It was, a great do over.
Not without its issues, but thankfully my subconscious pointed out I FORGOT THE CAMP STOVE, BEFORE we were 12 miles from the house and could go back for it.
What you don't have wall to wall carpet in your tent? Camping was little more comfortable WITH our tent, so glad it decided to join us this year.
Screen tent was deployed.
I remembered all the buckets this year too. Levoxyl I am so glad your back in my life!! No thyroid brain fog this year!! YIPEEE!!
Hansolo, made her bug-free zone in the back of the truck as usual.
This trip however was unique...It is the last of its kind. See that smile? Don't let that fool you. My pain levels were off the charts. See that edema in my eye lids? I was fighting massive fatigue and muscle weakness the whole trip.
I started tent camping when I was only a few months old, and have enjoyed it ever since.
That's me and 5 of my zillion brothers and sisters. (In red coat, grinning the same camping happy smile as above)
I've camped my whole life. I LOVE to camp. Even when I didn't have a family, I still camped, even took other peoples kids camping. There are secret messages all over my camping buckets
Don't look at me like that...What else should you name a big white stiff cooler? Love to tell the kids to make sure "the body" is secure in the truck and to have them ask me loudly in a crowded camp ground, "Hey P? where do you want me to put the Body!?"
I couldn't wait to take my own family camping. To share the adventure with them too.
To me the whole camping experience starts with packing. I love the anticipation and complex puzzle of condensing everything you need into the confines of the vehicle. The questions of how rough can you rough it, and still have a pleasant time? And, do I really need to change my clothes EVERY day?
The next fun is unpacking and setting up camp. I love it. Its like moving into the woods. Feels like I am going home. I could live outside forever.
Then the whole camp experience, with the required side trips into campfire/pyro land.
Setting whole packages of SNAKES on fire and watching them ooze out in hideous black columns.
Dressing up gummie worms in marshmallow hats then melting them...
The smell of smoke, the sound of the kids chopping up the fire wood, various spiders swimming in the water heating up for hot chocolate. The hiss of the propane and the accompanying "woof" as the match lights it up. The sounds of the tent zipper. The sounds of Jays and crows as they walk you up at the ungodly hour of 5 am.
...all of it.
Building sand castles on distant shores
Getting frisky in the woods...aherm...
Playing...just playing in the sun and fresh air. Reveling in the glory that is our planet. Camping now days made extra special as we doing at the family reunion and in the light of a large amount of amazing people.
This year though...
I couldn't pack the truck by my self. I couldn't set the camp up by my self. Hell I couldn't lift even a sleeping bag as we packed up to leave.
I was very bittersweet.
To realize my ability to tent camp is waning. (okay it is gone, but damn it, that isn't going to stop me from doing it.)
...that small fear filled voice inside whispering, maybe its time to stop tent camping...
and the resounding voice within gently speaking back...no, it is time to stop, you can't do this anymore, this is the last trip...
I will have to relinquish the control and teach my family to pack the truck and set up camp and to break it down.
To know that my role in tent camping is no longer the head honcho, but now I am the old woman that barks orders an orchestrates the action. Benched due to age.
I don't want that role...I want to be in the thick of things...with a body that isn't falling apart...
Oh and the Skinny Chicken, it came home with us for the year, cause, who better to watch it then us lunatics?
We have to take it back next year. Which means one more tent camping trip.