I love going camping in the mountains. Up in the Sierra Nevada's particularly. We went camping as a family as long as I can remember. When I was younger we mainly went to King's Canyon or Calaveras Big Trees, but as I got older we started going more often to Rock Creek, which is outside Mammoth.
Playing in the dirt with my best friend next to the campfire pit
Yes, there was a long drive involved, but a long drive meant there were fun places to stop on the way. Driving to Calaveras meant we got to stop at the apple stand. I huge stand that sold fresh apple juice, homemade apple doughnuts, and my favorite apple popsicles. Driving to Rock Creek meant we stopped at the Beef Jerky place, where the sold literally the world's best beef jerky (homemade of course). Their teriyaki barbecue is pretty much to die for.
With the same friend as the previous picture, July 2002
Once you actually got to the campsite what was there to do? Of course there's all the typical camping things, hiking and fishing and the like. Although what I most like about the mountains is the ability to just do nothing. I'd always bring a few books and would spend most of the day reading. I still remember reading Jurassic Park up in the mountains around 1994 or so.
My Parents, My brother and his two friends, Me and my college roommate, July 2004
Then of course there is the food. Who doesn't love s'mores? And there's the actual experience of sitting around the campfire roasting the perfect marshmallow. But besides that, food always tastes so much better in the mountains, pancakes especially. And have I mentioned how gorgeous it is? And how many stars you can see at night?
Myself while camping at Rock Creek, July 2002
If I had to pick a 2nd favorite vacation it would still be the mountains. Except instead of going camping in the summer, I'd be going skiing in the winter.
Skiing at Mammoth 1999 (Yes, this is me with the same friend as the first two pictures)
Overall, then if I could I'd spent part of every summer and every winter up in the mountain. Or at least alternate years going camping and going skiing. I know camping isn't most people's ideal vacation spot, but I love it, and I'm sure there's at least of few of you out there who do as well!