For Spring break, my family, a few friends, and I drove nine hours to camp amongst the cliffs and Fremont cottonwoods of Zion National Park in Utah. It was breathtaking.
The second day we were there, my kid wore a crisp white button-down and a nice pair of tan colored jeans.
“You need to change into a t-shirt and shorts, or something. You are going to wreck your clothes.”
He let out a lengthy sigh. "Camping is no excuse for bad fashion."
My response? “Camping is the only excuse for bad fashion.”
He reluctantly changed into something more sensible.
In my luggage I packed a pair of worn-in hiking boots, a plethora of yoga pants, fleece jackets, a thick wool sweater, tanks, ratty t-shirts, jeans, and my favorite beanie. It was an array of wardrobe items I normally reserve for bedtime, or yard work — the kind of stuff I didn’t mind getting dirty. And it was a good thing, seeing as our campsite experienced a caterpillar apocalypse so intense that one morning I put on my wool sweater and found that the caterpillars had built not one, but three, cocoons inside its sleeves — and the same with my socks. Shudder.
One afternoon we drove out to nearby Bryce Canyon National Park. With my hair in a sloppy pony tail, wearing an old t-shirt and a pair of yoga pants, I hiked the Navajo trail. I ran into Rebecca Boland and Samantha Clark, dressed for the occasion — Boland in an Aztec themed poncho and sun hat, and Clark in a simple patterned jumper. They matched the scenery. My son’s sentence from the day before rang in my ears, leading me to question my assertion that camping is an excellent excuse for bad fashion. I had serious outfit envy.
"We knew we would be taking a ton of pictures on our hike so we wanted to dress to match the background," Boland told me.
“We tried to dress comfortably and cute at the same time,” said Clark.
"We tried to keep with a Western theme," added Boland.
Boland and Clark were visiting for the week from Toronto and staying at a campground outside of Zion.
"The national parks in the U.S are great," said Boland. “Next year we are going to Yosemite.”
I imagine they will wear a whole of plaid and forest-green shades for the occasion.