Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Camping 2012

Last summer, in 2011, I decided that summer 2012 would be the year that the Angus family dusted off our camping stuff and just do it.

Sam and I fell in love with each other and camping in N. CA. What is not to love? Cool nights. Beautiful surrounds. No humidity. No bugs.  WE camped a fair amount in Wisconsin too. But have a baby and then a second? Suddenly the bed looks SO much better than the ground.

But this summer, we would conquer it! So we did!

Our good friends, Whitney and Nano and their two children were up for it too. Mid September, we headed out to Hickory Run State Park here in PA. It was only about 2 hours North of us. And we had a blast! 

The first day we basically set up camp and then had a great day walking to this really pretty mountain lake. In the shade, it was cool. In the sun, it was hot. So the kids 'waded' in the water. Which turns into being drenched and then essentially swimming in their clothes. Awesome stuff!

The night fell and Sam and I made a horrible meal. It was just gross. The meat wasn't appetizing. The couscous was odd and the zucchini needed spices. Other than that? It was awesome. Our friends pretended to like it. The kids happily munched on warmed up pasta. No microwave in sight- just tin foil over the hot fire. Crazy fun!

We all sat around the campfire drinking wine and trying to stay warm. While the day time found us in shorts and tshirts, by 8 pm, I had pulled out the winter hats! We knew it was going to be cold but holy shoot! It was a low of 42 degrees! Considering the day was in the mid 80s, it felt freezing! We all wore our winter hats! Ugh.

I took the three older kids to the bathroom for 'one last trip'. Seren was so scared of the dark! She was gripping my hand and walking tentatively.  Wyeth said to her, 'It is ok, Seren, we are just looking for nocturnal animals.'

HA! Nocturnal animals!

Seren's reaction was equally funny, "That's the problem Wyeth. I don't want to see any nocturnal animals! I don't want to see them!"

We don't have a tent that is big enough for all four of us. So we split our family up. Wyeth chose me and Seren chose Dad. (not unusual). We each tucked in our assigned respective kid. Wyeth, at home, sleeps with this 'glowing turtle' which projects the stars and constellations on the ceiling. It is part of his nightly routine. So despite the fact that we were actually sleeping under the REAL stars, he brought out his turtle, turned it on and promptly fell asleep under the 'stars' that were projected into the walls of the tent. So funny.

The parents stayed up talking and freezing by the campfire. We all turned in early and passed out. Wyeth continued to wake up time and time again due to the cold. I would silently shove him back down into his sleeping bag. At 4 am he leans into me and says, "Mommy? Poop."

Sure enough. Whew.  So then I start the process of getting my ass up and out of the sleeping bag. Of course our tent didn't have any wipes. So I find the closest flashlight I could find. Which was Wyeth's. The one that didn't "really" work. Because the odds are kinda slim that the 3 year old would be walking in the dark alone. But now that I was the one walking outside the tent in the dark, I kinda wished I had a flashlight that actually functioned.

I make it to the car with my crappy flashlight. I then root around in the car looking for the wipes. I'm freezing. I'm in my PJs! I find the wipes. Close the car. Walk back to the tent. Take off my shoes. Unzip the tent. Get in the tent. I turn the flashlight towards Wyeth to change his pullup.

He is dead asleep.

Now other parents, worried about the safety of their 3 year old son's soft and delicate skin may have woken up the child to change his diaper.

Me? I zipped myself up into the bag and closed my nostrils shut.

At 7 am Wyeth and I finally woke up. Or, woke up for the last time. Seren stood outside our tent in her Daddy's long sweatshirt, her winter hat, her jeans over her pjs and said, "Momma! It is COLD."

It certainly was.

But we had a blast!  My three take aways from our less than 24 hour trip.
1)I totally underestimated how much time and effort it takes to do all of the cooking, prep and clean up. I thought the kids would have more to 'do' but with 4 adults holding tent poles and trying to cook, that left 4 kids a bit understimulated.

2) When it is 6:15 or 7 in the morning and it is only 42 degrees, it would be good to have something for them to do. And it is good to brew the coffee/tea first.

3) Next time we are going to go for longer than one night. All of that packing isn't worth it for just one night!

But we were so grateful our friends decided to brave it with us. We really had a great time. And the kids loved it! Beach, tents, campfires, smores and playmates. What isn't to like?

1 comment:

Whitney said...

2) When it is 6:15 or 7 in the morning and it is only 42 degrees, it would be good to have something for them to do. And it is good to brew the coffee/tea first.

YES!! This is the one thing that completely threw me off!! It's freezing, there is nothing to do, everyone is sleeping so you want to keep them quiet...Nano wanted to drive somewhere just to have the heat on. I resisted, since you guys weren't even up yet! But, I think ultimately that might have been the best idea!!