Camping Out

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My birthday gift this year was a collection of camping-related goods. I’ve been talking for a while about how Max is old enough to go camping, so the gift of a tent and sleeping bag was quite welcome. I found a nice spot for us and set a reservation, and the weekend was finally upon us.

In the lead-up, we had planned to get the boys a haircut. Turns out we should have scheduled an appointment, since they were all booked up for the rest of the day.


We did get a picture with this shark, though.

Things were looking somewhat dire for the weekend, with some pretty nasty looking weather rolling in late Friday and early Saturday. Max’s t-ball game was cancelled on Saturday morning, but I insisted on forging ahead. We put Owen down for his nap, piled everything into the car, then we all went out to the garage to say our goodbyes. I needed to go back in to grab my car keys, and grabbed the door handle…which was locked.

None of us had a key. Max, for some reason, had decided to lock it on a whim before we went outside. The following half-hour was a panicked wait for a locksmith while we hoped Owen didn’t wake up and wonder why we weren’t coming to get him out of his room. Luckily, we regained entry, found that Owen was still fast asleep, and were able to get the last of what we needed to get on the road.

Max enjoyed some iPad time while I drove through a torrential downpour for a couple of hours. We made it to the campsite safely, and just in time for the rain to pretty much completely stop. Aside from a reasonably-sized puddle nearby (we’ll get to that later), everything was dry enough to get right down to business. After setting up the tent, I asked Max what he’d like to do.


Go fishing!

So fishing we went. I caught a little guy, Max caught as many rocks as he could get his hook into. We spent so much time messing around by the shore that by the time we finished it was already starting to get a bit dark. We retreated to our campsite and Max helped me locate appropriate hot dog roasting sticks. Then it was time to get the campfire going.


I swear he’s been lifting weights when we’re not looking.

After a false start or two, we successfully got things going and got our hot dogs roasted and marshmallows toasted.


Max was quite happy with our meal.

By the time we finished dinner and dessert, the rain was starting up again so we decided to retire to our tent. We read some books, told a couple of spooky stories, then curled up in our sleeping bags. Max slept like a rock, while I spent my night wishing I’d invested in a decent sleeping pad.

When we awoke, it was still a little dark outside. This provided Max with an opportunity to remind me that I’d failed to make shadow puppets with him the night before. So we did that until the sun came up, chowed down on some deliciously processed chocolate donuts, then decided to take a closer look at that puddle.


We bought him rain boots specifically to address this situation.

This went on for about 15 minutes, with increasing intensity. When he was done, I carefully removed all of his heavily soiled clothing and got him cleaned up so we could go have some other fun. While we were occupied at the spigot, we noticed a famous character had come to visit.


Mr. Bitsy. He finally made it.

After that, we cleaned up our camp and packed the car, then headed down the road a bit to the “designated” fishing spot. This turned out to be a place where you could park, then walk down the hill to a shoreline similar to that we’d visited the day before. I somehow managed to snag a very tiny fish, but he escaped the hook before we even got him fully reeled in. Max, on the other hand, had a bit more luck.


Hooked it and reeled it in all by himself!

I continued fishing for a bit longer. Max, having succeeded in his endeavor, chose another activity.


Worm wrangling!

We eventually released all of our remaining worms into the wild, then cleaned ourselves up a bit before heading over to the “nature hike” section of the park. The hike was pretty uneventful, save for the part when we got back and had to remove all the stickers from our shoes and pant legs. With that slightly painful process behind us, we decided it was time to head out. I found a local diner and we sat down for some burgers and chicken fried steak.


We took a slight detour while we waited for our food.


Max seemed a bit eager after that.


I had some kind of delicious pumpkin cheesecake. He was quite happy with his pumpkin pie.

With that, we returned home in much calmer weather and somehow arrived at exactly the same time Christy and Owen were getting back from a birthday party. Max regaled everyone with tales from our trip and we all settled in to get ready for Monday.

If you want to check out the rest of the photos from the weekend, you can click here. I managed to actually take a couple of videos while we were “roughing it”, so feel free to enjoy those before you head out.


What’s a camping trip without spooky stories in the rain?


The boots do nothing!

See you next time!

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