Touch of Spice: The great outdoors

It's been my goal for the past two summers to get out and explore my backyard. By that I mean all the fascinating destinations in Moffat County's backcountry.

For a native, I'm surprisingly naive about the plethora of opportunities available to me.

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So, I decided it's now or never.

I got a tent and have practiced putting it up and taking it down. The rest of our "gear" is the product of wandering the aisles of sporting good stores and thinking, "That's cool," "Ohhh, need one of those," and the ever popular, "Not sure what it's for, but it's on sale!"

For anyone who's cringing, now, don't worry. I believe myself to be fully capable of packing myself and two children into and back out of the wilderness.

Just in case, there are several people who know our destination and who, hopefully, would notice our absence.

Eventually.

Actually, this is our "test trip." The closest my 5- and 6-year-old girls have come to "roughing it" is when they have to spend a night without their blankets.

This should be interesting.

In preparation, I've scouted the campsite, planned the simplest menus possible and probably went a little overboard on the bug spray and first aid supplies. Probably overestimated the number of times cereal counts as a meal, too.

I decided on the destination a few weeks ago. I told the girls I was going to take them camping and the next morning when I woke them up, they yelled, "Time to go camping!"

Ooops.

I told them we weren't quite ready, but that we'd go soon.

"Tonight?" 6-year-old Katie asked.

Needless to say, they're super excited. And, I'm not sure they really even know what camping is.

All they know is that it means sleeping in a tent. Really, I could probably just set it up in the yard and they'd have a fine time.

Be a little less stressful for me, but I'm about as excited as they are, which is evidenced in the $200 in camping supplies I hauled home.

Hey, I used some restraint. I didn't get the princess sleeping bag with the inflatable air mattress that I picked up and looked at seven times. And, I didn't end up with the camper's mess kit or campfire toaster even though they both looked pretty cool.

I should've sprung for the mosquito net. My girls actually got out of Nikki's bed and bunked in Katie's after they saw a small spider scurry under Nikki's dresser.

This could be interesting.

Regardless of the obstacles, this should be some classic mommy/daughter time in the great outdoors.

I'll have to remember to grab a flower identification book so I can pre-empt some of the inevitable "what's that" questions. I just make up names for the stars, so I'm covered there, and I did buy two lifejackets and some rope.

Now, if I could just figure out how to get to our campsite, we'd be all set.

Moss grows on which side of the tree?

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