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Happy Summer Giveaway

Happy First Day of SUMMER!

It actually feels like summer FINALLY, with sunshine and blue skies as far as the eye can see. We are celebrating the change of seasons with a spontaneous camping trip along a river — the first camping trip of the year!

I LOVE camping: the preparation and anticipation, the drive, setting up camp, and maybe most of all, being in a beautiful spot without any obligations or time limits.

In honor of the change of season and all the fun, color and light that summer brings, I’d like to give away one of my brand new prints:

It is hand cut out of black paper with tissue paper behind to create a stained-glass effect. The image measures just under 8×10 inches, printed on cold-pressed 90# watercolor paper. It will fit as-is into an 8×10 frame or can be matted to fit an 11×14 frame. It is signed, dated and numbered.

To enter, leave a comment on your favorite part of camping — a favorite meal, game, or the account of a memorable trip. I will choose a winner using a random number generator on Friday afternoon before I head out to Missoula.

I can’t wait to hear your stories!


  1. OK, I’ll bite!

    When I was about 14 I went backpacking (with my parents!) in the John Muir Wilderness (eastern Sierra). The first night we arrived at the trailhead after dark and slept on tarps next to the car. The idea was that we would let ourselves acclimate to the elevation (about 9000′) before we started hiking the next day. It was the first time I had slept outside without a tent. I cinched up the hood of my mummy sleeping bag and just left a little gap open for cold fresh air to come in. I realized I could see the the brilliant through the gap. It was the first time I really saw the Milky Way and so many thousands of glittering stars. I’ll never forget that. To this day I prefer to sleep without a tent, although bugs and rain usually keep me inside.

    Another time I was camping with my sister and cousin on a beach north of Santa Cruz in the winter, because the road to our campground (Hwy 1) had been washed out by rains. I was in a tent by myself. In the middle of the night we were woken up by a loud bass noise, unlike anything I had ever heard before. I was scared stiff because I had no idea what this noise could be. My sister and cousin were in the other tent, too scared to call out to me. I remember thinking that if a bassoon snored, this noise is what it would sound like. In the morning the rain had stopped, and we emerged to find an enormous bull elephant seal that had hauled out on the beach. Fortunately he chose a spot relatively distant from our tents.

    I live back east now and I find it’s much harder to really escape from civilization. I miss that. Enjoy your camping!

  2. I’ve only been camping twice & loved it. Last summer, I couldn’t convince my boyfriend to camp a 3rd time. He says he’s too old (he’s not!). I just love hanging out by the campfire at night, watching the patterns of the flames. Maybe this year….

  3. Hmmmmm. Since I’ve vowed never again to sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag and have all my clothes smell like a wet campfire, I’m going to have to reach back a bit…….like 40 years! When I was about 20 I was moving East across the country with my new husband in a crammed VW Bug. When we got too tired to drive anymore we’d just pull off the road, throw down our sleeping bags and fall asleep. One morning I awoke, in Maine, to find I was sleeping in a field of low-growing native blueberries. I just reached out and picked my breakfast. It was a kind of heaven.

  4. I grew up camping nearly every weekend in the summer, throughout Minnesota, and occasionally North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. I loved being surrounded by nature, swimming in fresh water, and seeing the stars in their finest.

    As an adult, some friends and I took a road trip to Maine initially to hike and camp the Appalachian Trail, but decided on the way to camp off the coast in Acadia National Park. It was one of my favorite trips because we drove through many states and provinces to get there. Sadly, this was the last camping trip I took, as I don’t count camping at a music festival.

  5. I’ve been camping so much over the years, most of it when I was a kid. Many of those trips are very special memories. During one summer camping trip with my family, we traveled from California to Canada and back in our Volkswagen Bus. During one our stops at a camp in Wyoming, a big bear came into our camp and my dad chased the bear out and into the next campsite where the bear opened the ice chest and sat and ate everything. The sound of eggs popping in a bear’s mouth is something! Another very special set of memories is camping with my grandparents – as they are both gone now. My grandfather taught me how to fish and how to play chess. I caught my very first rainbow trout with them! It was so exciting!

  6. Lets see, our family trips were camping trips as I was growing up. It was a great way to spend the summer, mostly Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. As I got older, my dad and I did a lot of backpacking together. Unfortunately as my life progressed I ended up not camping as much as I’d like. Then last summer, after I’d moved back to Wyoming, I found a friend who really enjoyed camping. We just car camped but it was wonderful to do it again. The fun part is Jim has a big van with flat wooden rack on the top so he can carry carpentry stuff. We just put a mattress on top and slept out under the stars. The creative part was using pvc pipe and tarps to create what we called the vanestoga on top of the van. It saved us from the rain but the ends were open so we could still see out.

  7. My favorite part about camping is the sounds as you’re lying in your tent. The wind blowing through the trees, the crickets cherping, the last of the fire crackling in the fire pit. Those are some of my favorite things.

  8. When my family lived in IL, we would spend every weekend we could in Lone Rock WI. It is on the Wisconsin River. We had a old Apache pop up tent trailer and set it for the summer in a small campground owned by friends.

    We had a St. Bernard who loved to play “Lifeguard” you would go swimming and she would swim in front of you, present her tail you grab it and she would pull you to shore.

    Later we had a mixed breed (Puli/Flatcoat retriever) mix and she hated the water until one day my father was carrying her to a sandbar on the river and said “Screw this” and dropped Gypsy into the water. Gypsy yelped once began to swim and thereafter it was impossible to keep her out of the water! When the family moved to ME we were told there is a spring on the property. Guess who found it SPLASH!

    A friend from trade school and I did a car /camping trip from Portland ME to Portland OR. One of the many highlights was at Bandolier National Park NM. We had done a long drive from Ft Smith AR in quest of a beer (Fort Smith was dry) OK beer is point beer BLAH. Hence a trek to NM. We were both wiped out when we arrived, set up camp and slept. I awoke first and started breakfast, and a Coyote showed up in camp, he stopped between Chris and I, looked at me first then at Chris in the tent with the fly open, Chris opened a bleary eye to the amber eyed coyote less than 2′ from his face! At least Chris did not pee the sleeping bag.

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