Monday, July 09, 2007

The familiy camping trip

Last Friday we headed out on our annual camping trip with our friends. Normally this falls on Father's Day weekend, but being that we were unable to do Father's Day this year because AB and Leif were just returning from Alaska, we postponed.

After driving for four hours (including three stops for a screaming infant), we secured the same wonderful campground that we had two years ago. For someone who grew up camping and has always loved camping, I was surprisingly, not looking forward to this trip. Camping with an infant was just striking me as pure misery.

In fact, aside from the drive up and back as well as not being able to help AB with the setup or take down (or the packing beforehand), it wasn't that bad. Skadi did great and was well behaved pretty much the entire time. She may still be a lump, but when she wants to be, she is a noisy lump.

We arrived Friday about 3 hours behind schedule thanks in part to the unscheduled stops, the extremely slow service at Dairy Queen for lunch, and just to not being able to pull things together as quickly as planned. Even though we have had children for nearly three years we always forget to apply the "kid factor" in calculating expected times.

We tossed chipotle marinated ribeyes on the BBQ for dinner and enjoyed visiting. It quickly became apparent though that while the adults may have found the bridge over a small stream into the parking area to be a quaint entrance into the campsite surrounded by trees, the kids found this aspect to be a challenge that we fought all weekend.

Saturday after blueberry pancakes we packed up and headed to a fish hatchery we saw on our way to the campsite. Leif loved the trout pond, with fish food to feed the fish. We walked around some, started on a hiking trail but soon bailed when the heat became overwhelming and the kids were showing signs of certain starvation. We picnicked quickly and then headed back to camp for naps all around. Yours truly included.

We made a quick trip into Leavenworth for a little shopping after naps, then dinner and another night in a 10' x 10' tent with one dog, one sleep talking toddler, AB and I and Skadi. We fit... just barely.

Sunday morning after breakfast burritos AB worked hard to pack up the camp, while I helped when I could and fielded toddlers - who really wanted to help. Lots.

We had a good time. For not looking forward to the trip I did have a nice time. The best part of it was watching Leif in nature. He shoveled loads of dirt in his little tractor, we caught bugs and put them in the bug box, he loved it. He has asked nearly non-stop since getting back if we can go camping again.

I might actually even entertain the thought if we can find a place to camp that isn't more than an hour away so that we don't have to listen to Skadi's protests.

What I really want though? A travel trailer. Pretty much one just like Joey's. I have dreams of taking the kids camping in Yellowstone, the Canadian Rockies, Yosemite, Crater Lake... and the trailer makes those trips just so much more feasible.

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