Saturday morning we headed out to Roman Nose State Park for a one-night campout with some friends. The weather reports earlier in the week made me pretty nervous (storm chances went from 40% to 80% for Saturday), but we had already locked in this date a few weeks ago and it’s just not that easy to rearrange schedules when you’ve got jobs and kids and other families confirmed. Luckily, the rain band moved east while we headed west and we managed to hit sunshine and cloudless skies halfway to Watonga. It stayed like that for the rest of the weekend.
The kids all enjoyed a paddleboat ride, and aside from running amok in the fresh air, some climbed trees, some fell down muddy slopes. All in all a good time was had by everyone. The campfire is, for me, the best part, though. I’m always quick to do laundry once we get home from any kind of trip, but I do enjoy the lingering smell of campfire smoke in everyone’s jackets and clothes.
It was also fun to experience camping through the eyes of a first-timer. Elle invited a friend to camp out with us and this kid couldn’t have been more excited to be so far from home. The girls enjoyed s’mores the proper way (over a blazing campfire), and were quite taken by the view of the nighttime sky. Having never left the city, our daughter’s friend couldn’t stop oohing and aahing over the myriad of stars she was seeing for the first time in her life. Elle, on the other hand, isn’t much of a camper or an outdoorswoman, so it’s nice to know our attempts to bring kids back to nature is working…even if it’s only working on someone else’s kid.
It won’t work on Teddy, though. While he’s led us to believe in the year since he’s been in our family that he is an outdoor dog, we’ve obviously been misreading him. The poor pooch couldn’t understand why he had to be leashed but I’m certain he enjoyed the leftover steaks from dinner. Teddy even got to nibble on breakfast ham Sunday morning after a horrible night’s sleep. It seems Teddy hasn’t yet learned that HE is supposed to keep ME warm. After an hour of snuggling with him to keep him from shivering, I passed him over to my husband while I went to retrieve a fleece blanket from the van. When Teddy finally started to snore, I knew he was comfortable.
Throughout the night, the sounds of the coyotes got closer and the nearby owl flew so near to the tent that I could hear him whoosh. At daybreak, the coyotes’ howls were replaced by the twittering of birds and the mooing of nearby cows. I’ve never woken up to cows before.
At breakfast, we were all exhausted and blaming one family’s baby or our dog or the coyotes for our lack our sleep. Except, of course, for Elle’s friend: “I had a great sleep!”
May all your future camping adventures be so good, little one.
*I promised my husband I wouldn’t complain on this camping trip, and I almost didn’t! By the time I had gone hours without sleep because of Teddy, I yelled to him, “I want to go home!” to which he probably squinched his face and shot me a look like, “Whatever, shut up, it’s late.” (It was dark so I have to imagine the look on his face after I demanded I be taken home.) I must say, though, that I wasn’t expecting to be taken home, only comforted, but nobody had time to comfort me because we were comforting our dog who was freezing and keeping us both awake. NOTE TO SELF: take TWO sleeping pills next time. And leave the dog at home.