There are a lot of great things my husband is. Spontaneous is not generally one of them. But that wasn't the case last night...
We had finished dinner, gone to farmer's market, and were enjoying fresh peaches over ice cream for dessert. He mentioned that it was possibly the last night to view the Perseid meteor shower. He said it would be fun to drive up to Divide Road at three o'clock in the morning so we could get a great view. I told him I wasn't so sure I wanted to drive two hours to view meteors at three o'clock in the morning. But why not drive up now and sleep up there?
And so we did. We packed the girls and the sleeping bags into the van and found a nice spot up on the Uncompahgre Plateau, out in the open and overlooking a canyon. We didn't bother setting up the tent - our purpose was to look at stars - so we put the girls to bed in the back of the van and just set up our bed on the ground.
I've never just slept out in the open like that before. You'd think, being as I'm a girl who's terrified of bugs, that I'd have a hard time sleeping with the thought of bugs creeping on me at night running through my head. But honestly, once it's completely dark and all you can hear are the night sounds of the outdoors, thoughts of wild beasts crawling into bed with you completely outweigh the fear of bugs.
It was so worth it! I've never seen a sky that beautiful, so full of stars, very little moonlight and no trees to block our view. It's easy to feel very small and insignificant when you can really see just how vast the sky really is. We could see planets and constellations and satellites and the Milky Way and a few dozen shooting stars between the two of us.
I find it a bit amusing that our children didn't question our sanity in any of this. They are just always willing to go along and see what adventure comes next. They got a nice little astronomy lesson, and Chloe got to see her first shooting star. Calling it a homeschool field trip makes it seem far more reasonable.
I woke up around 3 am to the sound of owls talking back and forth. Clearly, owls aren't at all concerned about whether or not they are waking campers in their forests - those birds are noisy. Each had a very distinct call - one would shout, another would answer, and then one far away would add in his two cents. Owls make lovely background music to a very active night sky, especially when accompanied by coyotes yipping every so often.
It was definitely the shortest camping trip we've ever gone on - about 12 hours total - but it certainly will be one of the most remembered!
Has anyone else out there been able to enjoy the meteor shower this year? It may still be visible tonight, if you're in the mood to get up in the middle of the night to see it.