Monday, September 3, 2012

The Camping Chronicles

This past weekend, we camped from Thursday evening until Sunday morning at Blackwater State Park.   Our good friends, the Pennys, joined us for the adventure!

Thursday evening was epic.  Not in a good way.   In short:

* The rain fly for our new tent was not delivered in time as promised by Fed Ex.   (However, the makers of the tent, Coleman, claim that "it's not necessary and is waterproof without it").
* Shortly after we set up, it started pouring rain.
* We ate hot chili (not the neatest meal) in a HOT, closed up tent.  Fun, fun, fun!
* Our screen enclosure for over the picnic table was also not delivered by Fed Ex before our trip.
* Philip had to make a trip to Walmart to get fans for us and the Pennys or sleep would have been impossible in the tent.  It.  Was.  SO.  Hot!
* Part way through the night, our air mattress deflated.
* We were woken twice by a coon fiddling with our chili pot.
* Philip finally went out to rinse out the pot so it didn't smell like food anymore.  While he was out there, it down poured, leaving him no choice but to wait it out in the Penny's canopy that was set up over the picnic table.
* While he was out there, I discovered that the tent was leaking.  Everywhere.  
* It rained Hard several more times.... more wet inside the tent.
* The coon woke us up one more time when it (somehow) reached the trash bag that was suspended four feet above the ground, spilling it's contents everywhere.

Chili in the tent

By morning, I was Cranky and not at all sure that I would be spending the next two nights at the campground.   But, as morning dawned, sunny and beautiful, a good breakfast (Melissa made biscuits and gravy) made a big difference in everyone's demeanor and the day looked a little more promising as we set things out to dry.

Devin and the delicious breakfast

Ready for adventure!

Meliss with her beloved Izzie

After breakfast, we loaded up and took the guys to where they would pay for the overnight canoe trip they'd been planning.   No dice.  The rain had caused the river to rise Four Feet overnight and it was not safe for canoeing.   Bummer.   They made plans to take a short canoe trip the next day instead and we headed back to the campsite to regroup.

Caleb trying out Melissa's water bottle
(Eden on the swing in the background!) =)

Caleb may have put a lot of random things in his mouth this weekend =)

Such a happy little camper!

Our sweet girl

First order of business.   Get. Cooled. Off!  We headed down to the river to swim...

The boardwalk on the way to the water.

Oh... nice.   Oh well... we need to get cooled off!!

The water was Incredibly cool and refreshing
I know it looks kind of gross, but it was just tannin (color from leaves and other vegetation in the water).  Hence the name "Blackwater River"

Caleb in his little water hole

Splashing with Mommy

Good times

The boys building

The girls being cute

Ladderball was a favorite activity (especially with the kids) of the trip

The kids had sooo much fun in the water!

Caleb had it made

A few hours later, we went back to the river, only to find that the water had risen and completely covered the sand bar we had previously played on!

This picture shows Devin in the same spot he was in in the picture above)


The kids hard at work

Funny baby

 Devin trying to spray me without getting the camera wet

 Making his own rain

 Melissa looking cute in the fake rain

 Devin can balance a water shooter!

 Jade with "Seahorse Island" that the kids made!


 I love his dirty nose!

 Sitting around the campfire this night (making S'mores) was one of the best memories of the weekend!

 Me and my love

 The kids roasting marshmallows

 Jade downing a S'more

 Moriah's first S'more!

 Here are some cute kids getting ready to go on their canoe trip (those pictures will come in a separate post)

While the guys and kids (except for Moriah and Caleb) were out canoeing, Melissa and I hung out and tried to keep cool...

 Caleb standing up by himself on the ladderball thing

 Some water play for the kids

 A Twizzler for Caleb =)

 Yes, I painted my nails while sitting in front of a box fan.  Sweet.

Melissa and I decided to get in the air conditioned van and head (anywhere!) out to get some lunch and COLD DRINKS!

 A very happy Melissa with her Huge Iced Tea at "Uncle Bill's Family Restaurant"

We each had several refills (of our 32 oz iced drinks), and talked and lingered in the air conditioning as long as we dared... it was nice. =)

 Moriah being cute

We took our time getting back to the campsite, and by then, both kids were asleep, so... what choice did we have?  We Had to sit in the air conditioned van for the next hour while they finished their naps!  During this time, we ate waaay too much candy, watched the neighbors and made up funny names for them and stories about what they must all be doing in their air conditioned RVs.  Good times. =)

 Caleb playing while we waited for Moriah to wake up

 Moriah helping me shuck corn for dinner

 Keenan was so tired out that he fell asleep in time out!

 ... and Caleb fell asleep at dinner...

 ... and Eden fell asleep at the campfire...

 ...with her "banana boat" uneaten in her lap

On Sunday morning, Melissa made us a delicious breakfast!

 Bullseye - an egg in the middle of a pancake - divine!

The HOT (in so many ways) cook! =)

Other than Thursday night, it was a Really fun weekend with great friends, great food and lots of laughs and memories!   We're already planning our next trip for November!


Anonymous said...

Love the pictures! Glad that your trip turned out to be a lot better! I see Melissa has one of those masquito clip they actually work? Love the pictures of all the kids sleeping! Priceless!

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

You are a bigger woman than me. No way I am going camping until my kids are out of diapers ... period. And no way I am doing it in the heat.

But, this does remind me of the time we camped in the Boundary waters and it was FREEZING!!!! I think I'd rather freezing over boiling hot.)

Mom W. said...

It seems so funny to see electric fans sitting at a camp site!! Should have taken a tarp... we so found out the same way about the rain!! NOT. FUN. When your tent and stuff get wet... and your air mattress deflates... ugh!! Funny seeing the kids fall asleep!!