Camping: Different moods, same weather


UTPB online student Christian Coffman recently penned a short story for a UTPB English 1302 course. He is a junior at Belton high school, photographer and more. He said: “This is my second semester of taking UTPB English. I had never taken a dual- credit class before this school year and at the beginning of the first semester I was scared. Reading and writing has never been a strong point of mine but as the semester continued past the first two weeks I felt comfortable about my writing.” UTPB was just recognized nationally for its affordability and quality of its online programs.

Staff Reports , Staff Reporter



The crisp spring air hits the camper’s face as he emerges from his stuffy two-person Coleman tent. It is an early March morning, just before sunrise and the hints of color are climbing into the sky like misty fingers reaching for the heavens.  The orange glow of the remnants of last night’s campfire illuminates the campsite which is nestled in the purple-colored mountains whose tops remain capped with winter’s snow. The rich aroma of the forest floor mixes with pine tree sap and campfire smoke to create an earthy smell. Breathing deeply, the camper looks at the beautiful crystal dew glistening off the new spring grass. The morning fog is just thick enough to make neighboring wildlife disappear, but the noises they make are not muffled. Wild Birds sing their happy morning songs, heralding the new day. The camper rekindles the campfire and puts a pot of dark roast Starbucks coffee on to brew. The steam from the coffee pot is visible in the cool air, swirling and mixing into the smoke from the campfire. The smell of coffee, beautiful scenery and crisp mountain air makes him smile. The camper walks to the edge of the primitive campsite extending his bare toes into the cool, wet grass, soothing his feet which are tired from yesterday’s hike through the forest. He gazes over the picture-perfect mountain lake nearby. The morning fog still hangs low over the calm water, soothingly peaceful. The sun begins to creep into the sky, painting it vibrant purple, red, and orange, reflecting from the sky onto the mountain lake water.

A tired groan emits from the tent as the camper’s wife stirs from her warm sleeping bag. She shivers as she pokes her head out of the tent, surveying the spring weather. The crisp mountain air chills her lungs as she tentatively leaves the comfort of the warm tent. The fog is thick along the cold ground, swirling around her as if reaching to drag her down among the slippery leaves. It obscures her vision into the forest, hiding wildlife from her view, but she can hear them scurrying and wonders what aggressive animals may emerge from the fog. The campsite air is filled with the pungent aroma of smoke from last night’s campfire mixed with the stale smell of decaying forest floor and overpowering scent of pine needles. She notices her husband has started a pot of coffee, however the usually comforting smell of coffee is masked by acrid campfire smoke. The steam from the coffee pot pours into the freezing morning air, mixing with the campfire smoke, burning her tired eyes and obscuring her view. The loud, high-pitched, continuous chirping of wild birds that disturbed her already fitful sleep is even louder outside the tent. Why won’t they stop? The sun is beginning to rise in the gray spring sky, sending blinding rays across the campsite causing the camper to squint. She carefully walks to the edge of campsite to where her husband stands near the mountain lake. The dew on the grass chills her already cold feet, dirt sticks between her toes and small twigs pierce the tender soles of her feet which are still sore from yesterday’s hike through the forest. She looks at the mountain lake and shivers. The thick gray fog hangs low across the black water, obscuring it from view like something out of a corny 1950’s horror movie. The morning sun claws its way up from the horizon yet the camper’s wife feels no change in the chilly spring weather. The purple mountains with their icy tops are testament to the fact that winter is barely over.