Sunday, March 21, 2010

Camping joy

That title is admittedly part sarcasm.

For those who expected me to do other things Friday and Saturday, here's a quick rundown of what was supposed to be a simple overnight campout. The rest of you can skip to the end -- the middle is mostly complaining. =)

  • Review girls' packing job; Kennedy has packed 6 pairs of socks, and no pants.

  • Vacuum out the van, looks like a vending machine exploded in there.

  • Get the van loaded.

  • Discover the battery is dead (girls left the van dome light on)

  • Van won't shift out of park without battery power, so I have to pull the battery completely out of the truck to take it in and jumpstart the van.

  • Van radio requires you to enter a code after a power outage or it won't work; the code is filed away the basement.

  • Usual stops at Walmart, gas station, McDonalds...

  • GPS unit says my 2.5 hour trip will take 4 hours (?!); how does it know I have kids? Finally get on the road 3 hours late.

  • 15 minutes later, all 3 kids need to go to the bathroom "NOW!" (45 minutes later, they need to go again, unsurprisingly.)

  • Why does TomTom send me the wrong way in EVERY state park? Seriously, it's 0 for 3 so far.

  • Campground is nice, play for awhile, roast hot dogs and marshmallows, had a nice evening.

  • Getting cold, time for bed! Uh, oh, really cold...

  • Uh, oh again. Did we pack a binkie for Kennedy? Of course not.

  • Spend about 2 hours trying to keep Kennedy from waking the whole campground with her crying about being too cold (despite kicking off the covers) -- I'm pretty sure she mostly just wants her binkie.

  • It's getting colder, I can't move because I'll wake up Kennedy, and I can feel the cold pushing up through my hips. Not good.

  • About 1:30 am I give up -- cover the girls with the 2 adult sleeping bags to keep them warm, and get up.

  • What do I do? Go turn on the van and sit in there with the heater on for 6 hours? So I go and rouse the fire with little sticks (and a firestarter =).

  • 20 minutes later Eric comes out of his tent in the same boat, so we get the fire going. Eric: "Old indian saying, 'Indian stay warm tending little fire, white man stay warm finding wood for big fire.'"

  • An hour later, we hear rustling behind us -- "Something's over there," I whisper, but we don't have flashlights. I finally go get one, and shine it off toward the table. What do I see? A giant raccoon finishing off my lunch! "Hey, get outta here..." Ah, I forgot to put all the food away trying to keep Kennedy quieted down. He comes back a few times, but since we put the food away he didn't find much.

  • About 4 am Regan comes out and wants to sit by the fire too.

  • About an hour later, Kennedy's up and crying. Woken up, Scott and Jill offer to let her sleep in their tent by their space heater (!!), but after setting up a bag, her crying has woken up Scott and Jill's kids, yet she refuses to sleep there -- grr. She wants to come sit by the fire. Glad she woke everyone up.

  • Fortunately both Regan and Kennedy get to see Swiper the Raccoon poking around behind us a couple times.

  • About 7 am I finally fall asleep slouched back in the camp chair, sleep for maybe 45 minutes. McKinley appears around this time, she seems to have slept fine.

  • After a slow start, we finally head to Fall Creek Falls (pretty), then on to Piney Creek Falls, which were much more impressive.

Actually, the area under the suspension bridge at Piney Falls is one of the prettiest places I've seen out here. Fast and beautifully clear water near a pretty little rhododendron forest. (I'll post a picture here soon.)

The drive back? TomTom messes up getting us out of the park ("so we're supposed to ram the gate into the youth camp?"), and if Regan hadn't specifically prayed for me to not crash, I'm pretty sure I would've. At one point I'm sure I would've failed a sobriety test, so I pulled over and took a nap. Why don't they make the seats in cars more sleep-friendly?

So, apologies for being MIA over the weekend. Hope your weekend yielded more sleep than mine. =)

Does anyone read this thing?

views since Feb. 9, 2008