Monday, November 9, 2009

Table Rock--First Solo Camping Trip

It is official. The Brand Family survived their first solo camping trip. Adam, Kenly, Chance and I have all been camping twice together, but we've always had extra hands around to help. We did it all by ourselves this weekend. Don't worry Nana and Papa. We still want to camp with you guys for years to come, but WE DID IT! Better yet, we did it WITH NO MAJOR INJURY. What a confidence boost for the new parents. Think of all the dangers that lurk in the great outdoors--fires, poisonous plants/berries, stinging insects that get testy in the fall, frostbite, diesel trucks. Okay, maybe diesel trucks are only found in the "wild" near campgrounds, but still.

Friday proved to be a challenge. Without going into all the gory details, lets just say that we nearly packed up and came home. Okay, maybe some detail are in order. We survived... adventure in backing at the gas station in order to fill up truck and to put air in the tires. Papa, aren't you proud of us? We remembered. Adam did awesome maneuvering all around the gas station in peak Friday traffic I might add.

...a stupid bad Florida drive who almost caused an accident not once, but twice.

...a screaming baby who wanted to be there NOW.

...setting up our pop-up for the first time in the DARK with a screaming baby.

...a double bed slide that didn't function properly.

...a disaster with the "third" wheel on the trailer.

...a dead bat smushed in the door of the camper.

...a tired, hungry baby who didn't understand that in order for her to go to bed and eat in a timely manner, Mommy could not hold her. She had to set up the camper and find the food. Can you picture the tears and the wails? I can still hear them.

...wet, rotting pine wood that refused to catch on fire so we could have warmth and a "rustic" cooking source.

...a seriously slanted campsite. If you have a camper, you'll understand this challenge.

When it was all said and done, we put the baby to bed and sat around a smoking fire ring to eat cold hot dogs in buns. We did heat the beans up on the stove, but we were too hungry to wait on the hot dogs. We kept asking, "Why did we want to do this again?"

Then the sun rose on Saturday morning, and our stormy start was almost seared from our memory.

We had fun bundling up in hats and mittens until the 30 degree weather warmed to a balmy 65.
We carved a pumpkin in honor of Bouncer and Timber. Kenly loved trying to figure out how the pumpkin magically transformed during her nap.
We all tried to catch leaves, and EVERYONE was successful. Even Kenly....(see the leaf in her hood?) We all made fall wishes and sent our friends on their way. Chance even caught a few leaves, much to his dismay.
Leaf catching should be an Olympic sport. Points should be awarded for style and difficulty.
We did a lot of hugging and relaxing in the hammock.

We ate some Smores...or maybe five or six Smores. Kenly decided she'd just have chocolate, thank you very much.
We found treasures of all kinds. We got so dirty we all turned a mild shade of gray.
We enjoyed our home away from home that Papa and Nana so lovingly restored.
We ate yummy camping food. Silver turtles and BIG breakfasts complete with Little Smokies.
In the end, it was ALL worth it. I'd endure a thousand Friday nights, just for the joy that comes in the morning.

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