Camping has only been a thing recently – and that’s with much thanks to Mike Dragon and his camping and hammocking adventures inspiring us to join along. False Cape State Park is incredibly beautiful. I’ve gone on bike rides out there with Mike before, and it’s amazing. He’s been the one who’s gone camping there a few times, and this time, his wife, Loren, me, and my husband, Chris joined him. Let me tell you about the experience. It was FREAKING AWESOME.
If we’re being really honest, I was KIND OF nervous doing it. Sure, I’ve camped before, but this is primitive camping. No running water, no bathrooms, no fires. That meant dehydrated food, using an outhouse, and biking to get water 3 miles away. There was something about the adventure of it (and Mike’s awesome research skills) that made it all worth doing though.
It started with a 9 mile bike ride through Back Bay Wildlife Refuge to our campsite. Then, me and Loren rode our bikes 3 miles back to get water (remember – no running water at our campsite!). We made it an unintentional adventure and got chased by hornets and she saved me from them. It was amazing.
This trip was full of “favorite moments” (because, let’s be honest, everything is my favorite), but watching the sunset over the bay was easily high up on my list.
When we woke up the first morning, Chris wanted to check out the waves and the surf. Turns out? The whole time we were there, the surf was the worst. Didn’t matter, though, it was a freaking adventure and we made the best of it. So we went on a little hike, saw a giant snake skin, and went back to that spot on the bay in the middle of the day and saw just how beautiful it was again. We went on another adventure to the visitors center, learned all about the park, got more water, and then came back and frolicked in the water on the beach. There aren’t pictures of that because, well, we were frolicking in the water. What you do need to know is that there was a mermaid diving competition that I won, all the pelicans, and doggy paddling through the Atlantic Ocean on a beach with no one around for miles.
After dinner, we moved camping stuff to the beach (let’s be honest, Mike & Chris moved camping stuff to the beach), and it was amazing. The Milky Way rose, and we got to sleep under the FREAKING STARS and it was glorious. It’s crazy to me that you can see the Milky Way this well in Virginia Beach.
We woke up and saw the sun rise, and Loren jumped in the water (in her clothes) and swam with the dolphins. I waited about ten minutes and went in after her.
The thing that we all took away from it? That this GORGEOUSNESS happens every day in nature. Right here in Virginia Beach. It was just a bike ride away. It’s crazy to me that there was no one out there – but it was freeing. Amazing. I wore a two piece bathing suit – then decided it would be the norm from this point on.
I learned that my hair thrives in salt water, so I’ve given up a hair dryer and flat iron for salt spray and salt – based dry shampoo. It’s working out great.
More importantly, I continued to learn that it’s important to do things that make you uncomfortable. I didn’t think that I would love eating dehydrated food and swimming in the ocean for hours at a time – but you know what? I did. Because traveling is better when it’s done with people that you love.
But the best part? Fun with friends. Adventures. Shenanigans. Stars and sunsets and sunrises and nature. The bugs may have tried to scare me away, but fuck that. It was the best trip ever, and I can’t wait to do it again.