We took two weekend trips on September. In addition to our Big Bear adventure, we had a quick trip into the nearby San Jacinto Mountains for a night of camping. Hurkey Creek Park is just an hour from home, but the weather is much cooler. It was a great respite from the relentless heat of late summer in the desert. Some locals had recommended it as a pet-friendly place, so we decided to give it a try.

Armed with Pierogi’s sweater that we bought on a previous trip to the mountains, we headed out to escape the heat and test our pup’s mettle. Since it was so close to home, it was a great way to see how the dog would react to a night in a campground. Turns out she did well, but we did not. She was warm in her fuzzy purple sweater and loved sniffing around the park and paths.

I, however, apparently forgot how to pack for a car camping trip. Knowing the pup would want to snuggle up with us for warmth, I decided to leave the sleeping bags at home and sleep on the air mattresses with blankets. We could all sleep under one blanket instead of being zipped up like mummies. But I only brought two blankets; one went between us and the air mattresses, leaving one thin blanket to cover us. Coupled with the fact that I left my sweatshirt on the stairs at home and wore just my hot-weather t-shirt and shorts, it was a bad move. I didn’t bring my hat, either. We two humans shivered all night while our pup kept warm. At least part of my leg was warmed by her little body.

Additionally, I forgot a few cookout staples. We’re pretty adaptable, so dinner and breakfast weren’t a complete wash. But bringing a coffee-pot and no coffee made the chilly morning less comfortable. There were other oversights, too, including a cool new grilling tool I found at Goodwill recently. As a result I have now created a camping checklist. Once it is finalized, I’ll print it and laminate it so that we can check items off as we pack them. It might sound a bit extreme, but it will keep us from freezing or missing out on meals when we camp.

I’m looking forward to another camping trip with the pup in some local parks, as well as a pup-less night under the stars in Joshua Tree National Park.


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Filed under Dog ownership, Life in Coachella Valley

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