Nate has been asking to go camping for a while now. Andy took all the boys camping one night last fall while I was out of town, and I think it was the highlight of the whole year for them. There are so many things for the boys to do, and they are at a great age to get things together and go and help and enjoy the whole process. One key part of Nate’s request was that I also go (I camped some as a child – though my idea of a good time is camping all day and sleeping in my bed at night). With all the busyness of moving and getting re-situated in our new city, we had not committed to camping until a few weeks ago – right about the time Nate’s birthday rolled around. We invited some friends to join us and set out to find the perfect camping spot.
It was mid-afternoon when we found a good “base camp” location – about 20 minutes from our house and right in the middle of a huge wheat field with a little pond. Nate had gotten an inflatable boat for his birthday, and the boys were eager to try it out. This was the perfect set-up for their novice boat skills.
We enjoyed a full afternoon of camping fun – gathering branches for the fire, getting tents set up, rock climbing, gathering clams from the pond. The weather was pleasant and cooperative. We got the fire started and heated some water to pour over our Ramen Noodle supper. I also brought along a bag of marshmallows, and we roasted them over the fire.
As dark settled in, we all retired to our tents. A light rain began to fall, but we didn’t think much of it, and I remember thinking that the sound of the rain on the tent made a sweet lullaby as I drifted off. Around midnight I awoke to lightning and thunder and the feeling of wet on my feet…you know the feeling? It was so loud that Andy and I could hardly hear each other talk. We decided to try and stay put till the morning, especially since the boys were sleeping right through it all!
We did stay until the morning, but were shocked when we unzipped our tents to find that the temps had dropped to the 50’s and everything was wet and soggy. All of our shoes had been left out along with our hoodies and food. We needed to get home quickly before everyone got sick! It took a while to get everything taken down, but we got home by mid-morning and enjoyed hot showers and hot chocolate. We were so thankful to be warm and counted it a treat to have gone camping, at least for a little while.