Monday, July 21, 2008

Not the Best Idea I've Ever Had

This weekend, we took the kids camping for the first time. We went to a state park in the southwestern part of the state, about a two-hour drive.

In the days leading up to our trip, I suggested making reservations half a dozen times. With an $8.50 non-refundable registration fee, Ron balked at the thought. "We don't need reservations," Ron said. "I'm sure the campsite won't be full," he said.

We pull in at 5:30 p.m., to find that there are only two campsites available, both in the "rustic" campground. This means no running water and no flush toilets. That wouldn't have mattered much to me before having kids, but I wasn't looking forward to the thought of changing diapers without being able to wash up afterwards, or having to drag a kid with me into the filthy outhouse. But we didn't have much choice, so we took one of the sites and pulled in to our spot--which was right on the corner of a triangle of roads, and very cozily next to another campsite. Meaning, no privacy at all, and constant worries about the kids going onto one of the roads.

Ron and Sammy got back into the van and went back to see if we could still get the other spot, which was more secluded. We were lucky enough to be able to switch campsites, so we got set up in our new home.

The ground was very muddy in the patches where the grass had worn away. The kids were both covered in mud from head to toe before we'd even been there for 15 minutes. And with no running water, clean-up wasn't too easy. We went through a lot of baby wipes, in an attempt to keep the dirt under control. And both kids had poopy diapers within fifteen minutes of being at the campsite. Thank goodness I remembered to bring some antibacterial hand gel, since there was NO RUNNING WATER.

Around 8:00, we started to get the kids ready for bed. Natalie went to sleep pretty easily, but it was after 10:00 when Sammy finally settled down and went to sleep. Then, for the next hour, I got to listen to a kid in a nearby campsite wail and scream. I get enough of that at home, thank-you-very-much. I didn't need to drive two hours to hear someone else's kid throw a tantrum for an hour because he was over-tired and needed to get to bed. So much for the park's "quiet time", which was supposed to start at 10:00 p.m.

But the next morning, we were on the other end of it. Every other time I've been camping, it's been in much more secluded areas than this particular campsite, so I hadn't worried about our kids' early wake-up time disturbing anybody else. As usual, the kids woke up around 5:30 and for the next hour, I did my best to keep them quiet, but I'm sure we still managed to wake up half the campground. As soon as it was obvious that other people were starting to get up and move around, we packed up our tent and left. We were all too tired and cranky to do any of the fun things we had planned on, like swimming in the sandy-bottomed swimming pool in the park, or the nearby caves which we had thought about touring.

On another note, I'm home today with Natalie, who woke up with a 101+ degree fever this morning. She's had some other symptoms for the past week, which I'd attributed to teething, but when she developed the fever, I thought I'd better have her checked out. The doctor thought the fever was just some random virus, and she agreed that the rest of it is probably teething. Poor Natalie is cutting six teeth, all at once, and it's been rough on her. Not to mention the rest of us.

1 comment:

Mommy Vern said...

I love camping, but can't say I will be excited to do it with Garrett until he's older. :) I'm sorry to hear it turned out so yucky.