nice, but was a little close to Highway 38. It was our first campground that was located on a river, it was a small river, but a river none the less and there was a little pool just above our campsite that had been created by some downed trees. The pool contained a bunch of fish, one morning I counted eight. I love nature.
After we left Fawn Lakes we went directly to Santa Fe, NM so Dan could send off his books. We spent two nights there. We decided to take our bikes in for a tune up at Frankie Flats, he did a great job. He also recommended the 2nd Street Brewery which we ate at our second night in Santa Fe. It was very good. The first night we had dinner at Tomasita’s, a traditional New Mexican restaurant, it was good too, a bit more touristy than we expected (the folks who recommended it said it’s where locals go, but it was definitely touristy). Second street had a much more local vibe to it (Thanks Frankie!)
Yesterday we went on a 32 mile bike ride, we wanted to test things out and get our lungs used to biking at higher elevations. The ride was nice and things went smoothly. Today we did a 2.5 mile hike, the hike had a nature trail on it so we took some video of the lessons of the trail, it was fun. We might post it on youtube. My knowledge of western plants has become a little rusty so it’s fun to relearn them. I want to get some books to help refresh my memory as well.
It’s funny, we have been camping in a lot of car camping campgrounds on this trip which I haven’t done much of in the past (most of my camping experience has been back country packing trips). It is amazing how few tent campers there are anymore, most people are camping in RVs or in some sort of trailer. I’ve gotten to the point where when I see a car drive by I think to my self; oh…they’re in a car they’re not camping, but we’re in a car (for now…hopefully not for long) and we’re camping, crazy. It’s strange too because I can’t help but think that RV and trailer camping is not really camping. How is sleeping in a nice cushy bed with running water considered camping? And these days most RVs and trailers have satellites so the occupants can watch TV and use the internet anytime they want, just like at home. How is that camping? How is that experiencing nature, which is what camping should be about? Or should it? I wonder what today's kids, who have grown up camping in RVs, think of camping, what does camping mean to them? When I was younger camping was about being outside, getting physically exhausted by hiking, or by following a trail of ants, trying to figure out where they were going and where they were from. It also meant getting dirty, really dirty and not having showers, but being okay being dirty. Also, you had to sleep on tiny bed rolls, that aren't very comfortable, but we enjoyed the night anyway... listening for all the night critters that might be strolling through our site after hours. I love camping and being outside. I'm so glad we are tent campers and that we are on this adventure if it doesn't turn out the way we hope.
*Not too long after I wrote this journal entry in the afternoon a couple pulled into the campsite next to ours. They had a big camper shell that fit on the back of a big truck. They got out of their truck when they first arrived and went to the bathroom, focused their satellite, then they climbed into the camper. We did not see them again until they left the next morning. That night I walked by their camper on way to the restroom and sure enough what sounded like voices on a TV set were coming through the windows. Crazy, spending a beautiful day in a beautiful area and never leaving the camper.