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Monday, June 4, 2012

Camping in 44 Degree Weather

It has always been an idea I thought fun...go camping, our favorite thing to do, the week we got out of school.

My brother bought a camper, eerily like ours, and we decided to do a quick weekend trip before our annual big camping trip later this summer.  For weeks when we would greet each other it would sound much like this, "Hey! Just a little bit longer and we are going to be camping!"

The day before we left for camping found me, the mama, sick as can be, in bed.  Misereable.

S1 and S2 came to the rescue and cleaned the camper.  They did a surprisingly good job for two boys who have never cleaned a camper before.  The day was cold, dreary, rainy.  We held out hopes for a better tomorrow.

Friday, the day we left for camping, dawned dreary.  And then it began to rain.  It was even colder than the day before.  When I shut the door to the house, our floors were covered in mud.  On the way to the campground, it began to pour.

My brother, who had arrived just before us, forked over the five dollars for the most pitiful bundle of firewood - but it was dry - and we couldn't get that campfire started fast enough.  Bundled in our winter jackets - WINTER jackets - we ate the food I had brought along in crock pots.

Because my husband had figured I would just get filthy muddy setting up the campsite, I had not showered before we left for camping.  I arrived that grubby you get from throwing together a camper after being sick in bed the day before.  So we drove down to the showers that were either not very warm or it was so cold outside that the water couldn't even compete.

It was fast shower.

When we got back to our unheated camper, I dove into bed.  I had made our bed with thermal sheets, two of the thermal blankets my sister in law had made us and the thick quilt that we had gotten for the bed.  I was afraid my hair might freeze so I pulled the blanket over my head.

It was 44 degrees.

The morning dawned sunny.  I didn't want to get out of bed before it was fifty, but it didn't reach fifty and I needed coffee so crawled out of my surprisingly toasty warm bed and into my winter coat.

The day warmed as it went on.  And, really, we were so happy to be camping we just got to being more happy than cold.

 My little nephew, Hunter, wanted to play in the dirt in the worst way.  My brother and his wife gave in.  It wasn't long after that the he began WALKING!  Woohoo! It was so much fun watching him play this weekend!

 This is my handsome hubby and Chloe, the Pomeranian of my sister in law that I may love greatly.  She is the sweetest little dog.  See how little she is?  She will stay that size, a forever puppy right there.  And when Jake said, "Ah, what a sweet puppy," I had to snap a picture.

 S2 spent a great deal of time napping.  We assumed it was because we were all exhausted, recovering from a busy end of the school year.  We realized later that S2 was indeed sick.  Poor boy! He got lots of cuddle time from his Daddy though.

 For entertainment in the afternoon, S1 set out some doritos, sat in his tent with his nerf gun and waited for the crows to come in.  Apparently it is easy to entertain him.

Here is S4 with the other Pomeranian that my sister in law has, Ellie Mae.  While Ellie wanted to play, S4 or some other child was usually carrying Ellie Mae around...a live stuffed animal to cuddle.

 Jake takes our cooking of food over the fire very seriously. He is amazed we don't get sick when he and my brother are not around to take care of the cooking of meat.

At four in the afternoon, the campground offers special activities for the kids staying there.  As you can imagine, there weren't very many people staying in a campground in June when 55 was feeling like a heat wave after the 90 degree weather we had the week before.  Jake took S3, S4, my three year old nephew and my three year old niece to their fishing pier to fish as the park activity.  They arrived home fishless and unscathed...except for Jake.  Rebeka had to go pee and he was the only one there to take her.  He didn't offer to take the little kids fishing again.

While Jake had the little kiddos fishing and S2 was asleep and sick, my brother took S1 fishing.  They were gone a good long time.  But if they were catching fish like this, I can see why.

 S1 was just as proud as could be with this 19 inch bass.  We took a bunch of pictures and then he let it go.

 So, if you go fishing in the lake this fish is in, you may catch it again.  But we won't tell you where the lake is.  He wants to catch it again.

Even though S2 spend most of the weekend like this, and it was chilly - no, downright cold - we had a great time.
There is something about sitting around a campfire with those you love with no agenda.  And it DID warm up nicely.  Sunday, when we left, we were all in t-shirts again.  Because it was cold, I didn't take very many pictures.  I did have my mom snap this one as we were about to pull out of the campground.  Never mind my tangled hair.  I ran out of conditioner.  I will spare you the amount of time it took for me to comb out when we got home...or the amount of no more tangles.

While Jake taking all the little kiddos fishing (he is brave and we loved him for it) could have been the funniest story of the trip, it wasn't.  It was S1.

As we sat at the camp fire, we watched a racoon meander very near us, and S1 came up with his brilliant idea.  He found the cheap marshmallows wadded up pretty good so he wadded up bits of marshmallow and stuck them on trees.  Then he took an uneaten hot dog and strung it up on a little rope connected to the awning.  He laid bread and marshmallows all around him, then he sat in his tent with the flip cam and just waited.  

He didn't wait long.  This video was taken as Jake and I were headed out to shower.

When we returned back to the campsite, one raccoon scurried up a tree next to us and peeked out, one ambled out of view and who knows what was under the camper.  I just dove into the camper to be safe.  In the middle of the night, we realized the raccoons had found the bacon grease we were saving for fire starter in the morning as a huge ugly fight broke out. That S1 slept through.

It was a great weekend, well, other than freezing (but we survived!) and S2 being sick.  He is still sick, poor boy.

It was a great kick off to our summer vacation.


Gramma Teetsie said...

OK - Picture #1 with Jake and puppy. It is funny because I had to look twice. It looks like he is wearing a dome hat. Looked closer and it is a tent in the background. Love the fish the boys caught. I would love to be right there next to them. (Yes, Gramma Teetsie is a country bumpkin)
Thank you for sharing. Hope you are feeling better.

Kela said...

Whew!! I need some rest after reading about your wonderful trip! Hope that your extra coffee and cocoa held up nicely. ;)

Glad that your Summer kick off turned out great!