Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gourmet Camping

Even though our camping trip got off to a rough start with cooler than normal weather and less than normal sleeping equipment, the morning brought with it a crisp sunny day.

Almost as soon as the squirrels told us it was morning, the kids wanted to swim at the beach. We had to delay them long enough for the temperature to reach the sixties at least. But as long as the sun was out, the kids wanted to swim. So 'Joe' and I took the kids to the beach to give the wives a break from the kids and us. The campground had a path and a boardwalk down to a large sandy beach on Lake Superior. The water was definitely too cold for me, but not for our little fish. This turned into our morning ritual pretty much every day. Breakfast was always followed by a morning swim and sand digging.
I'm not sure what Number One Son has trapped here. Or he might be setting up his green army men to recreate Normandy Beach. Each kid also had a net to catch minnows. Sadly, minnows do not react well to water filled sand holes on the beach.

Sweet Pea convinced her friend to bury her in the sand. It looks like SP is trying to tell her where to stop.N1S's friend had the same swim shirt so we were never sure who was getting into trouble.

Our friends, the Sir Camps-a-lots, had a tradition of collecting rocks from their camping trips over the years. Actually, their kids collected, the parents transported the collections before quietly losing them once at home. Our kids thought this was a great idea. Although we didn't truck all of their gravel home, we did keep a few stones until we can figure out what to do with them.

The one on the left has SP's name scratched into it. The middle one is the biggest rock N1S could find and named it Blackie and I think SP named the one on the right Rocky.
N1S also stacked some rocks and made LD promise not to tell anyone. I think he wanted people to think that they naturally stacked themselves.

Day two of our trip brought much improvement in our camping outlook. When we booked our campsite, we couldn't get the site next to our friends' site because it was already booked. But that site would be vacant on the second day of our stay, so we booked two sites down from them for the first night. On day number two we awoke and quickly looked next door to see if the family on our next site had vacated yet. Not only were they not ready to go, they looked as if they weren't going anytime soon. No totes loaded, tent still up, fire in their pit. They were still taking their kids for walks around the park! They did have until 3pm to move out, but were they going to wait until 2:59pm to pull out?

Our worries were unnecessary though. By noon they were pulling out just as we were coming back from our morning at the beach. Lady Di had almost everything re-loaded into the back of the pickup. All that was left was to transport our tent. We decided it would be easiest for all of us to grab a corner and lift. So we radioed ahead to clear the road of any traffic. Made sure there were no low hanging power lines to lift. Then we started our home moving.

Our move went quickly and without tragedy. That's me in the front with the heaviest part of the tent, of course.

Now that we were in our more permanent place, we were able to completely unpack and set up our campsite the way we wanted. And once Lady Di had her kitchen in order, we were treated to the best camping meals we ever had. Every night one or both of the kids would sing praises about the best meal of their lives. How many camping trips have you been on that featured tacos one night, pan fried fish the next and shish-ka-bobs the next? And we ate better breakfasts in the woods than we do in our kitchen. Bacon and cheesy scrambled eggs with chocolate chip and butterscotch chip pancakes. Or I suppose you call them flapjacks when camping. Dessert was provided by our neighbor's homemade icecream ball that the kids enjoyed kicking around the campground to mix the cream. And we had smores, of course. I didn't think I would actually gain weight from a camping trip.

I'm running out of room so I will have to tell you about the nature hikes, kayaking and wild animals next week.


The Father of Five said...

I am so jealous... We did not get a camping trip in. It seems the older the boys are getting, the more they are "involved" in... #3 of 5 is dyslexic, and school is starting to pose some "issues" - so he spent the first half of the summer in summer school to help him not "loose" what he learned the year before...

Anyway... Be sure to tell N1S what a smart fella he is.. What he built is called a CAIRN (link).... A talented young man!

A couple of years ago while camping with a friend - we were in a heavy downpour, and a flash flood. The friend's campsite was completely flooded (knee deep). We had to pull her tent up (all in one piece like you did) and transport it to another site, let it hang dry (as one assembled tent) before putting it back into the ground. It was the sleeping bags and all the stuff IN the tent that was really bad..

It's fuzzy - but you can see a photo of it HERE

Glad you had a good time!! Looking forward to hearing more about it..

- - - -

On a side note.. I know I have not been commenting much here (been pretty darn busy) - but I have been enjoying all the posts!! Even if I do not comment on them!

Keep it up!

David aka "Father of Five"

Dad Stuff said...

Thanks FOF! I too have not been commenting as I should.
Too bad about the flood.

Anonymous said...

That was quite a flood in that photo. I always thought those rock formations had something to do with PEACE and TRANQUILITY. I know there are a lot of them standing in Canada. We sure had a good time hunting for the perfect rocks to make N1S's "artwork".


DJ Kirkby said...

Sounds completly fantastic. Lady D sure knows how to cook! That stack of rocks looks serene and quite amazing. I bet it filled lots of people with wonder.

pixie said...

"Wild animals"?!?!?!

Can't wait to hear it!!

James (SeattleDad) said...

Looks like a hell of a lot of fun. And those rocks, that would be pretty cool if they had indeed stacked themselves like that.

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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.