Camping with Friends

Gary, Sarah, Ava, Fox, and I flew to Sacramento on Tuesday and rented an RV. We drove to the coast and met up with Adam and Vienna, who invite friends along on their camping trips each year.

There are 14 of us (plus two dogs) on this adventure and the Oregon trip we did two years ago was about the same size.

Group trips like this provide experiences we don’t get on a typical family vacation.

There’s a communal spirit where everyone is bringing the food and supplies they need, but also extras to share. The trip is a collaborative effort.

If you’ve ever rented an RV, you know that something will go wrong. On our second day, our propane stopped working. Since our campsites don’t have power, we were relying on propane power to keep our fridge cold.

After some basic troubleshooting, I thought we’d have to buy a cooler and forego the conveniences of a fridge and stove for the next week.

But we had Chuck, a Ferrari mechanic, with us. I don’t think Ferraris are propane-powered, but he started taking stuff apart, diagnosed the problem was in the regulator, then whacked the thing on its side and blew into it like a kid from the 90’s getting his NES cartridge to work. Somehow that fixed the problem and the propane started flowing again.

The group also provides entertainment. Whether it’s competitive corn hole, rock skipping, a game of cards, or just walking the dogs, the kids are entertained and everyone is having fun.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Defaulting to Yes as a parent. On this trip I’m learning the value of defaulting to silence.

“Don’t play with the fire. Don’t get the inside of the RV dirty. Don’t annoy people.”

The kids don’t need to hear me saying not to do something. I think their brains block it out anyway. So I’m just trying to default to silence (it’s not easy).

My mind is enjoying the vastness of the outdoors. Our home for most of this trip has been nestled among the Redwoods. There’s something about the height of these trees and the expansiveness of the forest that allows the mind to wander. 

Ideas have been flowing like the cool streams we’ve been playing in. Thoughts about business, parenting, communicating with aliens… the important stuff in life.

We’ve got three days left on this trip and we haven’t spotted a Bigfoot yet, so I need to wrap up this newsletter and get deeper into the forest.

I hope you take some time today to go outside and let your mind wander.

- Matt

PS. This is an actual photo of our RV in the Redwoods, not a drawing by some robot in the clouds.

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