Deserts, Lizards, and Bombs - Our First Camping Trip - kenkistler

It was the first time I took the boys camping.

It was the last time I'll take the boys camping.

Just kidding! We had an excellent time.

The sun settled onto the distant western mountains when we finally slowed our car and pulled to a stop.

"Where are we?" Tate asked.

"The middle of nowhere," I said. Those were the only words I could think to describe it. Somehow I didn't think saying "Approximately ninety miles north-west of Barstow" was the answer he was looking for.

It was the middle of nowhere . . . And I loved it.

The boys and I hadn't been camping together, yet thankfully I had all the right stuff, collected over years of finding odds and ends on sale at Salvation Army and Goodwill. We had tents, lanterns, sleeping bags, and enough snacks packed by my dear sweet wife to feed the population of any of the small towns we'd just driven through.

An hour after arriving the tent stood beside us. Lanterns hung on shepherd's hooks strategically placed by Ewan. Chairs, coolers, and snack bags sat within easy reach of one another. Most importantly, the first few stars twinkled high above us. This was going to be a trip to remember.

Over the next twenty-four hours we stared in awe at the stars, fell asleep after watching the Lego movie on my iPad, discovered the site where the Air Force practices bombing with its fleet of drones, hefted old World War II bombs (I think the explosives had been removed), wandered around an old abandoned desert homestead, chased rabbits and lizards, doused each other in a surprise water gun fight, and wandered back to the quiet calm of Santa Clarita.

It was a short trip. Too short, but we loved every minute of it. Now we can't wait to go again!