Sunday, October 05, 2008
Don and I have a camper parked on the side of our house. It has not moved since August of 2004 when we took a trip around southern California for a full week.
For the past few months we have been talking about going camping with the boys. Nothing too far, and not more than an hour or two away, but just something to get them used to the idea.
Friday afternoon we took a trip to Mt Charleston (about 45 mins away) with a plan to stay a night or two and see how the boys reacted. About 2 hours later than we were shooting for, we left the house (twice) and started our drive. The boys fell asleep in the car on the way up and woke up just as the man at the campground told us all his campground was already full for the night, and had been since the day before.
With a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, we drove off to other campgrounds in the area. The next one we came across was also full, so up over the mountain we started driving. At the very top of the mountain there was another campground. There was no "full" sign out front, but as we drove through the 35 spot area -seeing every single one had a reserved spot sign on it, our stomachs sunk a little lower. Once we hit number 35 and saw no reserved sign on it, we pulled right in and Don took the quick walk up to the campground host to reserve our spot. Luckily, it was open and now ours!
With lots of renewed energy, we had the camper open and ready in no time! The boys got to explore around our little mountain side area and find every nook and cranny they could use to try to climb higher and higher up.
On our first night out we had a traditional camping meal of hot dogs, hamburgers and baked beans. The boys got a kick out of eating inside the camper, but couldn't wait to get back outside to play with their new flashlights. Soon dinner was followed by roasting marshmallows by the fire.
Surprisingly, we had no issues with the boys around the fire. They understood that the fire was hot and not to play around it. They were even trying to roast their marshmallows with the only problem being not to let their marshmallows touch the logs or the dirt underneath. Wyatt couldn't eat his fast enough, not even caring if his were toasted, just eating the straight off the stick before asking for more.
As we laid down for bed that night, I was face to face with Jaxon as he excitedly recounted the day to me. It was so beautiful how his eyes were literally so bright with excitement as he told me about the marshmallows and the blue and orange fire they cooked in.
After an extremely cold night sleep with lots of wind and rain, we woke up at the first sign of daylight. Don thinks it was 7ish, but I swear it felt about 5am. Either way, the campground was quiet except three little boys in space number 35 yelling for more Apple Jacks (a new kind of breakfast for them). It was freezing still and the area was too wet to even walk around much, so we took a drive around the mountains to peek at the other campgrounds.
Once we got back we really enjoyed our day. There was not a thing that I think we didn't do. Exploring, popping popcorn, snack of grapes, lunch of egg salad and chips and dip, lots of trips to the potty about 100 feet up the mountain side. Soon Don had to go buy more wood from the camp host and he was told there was a slight chance of snow that night.
We started to rethink staying for another night. We brought warm clothes, but not snow worthy temperature clothing. The night before was cold ad we both woke up so much during the night to make sure the kids were completely covered, even though they had footie pjs on, topped off with hoodie sweatshirts with the hoods up. Not to mention folding up the camper was a bit of a beast when the camper is wet. So in about a half hour, we were on our way back down the mountain and heading home.
We had such a great time and there is really nothing that we would change. The space we got to stay in was perfect for the boys and we had such a beautiful view when we sat down at the kitchen table. The boys didn't seem to mind the coldness at all. They had a really good time as well and although they didn't give us a hard time about leaving, they were ready to stay another night if that is what we would have decided. I think they really soaked up the full attention they got from Don and I with no phone, television or computer distractions. It was a great "first" experience for us.
Can't wait to do it again!