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The Great Outdoors

by Nick Coons
Apr 16, 2003

I don't know if I'll ever know how my wife made it into my family. A statement like that needs to be explained, so give me a few minutes. First, my family enjoys the great outdoors. Whether it be a day-trip picnic amongst the trees, or a multi-night camping vacation burried in the seemingly never-ending forest with miles of hiking, we love it!

My wife, on the other hand, is not the outdoors type. If it has anything to do with dirt, bugs, weird noises, or the absence of make-up, then she'll avoid it. So you can imagine the irony when my Mom said that she had to go camping before she'd be allowed to marry her son.

For me, this was great. I've always wanted her to accompany me on a camping or backpacking trip, but I didn't have the clout of the soon-to-be mother-in-law. But this was very hard for her, so we tried to ease her into it. Our first camping trip was at a designated campground. Not my particularly favorite type of camping trip, but it did have a few amenities, such as outhouses and running water, so it slightly resembled her city-only life that she had always known. We stayed just off of state route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff south of the switchbacks.

The second trip was a bit more like "real" camping. This time on the north side of the switchbacks and closer to Flagstaff; however we were not in a designated campground this time. Surprisingly, she enjoyed this trip even more than the last, in spite of having to use a tree as a bathroom. I'm pretty sure it was because she was wearing earphones and listened to music while she slept, thus not capable of hearing the random animal noises outside of the tent.

My family probably still has several years of work to do on her, but I'm sure she'll be backpacking down to Fossil Springs with us sooner than we thought.

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