"I need to find someone to take me camping," she said while standing in my cubicle.
We'd just been talking about how much we enjoyed camping and the outdoors and I'd been showing her some of my nature photos. I can't even remember what brought it all up, but it was fun to open up with a coworker like that. I like to feel the intimacy that comes from opening up to others and having them accept me. It's even better when we have similar interests and I can feel that rapport growing almost instantly.
I'm a friend. I've always been a friend and will probably continue to be a friend. I just have a way about me that is easy to like. Unfortunately, I slide into that friend zone so quickly and easily that I haven't ended up in a relationship with most of the girls I fall for, which is many. I fall in love so easily, but somehow shoot myself in the foot and end up as a good friend.
From that first mention of wanting to go camping, my mind wouldn't leave the idea alone. I kept coming up with different ideas of how I could take her camping. I've got all the camping gear we would need, so that wasn't an obstacle. There are a number of campgrounds within a few hours of our homes, so that shouldn't be too bad. I guess I just didn't have the nerve to actually make it happen aside from in my fantasies.
She had hinted that she'd be amenable to posing nude for my camera, which wasn't too common for me. She enjoyed my erotic stories and seemed to start looking at me a bit differently, almost as if she was wondering what it would be like to act out some of my stories with me. It seemed like things were moving along really smoothly and that maybe, just maybe, I'd get my first camping trip alone with a female friend.
Finally, when the weather was too perfect to stay inside, I decided it was time. The weather forecast for the weekend was going to be amazing. I felt like I would be an idiot to stay in the world of concrete and steel this weekend, so I started to plan. I had a few days to work out my menu, which isn't tough when there are a few, standard meals that I always eat.
She came back to my cubicle to deliver some mail and saw me writing out my menu. When she asked what I was doing, a million ideas flashed through my mind, mostly the fantasies I'd had about camping with her, along with an instant argument with myself about whether I should invite her to go. Luckily, all of that didn't take long and I was able to answer her without too much pause.
And, for the first time, the argument in my mind was won by the adventurous side.
"Would you like to go camping with me," I asked with a nervous smile.
She grinned at me and said, "I thought you'd never ask! I would love to go camping with you!"
As she sat down in the chair across from my desk, I slid my menu over to her to show her what I was planning. It turned out that we shared taste in camping food, with a few exceptions. She wasn't too keen on corned beef hash and had some foods that she preferred in the morning. At that point, I was so excited at the idea of camping with her that I was willing to agree to most anything, except I did need to make my zucchini and weenie. I know, it sounds strange, but it's really good!
We spent a while talking about where we were going, where we'd meet, how we'd get there, etc. When it came to sleeping arrangements, I learned that she didn't have a tent of her own. Last year, I bought a two-room tent so that I had plenty of room inside to store stuff as well as sleep comfortably. I mentioned that to her and suggested she just stay in the one room and I'll sleep in the other. I couldn't quite read the look in her eye, but the twinkle there sure looked like the one I imagined in my fantasies.
Our arrangements apparently in order, she went back up to her desk to finish out the workday. I tried my best to concentrate on my work, but was constantly interrupted by my fantasies and questions about what it would be like to camp with her. She seemed such a city girl, so comfortable in an office, I wasn't sure what to expect when we got out into the wilderness.
After work, I went to the store to purchase our food supplies. I wanted to be sure that we could get everything we'd need. After shopping, I dug out my camping gear to make sure that everything was in order. It was at that point that I realized I needed to get more propane, so another trip to the store was in order. Luckily, it's a 24-hour establishment so I had no worries about whether it would be open or not.
Once I was satisfied that everything was in order, I went to bed. My mind was filled with images and ideas of camping. Would I be able to photograph her once we were out there? Would she be easy to camp with? Would I be embarrassed to be in a tent with someone I didn't know all that well? After pondering these and many other questions for what seemed like hours, I finally slept.
The next two days at work were very strange. I somehow managed to get some work done, but my mind wasn't very focused on it. She would come back to my cubicle and we'd talk more about how nice it was going to be out there in the woods and how good it feels to be away from the city and to feel Nature all around us. I was starting to relax the more we connected. It felt more casual and comfortable with each discussion.
Thursday night, I loaded up my car with all of my camping gear in preparation for our trip. We were going to leave from the office and head straight up to the campground after work on Friday.
As work came to a close on Friday, she came back to my cubicle and told me she was too excited and couldn't wait, so she closed down her computer early and was ready to go. Since I felt the same way, I too shut down. We could make up the extra hour another day.
She didn't have much gear for herself, so I easily stowed that in my car and we headed out.
It was a really easy drive up there and the campground was quite easy to find. I liked it instantly. Sometimes, a campground looks a little run-down and makes me wonder just what I've set myself up for, but this one was well-kept and appeared to have just the right amount of amenities to make it a positive get-away from the start. We drove through and picked a site that was on the edge of the campground. We agreed that we didn't want to be camping in the middle of everybody, but needed to feel like we were more secluded. It feels more natural to be on the edge of the campground.
We walked back to the kiosk at the front of the campground to pay for the two nights we were going to be there. We seemed to both relish the idea of synchronizing our inner clocks with the feel of the mountain around us. The walk to pay always seemed to do that for me.
I picked up a bundle of wood from the campground host while we were there, which would give us a rather nice campfire, an essential part of any good camping trip.
When we got back to the campsite, I dropped the wood near the fire circle and went over to unload the car. Much of what was there went onto the picnic table for sorting and accessibility. This particular campsite had the tent area upgraded to be like a sandbox, which makes it nice and flat for pitching a tent. I put out the tarp and then opened up the tent and laid it on the tarp, rotating it so the tent door was facing the campfire. She came over and helped me put the tent poles in the appropriate locations. We had a good laugh when we tried to lift up the poles and realized that we'd forgotten to stake the corners. The whole tent lifted off the ground, much to our chagrin. We got it all sorted out and set up, chuckling most of the way.
I ducked into the tent and put up the room divider. It's kind of flimsy and doesn't really divide the tent all that much into two rooms; there is still a lot of space on either side of the divider. However, it gives us the illusion of privacy. Once the divider was up, I pulled in the bedding and set up our beds, one on each side of the divider, then pulled in our clothing bags so everything was in the tent that needed to be.
When I came out, she had the food all organized and the cook stove set up and ready to go. She'd put some water on to boil, knowing that we'd need to wash our dishes, and was looking at the menu to get the correct items out for dinner.
We had a really good time fixing dinner. Being outdoors has a great effect on my sense of well-being and, based on her exuberance, it looked like it had the same effect on her. It felt so good to be out there.
Just as we were finishing up what was on our plates, I noticed it was getting dark so I got out the lantern and started it up. We then washed our dishes and put them away. I then started a fire and we pulled out the folding, camp chairs to sit and enjoy that time after dinner but before bed. It's the time when you just sit and talk, without a care in the world.
After we'd burned through about a third of the wood, I realized just how tired I was and decided it was a good time to hit the sack. We brushed our teeth and banked the coals, secured the campsite and went into the tent. It was at that point that my feelings of nervousness started to come back. It hit me that I was just about to share a tent with a sensual woman.
.... There is more of this story ...