Monday, June 6, 2011

My weekend back to nature adventure

Is it just me or does that look like a mob of Ents?

Being overwhelmed with work as I have been lately, I needed a little break from home, laundry, all those little things you see around the house that need doing when you have a spare moment and even my laptop. Actually, everyone needed a break from their computers. So, this weekend we set off on our first family camping experience.

I grew up camping. It's what we did two or sometimes three weeks out of the summer. We landed somewhere new, wandered off, made friends, stood barefoot in snake infested swamps to catch turtles, went swimming, got rained on and didn't care, built rambing sand castles for hours, and slept like the dead. Somewhere in my later teen years the camping bug was lost and road trip vacations took over.

When I had kids, we started off with the road trips. Fun getaways, but expensive. I was looking for a change, and so this year, Santa brought us camping gear. Yay Santa! I spent most of my free time last week digging through memories of what supplies we had with us when I was a kid and more than a few hours running from store to store to find the best prices on those items. Fully outfitted (I hoped), we set off for a one night dry run (close to home and a store) at our property.

We set up the tent in no time. This huge, 3 room tent gave everyone the privacy they wanted and offered plenty of room to store our stuff inside. It might not look very big here, but its 10' x 18'. That's a tent!

I did a quick check of my flower garden (filled with a the overflow from home) and found it flourishing. The Japanese iris are four feet tall!

The creek has become quite overgrown, but we did get to wake to frogs croaking, ducks quacking and what sounded like an entire aviary of birds singing. A wonderful sound to tell about later, but not so appreciated at 6am.

Breakfast over the fire. Yum!

When we weren't getting eaten alive by the rabid mosquitos, we explored. The bark had fallen off this tree to reveal generations of insect artwork.

Sadly, the trip had some work involved. The grass hadn't been mowed since last fall (my husband's job) and our stick pile had grown into a mountain thanks to multiple wind storms last year. My task was to make a dent in this:

Which I did, but only a small dent. That mountain is huge. The big logs were saved for future camping trips, but the sticks went into the fire. I might have been away from my laptop, but you know what my mind was doing while my body was chucking wood into the fire? Working through upcoming scenes. Even without my laptop, it seems I can't go a day without writing in some form or another.

The kids had fun and we accomplished a good amount of work. We had everything we needed except a bug bomb for all the mosquitos. I'll call the trip a sucess and am ready to head out for a longer trip next time. But, after all that packing, setting up, hauling sticks, breaking camp, and unpacking, I'm going to do this:


  1. Aw, poor doggie! All that adventure tired it out! Sounds like a fun time. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yay Santa, indeed! Camping is fun. Expect it to take a few trips to refine that packing checklist. It's amazing what "essentials" you turn out not to need, and what little items you find to add. Only experience will tell.

    Now you just need to go somewhere where they don't expect the guests to help out in the yard :D

  3. Just reserved a lot for fourth of July weekend. It's three hours from home. Let's hope we're mostly prepared. Either way, I'm excited. :D

  4. Those pics are fantastic! I remember a few camping trips as a kid. My siblings and I share lots of laughs about them now. At the time, not so much. ;-)

  5. Thanks Liz. Camping was always the best time of the year when I was a kid because we spent time together away from work, chores and school. The big, fresh bags of marshmallows and red vines was always a plus too. ;)

  6. Good on you for getting away from it all! It sounds like y'all had a great time!


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