Way back when, before I was securely tethered to desks, stoves, and family life, I lived in Montana. I lived in some other places, wild and tame, as well. And since I was a wee bairn, I’ve been camping. Family car camping trips to Florida, backpacking trips in Baxter State Park in Maine, weekend excursions to Yosemite, cross country extravaganzas through National Parks, and so on.
TWGH began his Mountain Man training as a child, also, and has since done outdoorsy-type things that are the stuff of recurring nightmares for me – snow camping, ice climbing, jumping off and out of various stationary landmarks. If it involves a lot of gear and lengthy periods of time without bathing, chances are he’s done and it and loved it.
Our kids are not totally citified or sissified, but their experiences with tents have all occurred in our back yard.
We decided it was time to remedy this situation, so, on the way from point A to point B, we detoured off in the direction of point C to camp for a night.
With no knowledge of where we were going and/or what we were getting into, we had to rely on the state park service website and good karma. We weren’t hoping for anything extreme, but we envisioned nature, quiet, simple, traditional family camping STUFF. I asked for a wooded site, chose one far from other sites and buildings in the park, and crossed my fingers.
So we ended up here.
And we brought everything we were supposed to bring:
Even Noodlies a la Princessa:
And, of course:
But perspective is everything, isn’t it?
If you make a quarter turn from THIS vantage point:
You end up looking at this:
Which is less “Family Wilderness Experience,” than “Tent City in Refugee Camp,” I think.
Also, my version of the woods doesn’t often include this:
Next camping trip…Yosemite. Oops. Maybe not that either.
Separate but related, I’d advise NOT starting this amazing awesome wonderful fantastic thrilling beautiful fun exciting omigodilovejamesleeburkesomuch book that begins with a dude camping (particularly if the character is actually camping somewhere you have, in the past, camped) and then watched and harassed by some scary hombres as you are falling asleep near the woods and seven hundred people and their screaming children and drunken relatives all hopped up on Creamsicles and Rocket Pops.