When The Lawyer and I were first married we had little fantasies of overnight camping trips. (Well, that is definitely night the right word, at least from my perspective!) After all, he is an Eagle Scout, so I knew I was in good hands if we were out in the woods. We even collected some of the needed camping paraphanalia. I think we went "hiking" in FL a few times when we lived there (before children). Then, when we lived in IL it all came to an end.
We were living in a 900 square foot house and we decided to go camping one weekend at my parents' "North Farm." The only thing I remember now is that it rained and we ended up sleeping at my parents' house instead of in the tent in the hills. After that, I ruthlessly decided that I did not want to take care of, store, and move all of the camping gear that we were only using once every few years. Our over night camping days were over.
Since then, we've done plenty of hiking- especially here in VA, where it is so beautiful and the hikes include little mountains with great vistas. But our children are getting older and the boys, especially, are hankering for some "real" camping.
So, when our good old Lynchburg friends invited us to meet up with them for a weekend camping trip, we agreed. After all, we love spending time with them! Plus, we've been given a tent and have accumulated four sleeping bags. (Four for seven of us!) And we also know some very generous folks who will loan out camping things like that to poor folk like us. This really sounded like a great opportunity for us to try out camping again. (Did I mention that our friends were volunteering to do almost ALL of the cooking AND they were carting paper products for our family to use?!) Here was a way to stick our foot back into the camping world without having to use our wallets and precious storage space. It also included a coveted hike that our big boys have been itching to go on with their dad for over a year.
So we went! The consensus: it was a great weekend. The kids LOVED it. We went hiking (Devil's Marbleyard), swimming (Cave Mountain Lake), had fires, were rained on (just a wee bit), stayed up late with glow sticks and discussions around the fire, and generally had a wonderful time with our old friends and some new ones, too.
The Lawyer was a bit skeptical of my response to the weekend, but I was cautiously positive. I was rather weary after hiking UP to the restroom many times a day with M (carrying him, of course, because his Crocks hurt for some reason). And maybe from hiking up to the Marble Yard with M on my back, too. I felt I got off way too easy in the food department, but also acknowledged that as long as our meals require FIRE I will always have plenty of help. And, if I just keep my expectations low I can enjoy a wonderful time outside with the rest of my family, who are absolutely in their element. And THAT is the joy of the weekend for me. I think there is more camping in our future and I want to be a positive part of it all.
|Our tent with the rain fly- which we needed!|
|Lots of young men|
|Sweet girls on the beach|
|Dear Friend. She got some great photos of boys being tossed in the air!|
|Fire. Dinner. Perfect.|
|R with salamander|
|O after his big swim with The Lawyer|