Sometimes I honestly think we are trying to scare our daughter away from camping.
Her first camping trip, a couple of years ago, was the camping trip from ‘Heck’, what with it being heckishly hot, three vehicles breaking down, daughter and mother getting sick, and daddy losing his wedding ring, you would have thought that that one trip alone would have scarred her for camping.
And you would think that would have left us wise enough not to try again.
But we are made of sterner stuff, and would not give up.
But this time we thought we would train a little before we went.
Mother and Daughter ‘practiced’ this spring by sleeping in a tent on the sun porch several times.
We have her outside, a lot, doing our ‘expeditions’. So surely we were ready.
The weekend had promised to be nice all week, highs in the low 80’s, and lows in the high 60’s.
We were a little worried about the fact that daughter is going through a phase of being deathly afraid of bugs.
But we thought we could handle that.
We were unable to leave Friday night (which turned out to be the best night) because of late getting home from work.
So we set out Sat. a.m. Promised high around 77 degrees.
We went to Onondaga Cave State Park and arrived in time to snag the last camp site.
Afternoon threatened rain, so we waited to set up the tent till later in the day and played in the water and at the playground.
It was already getting oppressively humid (at least for me), but we mustered on.
Daughter got fire starting lessons from mom.
We set up the tent.
She got to roast her first hot dogs on an open fire.
Made her own somemores.
And got to take pictures.
All in all still good.
Now if the night stayed cool, all would be fine.
After playing in the playground for a while, we went to the camps out door theatre to watch a kids program.
After the talks about keeping your camp clean and what to do if you see a bear, we got the weather report of severe thunderstorm warnings till two-thirty a.m...
And as the short movie ended, the sky started putting on a wonderful light show for us just to let us know what was coming.
And by the time we got into our tent it had started to rain, which did not help the oppressive humidity one bit.
I did not get into the tent right away, (I went to the showers to cool off), and my walk back down the hill was met by a loud chorus of, “Where’s Daddy’, and “I want to go home.”. Apparently this had been going on since I had left.
It did not however last a real long time after my return and wife got her settled down and read her a book.
The first rain storm was not real bad, but did force us to close our tent flaps, adding to the oppressive heat.
When the second set of storms came through I was actually hoping the tent would leak and cool me off.
I got my wish. But it only leaked over my bum.
After about an hour of soaking, wife and child headed for the car.
Here is where I was trying to figure out how we could leave in the middle of the night without it seeming like we were giving up and caving in, but knew there was no way without sending bad signals to daughter about giving in. Damn.
I stayed in the tent, knowing the car would be oppressively hot and humid, and found that where child had been sleeping was still dry.
I think it cooled off for about the last fifteen minutes I was in the tent.
Surprisingly daughter was not clamoring to go home as soon as she woke up; well at least not after wife killed the bug that was dumb enough to be in the car when child woke up.
So we mustered on.
Wife prepared a wonderful camp breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage, which put everyone in a better mood.
Luckily we had packed most stuff away before the storm, so taking down camp was not as wet a chore as it could have been.
Camp cleaned up, we head for the next part of our adventure; canoeing.
Now daughter has canoed before, so we knew what to expect. And for the most part all went well.
We rode on an old school bus, which was cool.. .
We only had a few “can we go home yet’s” and only a couple killer bug scares.
And she was really a little too sleepy to enjoy the water, but did give it a shoot.
But she did find a canoe her size,
and one in her color
and she did direct a worker on how to lay stone . .
And she did say we should leave all our stuff in the car so we can go again.
And wife wants to go in two weeks when it promises to be hotter.