So I know that I’ve recently been mentioning that I feel the need to get out of town and when May turned out, boy, did it deliver. Maybe more than I am at all ready for!
While work has amped-up to the nth degree, every weekend this month is filled to the brim with travel and activity ranging from 20 minutes to 5 hours away. So, here it is:
I have a camping trips a few hours north and another one 20 minutes above the Mexican border, a graduation trip up to Fresno State to watch my baby sister finish school, and the 20 minute trip to an event I’m hosting before a sleep followed by mothers day. I honestly don’t think I have a day off this month.
Still, summer is fast approaching and with my parents flying off for their 30th anniversary and another cruise, I’m thinking of a few different local trips I can manage while still getting home to feed the animals.
So it’s go, go, go, but I’ll still see you here, week after week, so thank for tuning in.
I know I have written briefly about the SCA and the huge camping trips that come along with all the other crazy adventures before, but now I am back from round two – Great Western War. This camping trip was an hour and a half car ride away and we stayed from Thursday through Monday. I spent the day and a half prior double checking and gathering all our gear (including shopping for food and all my other usual chores) and about an hour packing up the car before sprinting out to camp.
What I learned this time around is that the second time is a whole lot easier.
Before our first war, my sister and I had an official camping list that I worked through to gather gear but I ended up over packing anyway. This time, I couldn’t find that list so I made my own based on the stuff I knew would work and what wouldn’t.
Currently, my sister and I sleep in a small pop-up tent inside of an easy up canopy (it’s become quite the little joke but also something cute that’s garnered just a hint of admiration: our tent within a tent set up).
We end up putting up 6 side panels to create overlapping doorways and better coverage of corners – we get dressed in the main area and aren’t looking to give anyone a show. We steak everything down with gutter steaks and wide washers, keeping all but the front flaps down with little to trip over. I improved the set up ten-fold this time by securing the back flaps with extra steaks and creating a secure but movable front flap/door using smaller tent hooks.
As we develop our war gear, we are hoping to create canvas walls and top to put around our pop-up frame to keep the ease of set up but with a better aesthetic (with or without the small inner tent).
I was able to improve our lighting – we have 8 sets of solar powered bulbs from Orchard Hardware – by not just circling our tent but winding the lights up the center bars. One of our sets was unlit the whole time, but the central placement of the lights kept the whole tent bright enough to move around in, no matter how dark it was outside. Even with our placement near a tree, taping the solar batteries to the top of the canopy kept everything lit. I also suggest the small fake candles which can be set out on tables, in tents, or really anywhere that needs lights that you can’t actually light with a flame. You will need movable light as well (porter-potties are no joke in the dark!).
We also cut about a third of the stuff we packed last time simply by reducing clutter. I made sure we had essentials and some luxuries – I ended up being the hair person of my household so a variety of hairbands and bobby-pins in pretty glass jars were amazing to have on hand. Other necessities were the few portable chargers to keep our phones and fitbits charged enough to keep in contact and time. I still need to cut a little of the dead weigh,t but I’ve seen that we are learning what we need as we go.
I absolutely fell in love with this campsite in Bakersfield. It was absolutely beautiful with great views of the water but everything was in walking distance. I wish I had remembered to carry around my camera more – these trips are the most magical photo shoots – yet, walking around without my lens was an adventure in and of itself. However, I did take my camera to one ‘Holy Grail’ themed event which was so much fun.
What I absolutely love about these trips is being (mostly) unplugged and out of the normal world, and getting to have late night conversations around camp fires and under the stars. You get to wear strange outfits from all over the world – I ran around for two days in baggy pants and a tiny top I’d never think to throw on (since I’m usually in skinny jeans, baggy/over-sized tops and some kind of pull over/accent piece) and it was so much fun! – and just let yourself go. I’ve made amazing friends and laughed myself silly. I have volunteered my time and am slowly starting to take on more camp and court duties. I’ve lived a fantasy and I won’t lie, it has been hard to come down from this trip.
So as I recover and reminisce and (shockingly!) miss my hard, dirt packed bed:
This past week, my sister and I camped with our barony at Potrero war outside of San Diego as part of a SCA event. I’ve written about the SCA – The Society for Creative Anachronism – before but this is the most intense part of the society we’ve been apart of yet.
Potrero war is a 5 day event – including the set up and pack up day – where you are fully garbed and in persona. We bowed to royalty and their chairs; we saw a knighting and a court where many were elevated to new ranks; we shopped in the marketplace; we partied with Romans, Romani, and other baronies (though I never made it very long in the party arena…); and we watched the battles while other ladies and gentlemen worked on their crafts.
And it was so much fun!
Down the road, I’ll talk about all the things I wish I had brought or left, that I had done (like volunteering more!) and explored. But for now, I am going to de-gunk my system – a lot of greens, teas, and yoga in my immediate future – and get a whole lot of sleep.