danny’s camping birthday at bear canyon lake, arizona.

mikis / rachel / leslie / andrew / erinn / doug / danny / teri / alicia / tarah / travis / scott / madison / nick / ang / james / heather / mike
we have awesome friends. 
and the old Girl Scout song was fitting for danny’s camping trip.
“make new friends, but keep the old. one is silver and the other gold.” 
a troop of 17 adults and 9 canines made the trek to bear canyon lake for the first annual CampTing
it was SUCH a fun adventure. 
here are some reasons it was such a wonderful weekend in the wilderness.
// not a single person had cell reception. so refreshing to socialize without technological distractions. 

// camping is a nice departure from the usual group activities & scenes.

// us arizona kids got to enjoy summer days. be outside. get a taste of what summer should be all about. 
// no frills. no dress code. no makeup. greasy hair? don’t care. 
// the great outdoors means fresh air and vitamin d allll weekend. 
// bear canyon lake reminds you how beautiful and different this state of ours is. 2 hours from phoenix and you felt like you were in tahoe. 

// we scored the perfect campspot. it was big, secluded and had a private walkway down to the lake. 
// canine madness. hilarious, hectic and fun. huntie only got put “on the stake” once for scrapping with woody three times in a row… after he scrapped with madison for getting to close to me. 
// kayaks, cornhole, PBRs, tents, headlamps, card games PB&Js – seriously such good fun. 
// no matter where i looked, people were laughing and smiling. no stress. no technology. just chillin’.

// everyone managed to have that one extra item the camp needed – combining supplies rocks. 
// we had to use our brains and sense of direction vs. Google Maps, text messages or a drop-pin.
// i learned how to use a pocket knife. an old fisherman taught me how. 
// danny and hunter were in seventh heaven. they were both so happy. it made my heart sing. 

the first to arrive. 

hunter’s first camping trip – he was in heaven! this is now danny’s phone screen saver. proud dad.
checkin’ out the lake with my bulldog.
tiffany – danny’s knife said DEXTER on it! we thought of you. 
look at all the gear in this photo. the box. the shoes. the headband. geeeeaaarrrr.
we camped on the first official weekend of summer – the summer solstice – and had a super moon!

one of the few times i was super excited to have a giant tank to ride around in. 
erinn’s car got left at the top & scott got a flat tire (but a rachel & mikis had a spare that fit)! 
this ain’t no fluffy campground, folks. this is out in the rocks. suv required. 
danny crushed me in backgammon. i even lost my “double or nothing” bet. 
the week of the trip, danny decided he wanted to go up a night early. i was fine with it, but a little nervous about not being with the camp caravan and people never finding our remote spot. as we neared the mogollion rim (insanely beautiful), i was monitoring my directions like a freak to determine if people were ever going to find us. as we approached the main turn-off, we realized that the sign for FR 300 was down — we were long away from cell phone reception. i started to panic. the planner in me was having a meltdown. i had visions of nobody showing up, or 18 angry friends pulling in at sundown on saturday because they’d been driving around lost all day.
danny assured me that if they watched mileage and had a brain, they’d figure it out – just like we did despite a fallen sign. i was a nervous wreck and thought about driving 45 minutes to get a text out, but decided to have a little faith. so, i whipped out a paper plate wrote “TING” in lipstick, cut a little yellow ribbon and hung it at the turn-off, hoping people would see it. 
then, first thing saturday morning, i hopped on danny’s mountain bike with a knife to hang strings of yellow ribbon from trees to mark the path to our off-the-grid campsite (i looked so ridiculous). and then, i made a wish and held my breath. by early afternoon the caravan of cars showed up and i let out the biggest sigh of relief. the party could start! and what a party it was. 
my yellow plate & ribbon hanging from the tree to mark our site!

camp commence!
i mentioned my vision of fabric flags at our site to alicia and surprised me and made them! camp craft badge.
i hopped on scott coffey’s shoulders and tied them as high as i could around the pine trees. 
ladies be snackin’ – always.

canines & cornhole. camp mandatory combo.

doug the dog whisper. 
it would NOT be camp ting without cool ranch doritos.
angela and her bali baby.

ting took huntie for a kayak ride. cutest thing ever for this mama.

the view of our secluded lakeside spot from my kayak.
the perfect summer camp setting. 
weeze & me LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT

four ladies in a two-man kayak. no big. i promised heather we wouldn’t sink – and kept it.

nick and dougie fresh doing some shoreline fishing.

scott coffey representin’ the rocky mountains.
and still smilin’ despite his flat tire on rocky road into camp.

alicia, me & tarah. WILDerness girls.

pure camp happiness. 

work it festive les. wilderness model. obvi.
a GIANT butterfly at our campsite.

alicia’s awesome surprise treat for ting. a recorder serenade of “happy birthday.”
boom. nice work rach & erinn.

PBR passed out.

my grand canyon girls and some photo bombers. 

big eared camp buds.

sweet keens.

daddy and daughter.

tarah earned the “cuisine badge” when she busted out the cherry guacamole. yuuuum.

what? i’ve always wondered what i’d look like with a tan. diiiirty pig.
i can’t stop laughing at this photo. yup. that’s our son. and yup, we shared a tent. 

the blue cooler brigade. 
there’s one thing that was for sure – we were not going to run out of food or drinks.
no matter how hard those damn raccoons tried. true story.
a little blurry, but a keeper. 

scenes from around camp.

non-fireside nighttime games. no fires allowed this time of year in arizona :(
it got pretty chilly, so we bundled up and made a makeshift lantern from a water jug + headlamp.

cards against humanity: the game that had us laughing until we cried. it is NOT for the conservative or faint of heart. james also took home a whole bunch of singles he won in “left right center.”

super close quarters in a “two+” tent. also seen here.
morning coffee & chorizo on the stove. 

tent city.

fresh berries & iced coffee. camp breakfast. 

a couple of my fave camp babes.

rachel and mikis preppy to tear down their luxury two-bedroom villa in the woods. complete with grass entry.

one more dip in the lake before we hit the road. 
summa summa summatime
one, two, three…. 
….caaaaaammmmpppp ting! 
until next time troop.
if a camping trip isn’t on your agenda this summer, i highly recommend you add it.

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