Monday, June 27, 2011

Camping 101

We did it! Makenna has been asking since May (maybe even April) to go camping in June. We, on the very last weekend of June, finally obliged her request. Even though it was for one night, it’s amazing how much crap you have to pack to go. Next time, and yes, we hope to have a next time, maybe even this summer, it definitely should be for two days with the amount of time and effort it takes to pack the car and unpack the car.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get many pictures as I’ve used the camera so much with the graduations that I forgot to charge the battery and within the first 10 minutes of being there, my batteries died.

We went up to Robert Treeman Park in Ithaca and camped with my brother Jared and his family. Luckily Jared is an avid camper, being that he’s the Boy Scout leader at church, and was able to help us put up our tent quickly. He also came prepared with things that we didn’t have and/or forgot.

After setting up the tent, Jared got busy on a fire to cook dinner. We of course copped out and went the easy root with hot dogs. I guess the real easy root would’ve been to stop at McDonald’s and brought food with us…so we weren’t that bad. Then after that came the time we’ve been waiting for since back at my last post about it….SMORES~

Both Makenna and Eli were more interested in just eating the Marshmallow’s and then Makenna just wanted the chocolate. I finally put my foot down and said – Smores or nothing! They were using up our supplies. Not really, I of course gave in and let them eat the marshmallows – but I did put my foot down on the chocolate.

By this time it was “late” – like 9pm or so and Makenna just wanted to go to bed. This surprised my brother who wished he had a child who would tell him that they just want to go to bed. So we tucked her into her sleeping bag on top of a comfy air mattress and off to sleep she went.

The rest of us started playing cards until it started to rain. Then we quickly packed our stuff up and took cover in our tents. We had borrowed a tent from Chris’s parents – that they had never used – but sealed. Luckily I took the side I did as Chris got up in the middle of the night due to rain dripping on his head. Guess the tent wasn’t sealed well enough.

Next morning, 6:30am to be exact, Makenna woke up and I got up with her. We hung around a bit and I had to repeatedly tell her I didn’t know about swimming or not for the day. It was kind of rainy on and off.

After breakfast and clean-up, we decided to go on a 3 mile hike. Why on earth we thought we could do that with 4 adults, three kids under the age of 5 and two dogs is beyond me. But we got through it. Luckily we took the path that was mostly down-hill. Being that we had two cars we left one car at the top and one at the bottom so we only had to hike one way. I can’t imagine having to hike back up another 3 miles! I’d say by mile two, Eli (who’s 3) and Makenna (who’s 4) had enough of hiking. So a lot of carrying ensued. The baby, Abbie (who’s 1) already had a comfy spot in a baby carrier strapped to my brother so she didn’t complain.

Also surprising was the dogs who have never been walked this much in their life. It was actually good for them as they started to learn to walk with us without pulling on the leash. Plus it gave them opportunities to inter-act with other dogs and people. They are definitely more “bark than bite” dogs. They sound fierce as they bark (okay, as the yip,) but then when people try to come up to pet them, they cower.

After the hike it started pouring. I figured swimming was out of the question, but the skies cleared up and the nagging ensued by my child. We got some lunch and then I convinced Chris to take her swimming while I read a book back at the campsite and took a nap. Best decision I made. They came back from swimming – what they could do of it – as it was in the bottom pool of a waterfall and it was freezing cold they said. So they didn’t really swim too much.

After that, we packed it in and went home – to unpack it all. I still say it was a great trip, loved the hike even though my one knee is a bit sore and I had to walk very tentatively as I forgot my ankle brace. Makenna did really well with it all – besides the constant nagging for this or that and the dogs learned some lessons too.

Hopefully there will be a “camping 201” post before the end of the Summer.

Helping daddy pound in the stake

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