When Life Gives You Lemons, Go Camping!

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"Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." – Mark Twain
"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." – Mark Twain

I followed the advice of that great articulator recently and, well, I found myself writing a letter of resignation. I had only been in the job for a short time, but when I learned that my values did not align with the organization or its leadership, when I felt strongly that my integrity had been called into question, and when I felt that my authority had been actively undermined, I took a walk. No job, no paycheck, no organization is worth compromising my integrity or values. Period.

So while my decision astonished many, I hope that it also gratified at least some. As for me, I am 100% confident that I made the right decision (editor’s note: I looked at this post a year-and-a-half later and my confidence in the fact that this was the right, just, and only decision to make is still just as steadfast).

So what the heck does this have to do with a website and blog about camping? Well, when life gives you lemons, go camping! Or something like that. I mean, I’m no Mark Twain.

Anyway, that (camping) is precisely what we did once I had completed my time on that particular job. We packed up Al, took Doug to the kennel, and headed out on the road to sunnier climes. Our first stop was one of my favorite places in the whole world: Bryce Canyon National Park. My mom tells a story of how we visited Bryce on our so-called, “big trip,” when I was very young. According to her, we stood on the rim looking out over the canyon full of hoodoos. With my tiny hand in hers, I looked up and asked, “Mommy, is this where God lives?”

Indeed it is. If you haven’t been to Bryce, you must go. Now. Go ahead! I’ll wait.

See? Wasn’t it amazing? Now imagine how amazing it is in the winter. Wait, you don’t have to. We have pictures to prove it!

This time of year the North Campground at Bryce Canyon is first-come-first-served, so we were able to pull up and have our pick of some amazing campsites. There was snow on the ground and temperatures at night were well below freezing, but the Truma (for those who don’t know, this is a combination Propane hot water heater/furnace) in the Basecamp worked like a champ and kept us warm and cozy.

After exploring a bit around Bryce Canyon, we headed out to our next destination: Calico Ghost Town. Once again, the last time I visited Calico Ghost Town was way back in the 70s when Mr. Knott still ran the place. We’ve driven by literally dozens of times, whether back-and-forth to Las Vegas or to and from Utah, so we decided that we were long overdue and so stayed in their RV park. What we didn’t know was that most of the people who stay here do so just as a base camp for their OHV adventures. Otherwise, this is an entirely skippable RV park. We did spend some time exploring the ghost town, which was interesting if only for the actual mining history and Mr. Knott’s later takeover of the place.

From the desert to the sea (to all of Southern California, a very good evening [IYKYK]) we went! When we got to Malibu Beach RV Park there was a huge lineup of RVs waiting to get in. Tip: Do not arrive here at check-in time during the winter. After check-in, we headed over to Howdy’s in Malibu for the most amazing Southern California lunch (sushi bowl and nachos!).

The rest of our SoCal sojourn was spent cycling, hiking, spending time with friends and family, and, yes, more eating! On the way back, we stayed yet one more night at Cedar Pocket on the Arizona Strip in the Virgin River Gorge.

So the lesson of this post is this: When life gives you lemons, go camping! Maybe that will become one of my famous quotations when I am long gone. Nah, I doubt it.

Total Miles (not including cycling or hikinh miles): 1,700

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