Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Roughing It

Last weekend we went on our first family camping trip. Some friends of ours invited us to go camping with them, so we thought it would be safe to go with someone who knew what they were doing.

Lady Di was in charge of the packing. Since she is more prepared than a Boy Scout, she made sure we had everything plus two kitchen sinks. We loaded up an RV we borrowed from our other friends and hit the road.
Fifteen minutes later, we were at the campsite. Did I mention the campsite was very close to our home. Just in case we had forgotten a necessity or two. I didn't want to be stranded in the wilderness without a proper DVD to watch.

We arrived at the campsite ahead of our friends, so we set up our camp. Lady Di unpacked the food, set up chairs, and brought out bags of art supplies and games for the kids. I think she even chopped some firewood and chased a grizzly away. The kids and I hopped on our bikes and raced to the lake. Sweet Pea wiped out on her bike two minutes into our stay. Two band aids later and we were racing down the bike path to the lake. Lake Independence has a long sandy beach. The kids and I had fun throwing stones into the lake. I tried to teach the kids to skip stones. The kids were more interested in finding the largest rock to make the largest splash. We then found the playground and the kids played on a zip-cord. The zip-cord had a cable connecting two platforms with a hand grip which rolled along the cable from platform to platform. Like something you would use in an action movie when the hero throws a sock on each side of a rope and slides down to safety from a burning building.
We biked back to the campsite where Lady Di had the RV ready and snacks out. The kids then played in the woods while I put up a tent. This tent was new to me and I was just as surprised as Lady Di when I finished and it actually looked like a tent and didn't collapse immediately.

Our friends showed up later that afternoon and we had a cook out and bonfire complete with smores. And nobody got a flaming marshmallow stick in the eye. We all retired to our campers to get some sleep for all of the swimming we were going to do the next day.

The next morning brought a light mist with it. It was overcast and cold. The kids played in the woods and found enough mud to cover themselves from top to bottom. After a couple hours I went into the trees to call the kids back for lunch. They all came back except Number One Son. He wasn't in the trees anymore. He was in another campsite posing for a picture with six or seven other kids. He had made some friends and their parents were taking a group picture with him in it. I asked if they had an extra kid and they said, "Take your pick."

After lunch, the rain really started to pour. I thought to myself, "What would survivorman do if he were stuck in the middle of Minnesota, in the rain, with nothing but a fully stocked RV?" I guess he would grab some snacks and play cribbage until the rain stopped.

Since it was raining cats and dogs, the Moms decided to do some of their 'camping' at the local Target store. "We'll be right back.", we heard over the squealing of mini-van tires. I didn't know tires could squeal in mud. The Dads were left with four young campers with sugar highs and cramped quarters. A short five hours later the Moms returned. To their credit, they did drop their Target bags immediately to free the Dads from the stake that the kids had tied them to. It was lucky that the firewood at our feet was still wet from the rain.

Well, the rain did not stop all day. It continued into Sunday as well. We cut our camping trip a little short due to the weather, packed up, and went to Perkins for brunch.

Swimming in the lake kinda got rained out but we still had fun. The kids got to do art projects and watch movies. They got to explore the woods and went on leaf and pine cone hunts. We got to relax, eat and visit. Plus we got to sleep in a rockin' camper. For some reason, even every day things are always better in a camper. We would like to thank our friends for inviting us. We also want to thank our other friends for the RV loan. In spite of the weather, it was a great weekend to celebrate Lady Di's recent achievement. Stay tuned for more on that.

So to sum up, I would highly suggest camping to anyone who is interested in getting back to nature and roughing it. All you have to do is:

1. Get a camper
2. Plug in your portable DVD player
3. Go to Target to shop
4. Go to Perkins for brunch.

That is all there is to camping. It's not so hard. I don't know why people think camping is so tough.

This was the 'grizzly' that kept us up all night. (snoring)


Anonymous said...

Now that is my type of camping.

Congratulations on being added to the blogroll of "The Famous One".


creative-type dad said...

Sounds like fun.

I can't even remember the last time I went camping...

Anonymous said...

I must say, that 5 hours was a blur!!! You made me laugh so hard, Loren, my co-workers were starting to wonder what was in my Caribou this morning! :)

Thanks for the laugh and for the fun weekend with the Bells!

Dana :)

Darren said...

I think for my family number 5 on your list would be "make back-up reservations at nearest hotel."

delightful-d said...

LB: Thank you for the fun weekend! I enjoyed spending quality time with my family and good friends. The camper was a huge hit - thank you D & T!

Yes, thank you to D & E for the wonderful weekend! We had a great time and the kids had a blast! Even with the rain.....

I like Darren's #5 suggestion. :)

Lots of Love,
xxoo - DB

SciFi Dad said...

Personally, I'd rather spend 5h tied to a stake in the rain than 5h at Target, but maybe that's just me.

DJ Kirkby said...

Okay, amamzing! All I want to know is HOW ON EARTH did you get them all to sit STILL for a photo?

Stuff About Me

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.