So, I was perfectly comfortable going camping on my own with three kids and a teenager (who has never been camping ever) and doing it all on my own. Don't ask me why, but I totally knew I could do it and had no reservations. Plus, I love adding another first to Colt's list of life experiences!
We went back to the same campground and got a beautiful spot on the lake. So gorgeous!!!!
|The picture without humans marring the view.|
We pitched tents. No sweat. Everyone is still very impressed with me about everything I did on this camping trip on my own. Apparently, I don't exude much of a rough-and-tumble image. Oh well. I'm cool with that, but it's nice to know I can do some things on my own despite everyone's impression. See my handiwork below.
So we set up camp and it rained (hence the beautiful temperature) but not too bad. The kids spent some time in the back of the car playing Zingo. But they really wanted to just be in the tent the whole time. There is something so novel about tents for children.
Finally the rain was just a drizzle so we went exploring.
|Everyone says they look photo shopped in this picture.|
|The teenager does not like to be photographed.|
|This fish carcass stayed with us for the entire trip. Even back at our campsite.|
|And, of course, Evie can't be outdone and found her own fish carcass.|
|Proof that I was there.|
Unfortunately, we didn't catch any fish, but we sure gave it a good effort.
We cooked hot dogs and even made s'mores. It was really pretty fun. I wish I had brought wood for a campfire, but the week before there had been a burn ban in place, so I didn't want to risk breaking the rules. You know me - ever the rules follower! I finally put the kids to bed (after quick showers) and we retired at 9:30. Colt stayed up playing with fire (literally) but eventually crawled into his tent. I let him have his own 2-man tent with a sleeping bag, and the rest of us piled into a 4-man tent with sleeping bags.
|Colt in his tent.|
Sadly, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of two raccoons fighting over our trash. I kicked myself and cussed at the raccoons from the safety of my tent. I can't believe I forgot to throw the trash away. I totally thought about it earlier in the day and I just plain forgot when I went to bed. After the bastard raccoons figured out that we were stupid enough to leave our trash out, they came back and tried to bust into my sealed coolers too! That was the last straw. I had been pissed but accepting of the raccoons tearing up my trash, but there was no way in hell I was going to let them get into the rest of our food. So, I staggered out of my tent, grabbed up the kids muddy shoes and started throwing them at the intruding raccoon (only one came back). It was unfazed and looked at me like the crazy human I am. I threw another shoe and hit the ground close enough to cause the raccoon to retreat (but only a little). I threw one more time and yelled quietly (no need to wake the neighbors!). It ran off into the bushes and watched me with its beady eyes while I packed up my coolers and put them in the back of the suburban. While I was packing up the second cooler, the raccoon had the audacity to actually try to come back for more! I threw another shoe at it and it retreated again. Unfortunately, it was Luke's shoe and it ended up in some high grasses on the edge of our campground. He was not thrilled the next morning when I told him he had to go fetch it. After my tussle with the raccoons I took the picture above of my innocent children who slept soundly on the hard ground while my war against wildlife was waged outside the tent.
Of course, I can't complain too much because the next morning I woke up to this sunrise and took this picture from the door of my tent.
God is good. No doubt about it.
And then our sweet deer family roamed through our campsite. They were much closer before I got my camera out (and before the kids started running toward them like they were friendly stray dogs). They really are city kids, but the entire experience was truly amazing!
So, other than our run-in with the greedy raccoons, it was a pretty great trip. We went fishing. We went hiking. We found treasures. We saw nature. It is a trip that I will always remember. And this picture sums it all up for me. Those precious moments captured.