Happy Trails: Thoughts on Camping, Plus A Re-Giveaway!

 All Photos by the clever Lobster

You know those inspiring photo-bloggers like Hilary at The Smitten Image who go out into the world, capture beautiful moments, and string them together with graceful prose? Not only do you get to enjoy stunning images of nature, but there's usually some sort of subtle but powerful observation about hope, or resilience, or the transience of life or some other deep topic.

Here at Cranky Fitness, we're not so highbrow.

Having just come back from a camping trip, I've been scratching my head trying to come up with some justification to post pictures, and nothing Deep is coming to mind.  Somehow "hey, look at me out in the desert with the Lobster having a great time!" doesn't sound all that health-related, high-minded, or helpful.  Especially given that some of you may be facing sleet, snow, rain, and/or locusts and plague, and may not be in the mood for our antics in the desert.

But, well, theme, schmeme, I've got a few pics to put up! And heck, you may want to stick around anyway for the Healthy Snack Re-Giveaway. Just leave a comment below if you've got a U.S. mailing address and would like to win a cute T-Shirt and Snack Assortment from the Human Vending Machine folks.  Last weeks' winner didn't check back in in time to claim her prize, so I'll redraw from this weeks comments.


OK, so some random thoughts and pictures...

Things You Should Take With You To Go Camping:

Let's see, you definitely need a tent, some sleeping bags, backpacks, camp stove, water purifier, flashlights....

Hell no, you certainly don't! Not if you're spoiled and middle-aged. You just need this:


Fran the Van Returns!


And this:


The Lobster, Most Awesome Human Ever
And Expert at Doing All That Is Useful

As a younger person, I did plenty of the backpacking, hitchhiking, primitive camping thing.  And while I still think it's a great character-building experience, I've got all the character I need now, thank you very much!  Give me a bed, an indoor toilet, a tasty grilled steak (grassfed, organic, humanely raised, and shockingly expensive), a chilled bottle of champagne, and a cup of hot coffee in the morning that I don't have to rub two sticks together to produce.


Roughing It Is Overrated.

Things That Seem Like Bad Things Can Be Good Things:


So the above photo is cheating, because it's from a previous trip in which we encountered the dreaded news that the campground was full. However, like our detour to Bisbee, Arizona, the Full Campground sign that greeted us this time was really a blessing in disguise. We found out from the friendly folks at the visitors center that we could just park off-road until we needed hook-ups, and they sent us to a lovely spot with a nice view that was Free Free Free Free!

Being Out in Nature is Awesome Even if It's Not Your Favorite Kind of Nature.

Confession: neither of us are huge fans of your basic garden-variety desert landscape. We prefer mountains, coasts, forests, streams, or spectacular formations of red rocks like in Bryce, Zion, or Sedona.

But I know many of you totally dig the subtle beauty of a landscape not burdened with the distraction of lush green pretty things, or pretty much any color at all except for two minutes or so in spring when the wildflowers are out.


Well, Gray and Brown are Colors Too.  Sort Of.

Yet... we're here in San Diego, and there's a desert close by, and so we went.  And we had some really enjoyable hikes! We weren't quite quick enough with the camera, but we saw dozens of jack rabbits with big goofy ears, and we almost literally ran into some big horn sheep when we came around a corner and they were standing there staring at us.  Oddly enough, they had really big horns.

And there was flora as well as fauna!  Fortunately cactus are not as speedy as jack rabbits or big horn sheep so the Lobster managed to catch one or two.


Perhaps not the best place to take a seat.

Oh, and check this out: On our last night, The Lobster not only grilled us up our lovely steaks, she also managed to generate some smoke during the process that appears to be taking over the entire universe.  Are your eyes itching right now?  Sorry, but it was worth it for that delicious dinner!






Quick Quiz! Can you guess what this next series of 4 photos illustrates?









a.  Trailaerobic Functional Conditioning!  It's the next fitness craze I was going to announce that's going to make me a ton of money once I put out a DVD series.  It requires no equipment at all, just access to a handy desert rock-strewn trail.  And heck, so what if you live in, say, Anchorage or Saskatoon or Pittsburgh? What's a little airfare and RV rental when your fitness is at stake?! Operators are standing by.

b.  A Cautionary Tale: What happens when you wake up feeling insanely energetic, proceed to drink way too much coffee anyway, hit the trail, get amped up listening to your favorite dj's awesome mp3 podcast...yet need to stick close to a more sensible hiking partner due to mountain lion warnings?  You end up acting like a complete asshole on the trail and dancing around, skipping, improvising various workout moves, and hoping the mountain lions are too freaked out by your craziness to come snooping around.

c.  Crabby Has Been Trying Hard To Get Back In Shape And Is Vain And Superficial Enough to Want to Show Off a Little.  The supposed need for some trail-side workout pictures for a blog post... was it just a subconscious excuse to lift something on camera before my newly acquired muscle definition is gone again?  Following surgery and various injuries, I couldn't hit the gym for quite a long time. Then I started dealing with some post-menopausal weight gain. So I started working out harder and even began counting calories.  Lately it seems my efforts have finally started to pay off, and I'm feeling strangely fit, healthy, and energetic.  Life being what it is, it probably won't be long before something else derails me or I get lazy, so I wanted to get something on camera ASAP!

The answer?  All of the Above!

And now on to the Re-Giveaway:

If you've got a U.S. mailing address, just leave a comment on this post and I'll re-draw end of day Wednesday, January 25th.  And be sure to check back before the end of the day Sunday the 29th to claim your prize!


Anyone else got any thoughts on mini-vacations, hiking, camping, being superficial, healthy vending machine snacks, feeling energetic, or life in general?  It's all good!

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