This is a long story about a trip that took me out of my comfort zone.
Everyone knows I’m not the outdoorsy type even though I try to push myself to be. What am I referring to? Camping. In my almost 25 years of living I had never gone camping. Me and nature do not go well together. The thought of sleeping in the dirt where millions of bugs live creeps me out. Being out in the open, far away from civilization, in the wild…freaks me out. So when Robert asked me the one question to get under my skin:
My family are going fishing in Utah in a few weeks. We want you to go. Would you like to come with us?
Right away I didn’t give him an answer. I wanted to say “No” 100% but at the same time, I felt like I could handle it. Something told me that I wouldn’t die out in the wilderness. After a week or so, I told him that I wanted to come along.
Fast forward to the big weekend making the 7 – 8 hour trek to Utah. After work, Mr. Man and I drove down to his parents’ house so we could all leave together. We made a pit stop at Bass Pro Shop to get a gift for his dad for Father’s Day. That place is huge! Someone could get lost in there wandering around. Anyway, he got a new tackle box and new bait hooks and lures to put in there; he even let me pick one!
We didn’t get to bed until maybe around 11pm/12am and we had to be up at 4am, so it was really hard to get sound sleep. Especially because I was anxious/excited for the trip! When we finally did get going on the road, Robert took the first driving shift and thank God he did cause I definitely passed out in the passenger seat. So much in fact that apparently there was heavy, heavy traffic in Vegas because of EDC and I slept right through it. Didn’t eve know that we we sat on the freeway for an hour.
We got to Utah and I drove the rest of the way there, about 2 hours. The Otter Creek camp site was way up there in the mountains. Lost all phone signal, which I was prepared for. The weather was extremely HOT–dry, hot air with a blazing sun. So the first thing that happened when we got to the grounds was finding out that all the water pipes burst, meaning there was no water due to all the bathrooms being shut down. Only the two outhouses for EVERYONE at the lake to use. I was wearing black leggings and a tank top and wanted to change so Robert’s mom showed me where the outhouse was. It was just a room with a toilet and the lock didn’t even work–a rope was tied to the door handle and extended to the toilet seat. It was weird, and I wasn’t looking forward to using it.
LUCKILY, a few hours later, the water pipes had been fixed. Phew!
Settling in and unloading, I was a nervous meeting Robert’s family, namely his grandparents. I wanted them to like me, so I made sure to meet everyone and be friendly. Glad to report that they were all very nice and chill!
Since this was only a weekend trip and I couldn’t take off Monday, we only had Saturday and a little bit of Sunday to work with time-wise, which meant that we had to pack two day’s worth of fun into basically a day.
First thing on Robert’s list was to fish, fish, fish. Now, for someone like me who’s never fished in her life and only sees it on TV or in films, it looks like a simple task but it’s actually an art, a process, with technique. You have to create the perfect bait with Salmon eggs, glittered cheese or garlic to give off an attractive scent, put your fingers in certain places holding the line, have your stance just right and use enough force to get your line out there and letting go of the string with enough momentum at that. Robert effortlessly got his lines out in the water and made it look easy. I maybe casted a line a total of 5 times and of those 5…only a few were successful.
One of the bad ones happened when we were sitting by the water, chilling and sipping down beers. Robert was teaching me how to cast and the first one I did was good but he challenged me to get it further out. Challenge accepted. I did my thing, THOUGHT I did everything right except…we couldn’t find where the line splashed into the water. We reeled it in a little bit then realized it went to the right instead of out forward into the water. But that’s not all. A little further down from us was another family–child playing in the water just having fun, entertaining family. When we were reeling in the line, the child started shouting in pain or something. We stopped reeling then the child stopped…we started reeling again and he started shouting. We looked at each other scared to death that we, more like I, had snagged this child, but it turns out that he was just faking.
For almost 8 hours we didn’t catch a single fish while everyone around us did. Well, with the exception of Robert’s brother’s girlfriend reeling in a new fishing pole. That was pretty funny! Finally, the sun set, it got dark and supposedly a school swam by cause Robert’s dad caught the first one and then a second later Robert caught one! It was exciting to witness those fish biting on the line, but they were too small so they let them go.
