Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Camping 2013

One of our goals at the beginning of the summer was to make it out on a couple family camping trips.  Well . . . between projects around the house, birthday parties, an unexpected pregnancy and the usual summer busyness . . . that proved harder to achieve than we expected.  We finally made it out for one trip toward the end of August.

We were a little apprehensive about going camping with the girls.  Mostly we just knew it was going to take a lot more work and planning than when it was just the two of us.  It turned out to be a very successful trip.  Tim and I agreed that camping with the girls is a lot of work . . . but then, life in general is a lot of work with two small children.  What's the difference?  :)

We ended up going to Curt Gowdy State Park in Wyoming.  Tim left work a little early on Friday afternoon and we headed up.  It was just a short drive from Cheyenne, so altogether under an hour to drive there from our house.  The convenience was nice, but we probably won't go back.  We had reserved a campsite, not really knowing how busy the park would be.  Our reserved campsite was nothing to write home about.  We were perched up on top of a hill--a perfect target for the incessant wind--with no trees or shade around.  I have never cared for camp sites where you are out in the open for everyone to see exactly what you're doing all the time.  But we were determined to make the best of it.  At least without trees around there wasn't anywhere for Ava to hide.

Right away when we got there a thunderstorm started rolling in.  We set up our tent quickly and got busy cooking dinner.  We ate quickly and ducked in our tent for the night just before the weather got bad.  It was SOOOO windy all night up on our little hill.  Our tent shook like crazy and we worried that our stakes were going to come up.  It rained a couple of times, too.  But we made it through.  Once the girls got to sleep they slept soundly . . . Ava on the ground in a sleeping bag and June in her pack'n'play.  It was chilly at night, but we bundled them up with fleecy "footie" pajamas and big blankets.

Saturday was fun, but long.  It's hard when you can't get out of the wind or the sun for a whole day.  We went for a little walk around the reservoir and Tim and Ava did some fishing while June tried to take a nap in the tent in the baking hot sun.  Her nap didn't last long.  We were all starting to get tired and hot and grumpy so we finally piled in the car and drove around the park a bit.  The air conditioning felt nice.  :)  Tim says we're getting too soft.  Maybe so, but I'm used to having a least a little bit of shade in my campground.  We hoped the girls would fall asleep in the car, but no such luck.  Afterward we all went in the tent for a bit and lounged about and the girls played with some toys.  It was hot in there, but not windy, at least.  Tim and Ava went and did a little more fishing with absolutely no luck.

Finally about the time we were ready to cook dinner the sun started to set and the wind died down.  Then we had a lovely evening.  We had brauts and baked beans for dinner and afterwards introduced Ava to the art of roasting marshmallows.  Once the girls were in bed (it took them forever to go to sleep - too busy playing and giggling!) Tim and I sat under the stars and by the fire for a bit before retiring.  The girls slept well again but were up early Sunday morning.  We had a quick breakfast and packed up camp.  We were home around 11am.

All in all it was fun.  It was a good test run.  Now we know we and the girls can handle it.  Hopefully next year we'll find a better camping spot . . . or maybe we'll just rent a camper since we'll have a baby along, too.  ;)

I'll let the pictures fill in the details of our trip:

This thing brings back so many memories.  The Old Man would
be glad to see so much of his gear back in use!

All loaded up and ready to go!

Of course she was more interested in sitting in Mom
or Dad's chair than in her own.

Daddy cooking our sandwiches over the fire.

The new tent's maiden voyage!

Storm clouds rolling in.

Good morning, little camper!

Having some hot chocolate in the morning while
'Mom and Dad make breakfast.

I cooked us up some pancakes and Little Smokies.
It was delicious.  Everything tastes better when you're camping!

We did have a nice view at least.

Ava couldn't wait to use her new fishing rod.

Loving the "footie" pajamas and tennis shoes look!

Ready to go for a little walk!

She took a little snooze on Daddy's back, which is what
we were hoping for.

Ava found lots of wildflowers and weeds to pick!

Throwing rocks in the water.

"I'm hot and I'm tired.  Just give me my lunch!"

Trying to hide in the little bit of shade next to the truck!

Little campers.

Dinner time!

"What?  Do I have something on my face?"

Junie's first marsmallow (not roasted)!  She LOVED them.
Ava's first smore!
Nom nom nom.

Between beans, dirt and marshmallows, June won the
Grubbiest Camper Award!  They went right in the
bathtub when we got home.

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