Saturday, July 18, 2009

Camping, Part Deux

The projected high was 74 degrees, up from the low 6o's of the rest of the week. Perfect for camping. We pulled into Cascade Park and signed in. On the way to our assigned "Snow Field" we passed a youth conference and a young single adult retreat. Our campsite was in a big field near a river, with a rocky beach and hiking trails nearby. (Did I mention that this whole region is off-the-charts beautiful??)

We spent the afternoon setting up camp--J put the tent up, sans instructions, and I got our table properly swept clean of grossness. And clearly, Little Buddy is a third child, because he crawled around in the grass and dirt and I only minded a little bit. There was a big swing that we played around on--hung from a very high branch with a rope thicker than my arm. The kids loved it.

We hiked around the trails and found an ampitheater where we had an impromptu family talent show. Girlie dazzled us with her singing ("Each of Us is a Flower" from kindergarten), Riley did cartwheels, Daddy walked on his hands, and I did pantomiming (I impressed the whole family with my "leaning on a ledge" act). We walked along the rocky beach from our campsite to an area where the youth and stake leadership were busy ambushing each other with some hard core water guns.

As it turned out, about 1/2 of our ward decided to camp there too, so we sat around the fire with a bunch of friends, roasting marshmallows and biscuit dough. We LOVED that the booming music we heard was from a bunch of testimony-bearing youth having a dance, and not some drunken party. The sun stays up until after 10:00 here, so it was a late evening.

Then came the night.

Brilliant me, I left the pack and play at home. Oh, I remembered about three minutes into our drive, but I thought "Hey, he can just sleep with me." I wiggled myself into the sleeping bag beside him and wondered how long I could sleep in one position. I also forgot pillows, and the bunched up towel under my head lumped in the wrong places. I was balanced precariously on the edge of the air mattress, my arm bent unnaturally under my head to bulk up my towel-pillow, as the slippery sleeping bag started to slide over the edge. Little Buddy, unaccustomed to being so closely confined, tried to kick the covers off in protest. My back ached from rigidly trying to balance on my side while my boompa slid off the bed. Then came the crying. Not mine, yet. Little Buddy was completely weirded out by his surroundings and decided to tell everyone about it. It was one of those half-sleeping moments where he was crying because he wasn't asleep, but didn't know what to do about it. He sat up, refused my cuddles or nursing. The cold air made him cry some more, as did the blankets I tried to put on him. At about 3:00 a.m., without having slept a wink, I finally plopped the baby on to J and hissed, "Your turn." He tried for a little while to calm the wee one, but after mumbling something about his mummy bag being too small for them both, he handed him back.

"Fine," I growled over the crying, "then help me unload the food from the van. I'm going home. I'll pick you guys up in the morning." I closed my eyes and rocked back and forth-- Make it stop, make it stop.

He sleepily tried to convince me otherwise, but it was when my baby finally sighed and fell asleep again, that I relented and decided to tough it out.

Another funny thing about the sun is that it comes up super early here, too. The kids were up at the crack of dawn. They, along with J, left us to go on another early morning hike. Little Buddy and I woke up sweating in the morning sun. What is it about tents that makes them so HOT??? I stumbled out of the tent and set Buddy on the ground and pointed across the field to J and the kids. "Go," I mumbled to him as I squinted my puffy eyes in the sunlight.

They came joyfully bounding across the field to greet us and J cooked pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Tired as I was, we went for another hike, and another trip to the water's edge where the kids splashed water on their faces like real mountain men.

We headed back to the campsite where I, with blinding speed and efficiency, packed our outdoor home back into the van. Teeth aching from all the sugar, head hurting from lack of sleep, and a happy family, riding the high from our first family camping trip. We headed home.

7 love notes:

Happy Mom said...

Oh, the joys of camping!!! The nights can be interminable when sleeping isn't happening!!! So, do you think you'll do it again any time soon?!

Becky said...

Hmmm...sounds so familiar! We're making memories, we're making memories, we're making memories...

Things' Mommy said...

HA!! Becky, isn't that the truth-it's all about the family memories, isn't it?

Jessica said...

I think camping is a little like giving birth for me....I forget all the bad stuff that happens and only remember the amazing parts. Because of that...I keep doing it! :) Although I think camping trips will happen lost past my birthing experiences.

The Wrights said...

The joys and not so joys of camping....we've only made it in our backyard AND Jonas and I only made it until 11:30 (:

Liam's Mom said...

Camping with babies is so tricky! You'd think the nursing would help breeze you through the night, but sometimes that doesn't cut it. I am sorry for your struggles in the night. Glad the rest of them had a great time!

Peterson Pack of Wild Dogs said...

These are the moments Jim Carrey's "FIND A HAPPY PLACE" really make sense. I love how you forgot pillows, b/c it's a James thing. I totally did the same thing when WE decided to camp at VALLY OF FIRE...does the name have anything to do with the weather? Yes, we camped in the middle of June. No pillows but no crying either. You win. Love you!!!