Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Camping with Kids - by Linz

Friday night was our first attempt at camping with kids.

At this season in our lives, with two little ones, backpacking is out of the question. So we packed an unreasonable amount of stuff into our car and headed for the mountains. We drove about 15 miles up the Icicle River just outside of Leavenworth. We found a great campsite with a pre-existing fire pit and a bathroom. Not really roughing it, but good for a family camping trip.

We arrived at about 3:00 Friday afternoon. Elliott took full charge of the campground running around and enjoying the dirt and trees, watching squirrels and blue jays. Wesley was a bit more hesitant. With only a few months of walking under his belt, he hasn't quite mastered the uneven ground thing yet. Within the first twenty minutes he took a tumble and split his lip. But he settled in well and they boys ran around as we set up our tent and settled in. All was well.

Then Wesley got tired.

This is when the idea of taking a 1-year-old on a camping trip started to seem crazy. Of course, with a totally new place and so much action he had no intentions of taking a nap. So the rest of the afternoon was spent trying to keep him happy. He was pretty whiney and it started getting windy and cold. So as the night wore on, mom wore out! I think I may have even said, "we're never doing this again." (But I didn't really mean it.)

After a long afternoon we got a fire going. Elliott said his favorite part of the trip was watching dad "set it on fire!" So we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows...the usual camping stuff. Then bed time rolled around.

We were very ready for Wesley to go to sleep, but he didn't really feel the same. After a lot of screaming, he finally settled down. A few hours later Elliott came up and said "I'm ready to go to the tent with my flashlight now," and he was off to bed.

We had a bit of a restless night. At one point I woke to Elliott standing by my head yelling and crying. In the morning he told me that he had a dream that "the whole camp was on fire." I think that may have had something to do with it. Wesley ended up in Brad's sleeping bag. So needless to say, it was a long night.

The morning got off to a cold start, so we sat by the fire for a while. But when the sun came out we were able to go for a hike. Elliott was a trooper. He just ran along keeping up like a champ!

After the hike Elliott was able to do some much anticipated fishing. He got a fishing pole about 6 months ago and has been dying to use it. So Brad set up a line for him and taught him how to cast. I think he would have stayed there all day if we let him.

The moral of the story: 3 is a great camping age, 1...not so much! But it was a fun family memory.


Peaby said...

Oh...that's aweseome! Good for you guys. Keep it up...and take pictures! We'll appreciate it now, and they'll appreciate it when they are grown up (the pics and the experiences.)

Linz said...

I tried to post some pictures, but I couldn't get it to work. Maybe Brad can figure it out,

Brad said...

Lindsey... see if you can get some more pictures from your sister and I will see if I can get them posted.

Roy B. said...

Sounds like a TON of fun. Really! In spite of split lips and fire nightmares what a terrific weekend - and memory. Peaby went on his first overnight backpack trip at 2 - with a water canteen and jacket in his little backpack. Now he carries MY stuff. ;=)

Brazenlilly said...

I concur with the other Bunches...good for you! We have lots of fun camping memories from when Mike and I were kids. Then again I also have a memory of a wretched night, as the fourth person crammed up against the side of a round 2-person tent in a torrential downpour. We're taking Carson for his first camping trip this 4th of July....