I’ve never slept in a tent before, and of course, based on all the movies and shows I’ve seen, it looks like a tight fit and might be a tad uncomfortable so I mentally prepared for that. But Robert’s family is smart and got something like a duplex of a tent–it’s one big tent with a divider to provide 2 “rooms” and it’s got an entrance that keeps the bugs out. Shows how much I know about camping and all the options, right? It was quite nice. They also had air mattresses for us to sleep on, which is great cause sleeping on the cold, hard ground would be so bad on our backs.
I’m not gonna lie, it was a little hard to sleep mostly because I was wearing 2 – 3 layers of clothing with multiple blankets and I felt like I could barely move. I’m also a light sleeper so any sound outside our tent kept me awake.
We woke up pretty early the next morning so Robert could take me on the boat and do a thing called “trolling.” Basically there are multiple fishing lines following along in the water behind the boat as it motors out into the lake. Apparently it’s a lot of fun because you get a lot of fish constantly this way and it’s exciting. Robert really wanted me to catch something, especially since I didn’t the day before, so this was the “sure way” to do it.
So we went out to the lake. This was Robert’s dad’s first time navigating and running the motor on the boat, and he picked it up quickly! I think he wants one now, haha. The boat also comes with a fish tracker, which projects the lake’s landscape along with the amount and sizes of the fish down below. We were out there for a few hours, and for the first two we didn’t really catch anything so we decided to stop, sit and bait for fish that were swimming by. This is where the second bad cast of mine happened. I don’t know how or why but when I launched the bait out, it didn’t touch the water because somehow the string got SUPER, super, super tangled. I felt soooooo bad about it because I didn’t want Robert’s dad to cut the line and have to restring it (it’s a process). So while Robert and I tried to catch fish, his dad tried to untangle the huge knot.
It’s funny, when you’ve got a line out, you’re constantly watching it, willing the fish telepathically to bite the bait. You’re so focused on it, you tense up and get disappointed when there isn’t a fish on the other end when you reel it in. BUT the moment you relax and stop caring is when you get the bite. That’s what happened to me. They told me that you’ll know you have a bite when the tip of the pole dips a few times–they say you’ll know. And I knew I had a fish on the line so they both started shouting to REEL IT IN, REEL IT IN. Lo and behold I caught a fish! It really did feel triumphant and awesome to catch something on my own, although I had some great coaches.
Since I got my fix, I handed the fishing pole to Robert’s dad so he could get some time to fish on the boat. We swapped poles and I attempted to undo the knot. It was a mess, but I was determined to get it un-messy. I don’t know how much time passed but I untangled it! It was a glorious moment. We swapped poles again so he could put bait on the untangled one.
We sat a little longer with our lines hanging in the water, but Robert also wanted to take me riding on an ATV before we had to drive back home so we decided to start heading back. And again, as soon as we moved on, a fish bites! I literally shouted, “Should we start heading ba–WAIT!” and started reeling my ass off! Fish number 2 was a success!
Going back to shore, we tried to troll again. Wasn’t having too much success until I snagged something! We looked behind us for any sign of an actual bite and then we saw a fish jump out of the air with the lure! And then the line snapped. Womp.
Quickly Robert and I changed our clothes and hopped on an ATV. Being on one reminded me of Tomb Raider 3, where you ride one in Lara Croft’s secret track course. The whole ride…it was fun but I was terrified the whole time. The roads were very rocky, very bumpy and my legs were sweating up a storm so I was sliding everywhere–felt like I was gonna fly out of my seat, haha. But Robert kept me safe and slowed down on the tight turns and rough parts of the ride. It was still fun! We followed his parents to the top of the mountains, and the view was beautiful. You can see the whole lake, all the trees for miles. It was refreshing being away from the noise of the city. While I was up there, we had some signal so I called my dad and wished him a Happy Father’s Day.
After awhile we rode back down the mountain to get ready to make our trip back home. When we got back to the campsite we packed up our things, said our goodbyes to the family and embarked on the journey back to Los Angeles. I had major cabin fever the whole time, so I will spare the details of that. It was a jam packed weekend but a good time nonetheless thanks to Robert and his family. In my 25 years of life, I never thought I’d ever go camping, but I did it! I survived and I think I might go again next time!