Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Happy Camper

Son#3 and I went camping for the first time recently. Dear Hubby and Sons 1&2 have been going for years. I managed to avoid it until now. However, since Son#3 is now potty trained, he could finally go camping with the big guys. (Dear Hubby has a rule: no diapers on campouts.). It didn't seem really fair to send him with all three boys - tempting, but not fair - so I relented and went on a Cub Scout one-night campout to a Wildlife Preserve. It was closed to the general public so we had the whole place to ourselves (well, we shared with 30 other scout families).

The weather was perfect. Upper 60s in the day and around 50 degrees at night. Cool enough that there weren't any bugs. There were, however, caterpillars. Thousands of them. There were clumps of caterpillars in the trees. At one point during our nature walk in the woods, we stopped and heard what sounded like rain. When we watched carefully, we saw that it was the fuzzy 1.5-2" long caterpillars dropping from the trees. That was too much for Son#3, who's only 4, so we cut our hike short. In a couple of weeks, the site will be teeming with butterflies. Unfortunately, it'll be 80 degrees by then and also teeming with mosquitoes.

In his defense, Dear Hubby offered to buy an air mattress for the tent, but I thought we'd save the money and 'rough it.' Bad idea. I've learned that my bones are little too old to sleep on the ground with only a sleeping bag and the floor of the tent between me and the dirt. I felt like the Princess and the Pea. I could feel every little rock and pebble. How the guys managed to sleep is beyond me. Fortunately the tent was large enough that I could stretch my aching joints every 20 minutes or so. My yoga "child's pose" was especially helpful as were some of my Pilates stretches.

I also discovered that Son#1 talks in his sleep. I had to wake him twice to tell him to quiet down. Go figure. The guy one tent over snores loudly.

Fortunately there was also a pavilion with picnic tables and - thank you! - a bathroom. We pitched the tent relatively nearby (in case Son#3 had to make a 1 a.m. potty run). Andy cooked over his little propane stove: soy burgers for adults, hot dogs for the kids. We roasted marshmallows over the camp fire.

While I'll never be an outdoorsy girl, I'd consider going again on a single night campout if the weather isn't too hot, and if I get an air mattress. I don't think I could go any longer as I get very cranky if I can't wash my hair and shave my legs.


Jules said...

I used to go camping all the time (former girl scout) and we even went camping on our honeymoon. But in my older years I have either become more high maintenance or more "girly". I agree... one day without a shower is long enough. Girls hygiene is different than boys (my mother in law had to explain that one to hubby on a camping trip one time)...

I'll see you in two days...YIPPEE! Flight leaves at 8:57 am tomorrow!!


Elle*Bee said...

There was a sink - and an electrical outlet - so I could do my hair, but that's only the half of it!

see you Friday! :-)

Juliabohemian said...

just wait about a month and then the trees will be filled with BUTTERFLIES.

Here, during certain times of the year, you can hear the pine seeds falling out of the cones. All of them moving at one time almost sounds like one of those rain sticks. The first time I heard it I thought I was going mad -until I figured out what it was.

Elle*Bee said...

welcome to my blog, Julia. I recognize your name from Jules' and ~d's blogs.

That's funny about the pinecones. I guess I'm not 'in tune' with nature. I'm sure the caterpillars are beautiful butterflies by now, but as predicted, the weather has been in the mid 80's - too warm for me to do anything that doesn't involve air conditioning!