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Summer = Camping MY FAVORITE PART OF THE SEASON
E ver since I was little, the onset of summer has, more than anything else, meant the beginning of camping season. Though the way my family and I camp has changed throughout the years, it’s still one of my absolute favorite pastimes whenever the weather gets warm. Like many native Idahoans, camping has always been an important part of my life. When I was little, my family used to take frequent trips out to Baumgartner Campground near Featherville, taking full advantage of the nearby hot springs and the awesome wooded trails that the site offered. When we weren’t there on the weekends, we were relaxing by Redfish Lake, roasting s’mores and swimming in the picture-perfect water. There was just nothing more freeing and exciting as a kid than getting out of Boise and roughing it out in what, back then, felt like endless wilderness. Back when MicroTech was called A1 Business Equipment and my dad was running the show, they would do a huge company camping trip every year. Some of my fondest summer memories come from those days, when we’d fill the campsite with upward of 15 families. A lot of my dad’s co-workers were big motorcyclists, so every once in a while I’d get to hitch a ride or even cruise around the campground on a bike by myself. When the company shifted away from selling adding machines and typewriters and morphed into MicroTech, we tried to continue that tradition with the team, but after a couple years, we realized that the industry had just changed too much to keep it up. Somebody always had to be on call at the business, so it unfortunately became impossible to pack up for a weekend and shut down for a couple days. Still, my family and I continued to take every opportunity to escape into nature for a summer weekend. It started with just Keri and me backpacking into remote locations and pitching our small tent out in the middle of nowhere, and then the kids arrived and the whole system had to change. While the kids were still in diapers, Keri basically figured it’d be too much hassle to camp with them, but as soon as they got a little older, we were back out in the wilderness.
While they were still little tykes, though, I had to make a small concession to keep Keri from going crazy managing the kids: a pop- up tent trailer. That worked great for a few years, until we found our family in the middle of a sketchy situation that I’ll leave up to your imagination. Then, as a security measure, we picked up a big full- service, hard-topped camping trailer. With every step up, the experience became more comfortable but also a little more complicated than just picking up and leaving town on a weekend. With Keri and me becoming empty nesters in the next 4–5 years, every once in a while I’ll float the idea of going back to our camping roots with tents and coolers, but Keri puts the kibosh on that pretty quickly every time. It’s just too difficult to go back once you’ve slid into “glamping” territory, I guess! But hey, I’m not complaining. I’ll do whatever I can to keep us heading out to a campground as often as possible. Over the years, we’ve built a treasure trove of memories out in the Idaho woods, from laughing together by the fire, to hiking through breathtaking natural beauty, to paddleboarding or boating on the lake. In fact, just writing about this has got me excited to get out there again — I need to get on it and start planning our next few phone-free adventures before I blink and summer’s already over!
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