This. Do you see this? This is an early morning swim at Jordan Lake. This is the whole reason why we braved a downpour and a ridiculously hot (and very cramped) tent for a whole night. Well. There were other positives too, (and a few more catastrophes) but the verdict was unanimous…we would definitely be going camping as a family again.
My sister-in-law loves taking her family camping and we thought it would be super fun to try it together. Two campsites but shared meals and lots of cousin bonding time. We both obsessively watched the weather all week leading up to our Friday night reservation and my phone app only said rain as we were driving to the campsite. Soldiering on we got there and got the tent up (forgot the tarp, of course, in all the last minute wrenches that were thrown all up in the gears).
First, I have to revise my conviction that this dog doesn’t really like water. I’m wrong. The lake and the beach make a very compelling case. She was all about the swimming and the drinking of the lake.
After we were set up and just waiting for cousins to come, the fishing rods were primed and put to good use. We read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for our July read aloud and Corra said she totally felt like Tom being a pirate out on the island. It was really perfect timing. Naomi stuck with it and got casting down by the time we went home.
Cousins arrived and we had enough time for a group hike to the bathrooms. While we were there the rain came. Neil came and resuced us in the van. Since we were planning on roasting hot dogs for dinner (and, well, rain) we opted to wait out the rain at cousin’s house, eat and regroup, then go from there.
There were puddles around our tent (not sitting on a tarp, which I forgot. Of course.) but nothing inside was wet. We decided to muscle through and stick it out. Glowsticks made up for the fire that wouldn’t start because of the minor drizzle. That night was awful. It was eleventy billion degrees, Layna kept ending up on Naomi, my kids don’t fit so nicely in our eight-man tent now that they’ve all grown 3-7 feet. Tatanka was a dream but even perfectly behaved dogs pant really, really loudly when it’s hot and they are sleeping next to your head. Then there was the small child about seven miles away who was angry enough at 2 am to make sure that we, seven miles away, knew of their emphatic displeasure. I could go on. It was really that bad.
But then there was an early morning swim with perfect light. There was a new friend out for breakfast.
I nailed my first solo meal cooking in a dutch oven. I have so much respect for people that can cook a five course meal with 12 coals on the bottom and 13 coals on the top…and not half a bag of briquettes. Ahem.
The rest of the morning was delightful. Garyn was a champion oldest cousin and fisherman. The girls all loved Aunt Jen’s hammocks (I’m thinking we might get one) and we had a full morning before we packed up and left in the early afternoon. The shower and loooonnnggg nap when we got home were equally delightful. All in all I learned quite a bit about camping with my crew and the next trip is slated for late October. When it won’t be eleventy billion degrees.