just another day in parent-dise…

June 12, 2009

Camping Disaster ’09

Allow me to set the stage for you:

A 5 yr old, a 3 yr old, a 6 month old baby, and two novice campers.

Our story begins on June 12th we leave at about 2:30pm.  We make one stop, King Soopers, because the baby needs bananas.  We’re off!  Finally, I’m told where we are going, Mary’s Lake Campground in Estes Park.  Which is so appropriate for our 1st camping trip because (here comes the mushy stuff) it’s where Chris and I first told each other “I love you” and where Chris was planning to propose-the weather ruined that plan too, actually, funny that we should be conquered again by the weather in Estes Park.

We arrive at approximately 4:45pm.  We have a plan because I’ve been reading a book called Kids & Camping-which Chris has teased me about for days!  The boys and I were going to collect wood for our fire, wait we find out that’s prohibited.  Plan B, we purchase wood for the fire.  The boys and I clear the big rocks from the area where the tent will go and Daddy is going to start putting the tent together.  Ryan and AJ both cleared one rock, so I guess they were done.  They were off finding sticks and exploring-exactly what I wanted them to do.  It was so great watching them run around the campground. 

We noticed the wind right away.  It’s barely 50 degrees and with the wind it was even colder.  It was pretty funny watching Chris try to get the tent set up.  It was equally funny watching me start a fire.  While we each had our jobs, Carson is jumping around in his hop and pop.  He has his warm onesie on, a jacket, and a hat…why didn’t I take a picture???

The tent was up in no time and I had successfully started a fire and kept it going.  Dinner was on and coming along great!  So far so good, we got this camping thing down.  Fifteen minutes later our luck, as they say, started to change. 

There were already two holes in the floor of the tent.  Oh great!  Of course, I’m worried about that because there has been rain everyday for two weeks.  The plan changes again…now I’m off to town to get a tent repair kit and a tarp, no we didn’t have one-and it’s a bit of a sore subject.  🙂  Meanwhile, Chris will stay withthe boys.  Since dinner wasn’t finished and I had  some hungry boys on my hands, I decide we’ll start with an appetizer, toasted marshmallows-of course!  I got them on the poky wire thing (yes, that is the official camp verbage)  But then I had to go because I’m on a time crunch, Carson needs to eat in less than an hour.  Before I leave I snap a few pictures from the van, then I have to go.   Little did I know I was about to miss all the fun camping.

 

Camping Disaster '09-2

However, beforeI go, I subliminally tell Chris to watch over our dinner.

I make it into town and find the visitor’s center right away, they point me to an outdoory store about a mile down the road.  They didn’t have a big enough tarp, so they point me to a True Value store…where is it?  Right across the highway from the visitor’s center.  Grrr, this is fun right?

I make it back right when little Carson is at his limit.  He didn’t take a nap in his pack ‘n play (in our torn tent) and now he’s hungry.  He was such a trooper!  Chris tells me they had such a great time and  that he sampled our dinner and was complimenting me on my camp cooking skills.  Unfortunately, that was about 20 minutes ago.  I pull the “hobos” off the fire and they are charred.  Not well done, charred.  I’m able to salvage a few bites for the kids to munch. 

Just about this time Carson rolls right off the air mattress on the ground.  He was okay, thank God, but Ryan is nearly in tears because he’s worried about his baby brother.  We love on our Carson and I begin to feed him.  It’s at this point when I notice the wind is gone.  It’s perfectly calm.  The weather was turning in our favor!  Or so I thought. 

The new plan is while I’m feeding Carson, Chris is going to repair the tent, be on rock removal and lay the tarp down.  Ready…break!  Chris starts his job, but after a few minutes, I get this feeling that we better set the back of the van up for Carson.  At the time, my reasoning was because he was so tired and we really didn’t know how long the tent repair would take.  We also get the boys in their warm clothes.  So I’m feeding Carson, the older boys are munching on what’s left of our charred dinner and Chris is pulling stakes.Camping Disaster '09-12

Ryan says, “Hey, it’s raining.” Chris asks me, “Is it?”  I don’t notice any rain drops, “No, it’s not.”  But then there was one.  The timing was so key here.  I move Carson into the van  to bundle him like the little brother on Christmas Story (“Mom, I can’t put my arms down!”)  and lay him in the pack ‘n play that’s in the van.  Just as Chris pulls the last stubborn stake from the ground, this wind literally comes out of nowhere!  Chris sends the boys to the bathroom for shelter.  Seconds later those sparse raindrops became a torrential downpour!  We are running around frantically trying to put lids on bins to keep our stuff dry.  The firewood!  I run it to the bathroom.  The mattresses!  Chris runs them to the bathroom!  The bedding is in the van, and I also check on the baby, he’s not sleeping, but he’s dry & warm, and not crying…yet.  Chris goes to check on the boys.  I turn around to see our once tent turn into a parachute.  I’m screaming, “Chris!  Chris!  Chris!”  He comes to the rescue and I ask him the pivotal question, “At what point do we call it?”  We didn’t need to discuss it, he starts breaking the tent down and I check on Carson who is now screaming.  My poor baby!  I climb in the van which is piled high with stuff, like the mountain we were going to hike.

What a 1st camping trip!  At 8:00pm we pulled out of Mary’s Lake and Campground headed home to sleep in our non-ripped, floored warm beds.  But before I leave you to laugh at us in our naivety, I will close with this:  After the rainstorm passed us, AJ comes out of the bathroom with his pajama shoes (as our kids call them) and undies down at his ankles, walking toward me dragging his pj’s in the mud and water.  All he says, “Um, Mama, I need a little help.”  Don’t we all, son, don’t we all?

Camping Disaster '09-7

Camping Disaster '09-10

The wreckage after the storm.  Notice the charred tinfoil-everywhere!

defeated

defeated

"Seriously, I'm 6 months old.  What were you thinking?"

"Seriously, I'm 6 months old. What were you thinking?"

Camping Disaster '09-14

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8 Comments »

  1. You’ll have to try again in July. The weather is a bit better then!

    Comment by Audrey — June 12, 2009 @ 8:30 am | Reply

  2. Green is the new Griswald. What a blast. Should be published.

    Comment by gdiddy — June 12, 2009 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  3. That is the BEST story!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Jess — June 12, 2009 @ 10:26 am | Reply

  4. Green is the new Griswald – I like that!!! Got that one right!!!
    Remind us to never go there with you – seems like you have a bad history, of funny memories, with that place!

    Comment by jncolbynjskye — June 12, 2009 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  5. Sounds like you may have inherited the Zych camping curse. So where are you going on your second camping trip?

    Comment by Janet — June 13, 2009 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  6. What a great first camping trip. One to remember forever.

    Comment by Cousin Christy — June 14, 2009 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

  7. Thanks for a great laugh! 🙂 Not AT you, but WITH you, definitely. I’m proud of your attempt. The most we ever did was pop a tent in the back yard when the girls were little…and here’s the BEST part, I made it all about the girls having quality time with Daddy, so they all slept outside while I luxuriously spent some much needed alone time inside – watching TV, taking a bath. I did hear them come in from time to time, but it was quality time with Dad after all – so far be it from me to ruin the moment. I can remember it all so clearly – me sighing happily as I slid back under the bath bubbles. It was a great first camping trip! LOL

    Comment by cakboliv — June 16, 2009 @ 3:25 am | Reply

  8. Carol Ann, you are a genius. Teach me, oh wise one!

    Comment by Kaela Green — June 16, 2009 @ 3:34 am | Reply


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