Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Family Camping--the Bad and the Ugly

We went camping last weekend--yes, with a newborn. That was a completely sane and rational decision, and Rory did just swimmingly. I couldn't say as much for the whole camping trip however--in fact parts of it were just plain crappy.

But that's how life is though right? Because even though we had a great Fourth of July celebration. We all ended up with chigger bites we were itching for the entire next week. But that's no fun to talk about or take pictures of. So we usually don't. (The blogosphere is notorious for that right?)

Really I think it's a reasonably sane practice--the focusing on the good, especially good memories--because there's always going to be bad things that happen, but we dont have to focus on those things and let them define our experiences in life.

Our family camping trip was no exception to the rule of opposition in all things. But as much as I would like to just share some of the fun things from our camping trip--I'm going to have to share the bad and ugly as well, because there was just so. much. of. it. There's no way I could not include it. So I will share the bad and ugly first, and after that's all out of the way I will share the good.

Our trip began with trying to follow a set of brochure directions to our campsite which, frankly, could have used a few more "directions" in order to be considered even vaguely useful.

So we rolled into our campsite about an hour after we had anticipated. We pulled into a spot that looked good and climbed out of the van, only to be barked down by two little yappy dogs in the neighboring campsite who were not (Or were--I never know which it is with dogs) very excited to see us. Regardless, we decided to move on down to the next available campsite.

It seemed benign enough.  But the group that was camping kitty-corner across the road from us, was an interesting group of assorted preteens and teenagers, and a mom and a dad, and though they were a ways away from us, the volume level at which all their conversations were conducted allowed us the full (insert word here meaning the opposite of "privilege") of hearing the full extent of their shared group profanity-based vocabulary. 

We tried to just stay away from what was going on over there, and participated in some evening activities, and making dinner.  Eating dinner was a bit difficult because of the thin layer of FLY covering all surfaces of the campground.  We finally told the boys to just hold their bratwurst in their hands, eat them until they were gone, and them move on to the baked beans and apples individually, because a plate-full of food sitting on the table was simply impossible to keep flies off of. 

Our friends popped over from their campsite and warned us about using the camp bathrooms.  (Apparently that's why the population of flies in the campground had reached epic levels surpassing human comprehension.)  We thanked them for that bit of knowledge, avoided those "biffies" and waited until after dark to use a tree for potty purposes instead.

Of course, while Jeremy was trying to convince a completely confused three-year-old to pee on a tree, he jumped back and ran over for a flashlight to find this black snake, rustling in the grass by them.  We all watched it curiously for a while.  

Then we watched in horror as it climbed a tree(!!!) and we wondered what might be lurking in the trees over our tent! 

With everyone all pottied and ready for bed, we climbed in our (slightly underrated for the number of people currently in our family) tent, and turned out the lights.


It was hot.

Really hot.

So everyone slept in their underwear.

Or I should say the boys slept in their underwear, and Jeremy and I lay awake listening to the profanities being shouted next door, and at a point realized that they had changed from "happy profanities" (yeah right) to "angry profanities" and we listened to a screaming argument at 2 o'clock in the morning during which one member of the group yelled that they needed to knock it off or "someone's going to call the cops!" 

We wondered if this regularly happened to them on their camping trips, or only at home.

The argument eventually died down, and (I would guess) it was around 4 or so that the dogs started barking.  Yeah. . . I've never been much of a dog person, and I have to say, I'm becoming less and less of one. 

By 6 we were up with the baby.  Jeremy took him out of the tent to walk him around the campsite a little.  He came back after a bit to report that we had a flat tire.

I was just sort of staring at him trying to comprehend in my foggy mind what he was talking about, and how we could have gotten a flat tire, and what was that little pattering sound anyway? 

As understanding dawned slowly on me I asked, "Is it raining?" 

"Yes," Jeremy responded.  "I mean it had to right?"  As in--that was the only bad thing left that hadn't happened yet on our trip.

So Jeremy changed the tire in the rain.  We had breakfast and packed up and left.

The End.

Really it was amazing--by the end, it's simply just amazing--and we couldn't help but laugh, as we packed up to leave, and tried and get the last of the flies out of our van for the drive home. 

In reality there was some fun along with all this bad.  Not enough, I think, to be able to erase our memories of the bad from this trip, but definitely enough, to make us want to go camping again.  In the cool fall.  When the flies are dead.  In a secluded campsite. 

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