Maybe I am just a little bit crazy

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

It occurred to me somewhere around midnight Saturday, when I woke up for the umpteenth time in less than a couple of hours. I tugged the double layer fleece blanket, wool blanket and sleeping bag down from my face and squinted at the top of my tent.

I sat up, and realized I wasn’t imagining things. There was snow. And not just a few flakes. A bunch. I slapped and shook the tent sides to knock the snow off, while Rufus (the Mallowmar dog) kindly stole the warm spot I left behind on my sleeping bag.

Then he very unkindly told me he needed to go out. We trudged out for the late night walk, and found half an inch of snow on the ground.

While it made for a pretty sight, it meant it was about as cold as I’ve camped in about 20 years.

A friend of mine says I only like camping in extreme conditions — sometimes it’s almost like an accusation.

Not so I say. I have a tradition now of camping on the first weekend of spring — to heck with what the weather forecasts say. So I knew as I headed for one of my favorite campgrounds that snow was in the forecast.

It’s not so much that I like extreme conditions — I just don’t let the weather change my plans.

While I huddled around my camp fire Saturday night though, I wondered if maybe that friend was right. Despite my midnight admission, I realized on the drive home that it really isn’t that I prefer extreme conditions. It’s that extreme conditions make for some of the most memorable camping experiences.

Like 28 degree temperatures and snow on your tent... when your sleeping bag isn’t rated below 35 and your tent definitely isn’t a four-season structure.

Or like backpacking in July, and it’s hot, hasn’t rained in a month and finding a water source is tricky... when you’re only carrying two liters in your pack and have to trudge up to a half mile just for palatable, filterable drinking water.

These things make the experiences challenging... and I do like a challenge.

Or maybe I’m just crazy.