Thursday, October 27, 2011

Camping: Here's how it went down

We packed up the car Thursday night and the boys and hit the road shortly before noon on Friday.  The park where we were camping is a little more than an hour northwest of here.  The fall color up is peaking right now and it was absolutely gorgeous.  It was downright distracting as we were driving up the mountain.

I checked in, bought out wood for campfires, and headed to our site.  The boys were so excited. The got out and started exploring the woods around our site, and because it is fall and the leaves are thin, I had no trouble seeing them.  Then, the middle-aged couple (who had three grown boys) came over and insisted on helping me make camp. It was really nice.  They were my saviors. They brought me a cup of coffee every morning, and kept a spare set of eyes out for my boys.

That first day, the boys just wanted to play in the tent and around the campground and that was fine. It was cool (in the 50s), cloudy, and VERY windy.  I should have brought gloves for the boys, but it was supposed to be sunny and in the 60s so I did not think of it.  Poor little Miles kept saying, "My hands are fweezing!"

The wind made it tough to build a fire, but I eventually made it happen and we had dinner and s'mores, brushed our teeth, got in our PJs and went to bed. It went pretty smoothly, but it was very windy and cold that night, down in the low 40s. Brrr!

We got up early the next morning, had breakfast (bagels), the boys got dressed and played around the campsite for a bit, then we decided to take a morning hike to the waterfall. I somehow chose one of the more strenuous hikes with lots of rocky paths, and several rocky cliff and outcroppings, but the boys did great.  It took us about and hour to get to the waterfall, which was a downward hike, and about and hour to get back up.

When we got back to camp, we had hot chocolate and peanut butter sandwiches, and then we made signs of fall collages with leaves and acorns.  Here is where I made a terrible mistake. The friendly neighbor campers offered the boys each two mellowcreme pumpkins, and I allowed them to have them. I don't let my kids (Oscar in particular) have artificial food dyes because they make them nuts. They just can't be controlled (Oscar; Miles is pretty much fine.) But, I figured it was just two candies, and we were outside and they would burn off the crazy.

After the collages/pumpkins, we went and climbed this rock formation called Bear Rock, and then we returned for dinner. While I was making the campfire, the kids were playing around the front of the van.  Now, I'd been telling them all weekend not to play around the front of the van because when they play there I can't see or hear them, and it's also right next to the road.

I went to the van to scoot them to the front and I saw that someone (Oscar) had been using a rock to "draw" on the hood of the van.  And by "draw" I mean scratch the surface down to the paint.  A terrible row ensued and he ended up with a time out and tears and apologies and dinner and more bad behavior (dragging Miles around by his hood, knocking Miles the ground, threatening to run away) and OHMYGOD is it bedtime yet?

And it was and we all slept like rocks.

The next day was pancakes and breaking camp (which I did all by myself, thank you very much) and we headed home just before noon. No more drama.

Save the scratches on the van and the three or so hours of atrocious behavior from Oscar, we had a great time.  Just look at the photos.  Could they smile any bigger?

On our hike.  The wanted a photo on every rock and fallen tree. 
Woman make fire.

Fall color

The kids called this the T-Rex rock.

Fallen tree = photo op.

Climbing Bear Rock.

This was on our hike.  Steep and rocky!

The tree stump by our campground was the center of their play.

Another fallen tree! Say "hike!"


Andrea said...

So very cool!

Becky said...

I love these pictures! Woman make good fire!

How great that you had kindly camping neighbors. Maybe the coffee outweighs the candy!

Big Mama Cass said...

Sounds like a blast!! And I can't make a fire to save my life.

Sprite's Keeper said...

T Rex Rock is definitely appropriate. You? Are awesome. Your boys will remember this always.

Keely said...

Woman make GREAT fire! Nice job lady - sorry about your car. Maybe it can be like Mater, with his "memories"? ;)

Mrsbear said...

What a fantastic outing! Great job. Starting a fire sounds like a very useful life skill to have.

gretchen said...

I am SO impressed and proud of you that you did this! Your campfire looks like something out of a camping textbook! A thing of beauty. Sorry about the scratches. Eek.