Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Camping Adventures of the Estes Family

Let me just start by saying, I think we love to camp. I know we love the idea of camping. Finding a secluded place, relaxing, hanging out with just our family, enjoying nature, fishing, hiking, camp-fire cooked meals, staying up late to gaze at the stars, watching the sun go down, and come up, exploring. Sounds amazing.

Things have been so busy over the past year - getting the old house ready to sell, having it on the market, packing, moving, getting settled, etc - that we haven't camped since last summer when we camped and came home early, early in the morning because big thunderstorms (that were not forecasted) came through.

So, as we were planning to camp this past weekend, we paid special attention to the forecast. Each day it stayed the same - 20% chance of isolated storms overnight Saturday night. That meant an 80% chance that it would be dry - pretty good odds. I'll come back to this later.

We organize our gear, load it all up (packed very, very tightly) into the van and head off to the Osage State Fishing Lake to camp for the night. Primitive camping, we'd heard good things about the lake and the fishing - we were excited. We get there, find a great, shady spot and set up our stuff. It was HOT, but everything came together easily.

After a quick lunch, we head off to do some fishing, ready to just catch an insane amount of fish. Not so much. We fished for hours, catching nothing but some rays. The kids ran back and forth between our fishing spot and our camp - at some point while they were at camp, they decided to spray almost the entire aerosol can of sunscreen into hot embers of an old campfire (yes, so not safe, either!). The little bit that was left, I'd decided to not use on myself so B could use it as he burns so easily and I normally don't. Yeah, well, this weekend - I did! I looked like a lobster by late afternoon!

It got so hot and we need to grab some hydrogen peroxide after T hooked her finger and cut the heck out of it and B stepped on a rusty nail, so T and I headed to Lyndon for more ice, hydrogen peroxide and Ice Cream! A nice respite of cool creaminess and we were back to fishing - catching nothing.

Well, almost nothing. Finally, as evening fell, the catfish started biting - a little. I caught one little catfish, we all ooohed and aaahed over him and then I set out to let him go. I didn't want him to get caught up in the rocks by the shore where we were at and I didn't want to toss him like a softball back to the water, so I step out onto some large rocks to gently send him back home. Well, even though the rock I stepped on looked clean and not slick with moss, it soooo wasn't! My feet flew out from under me like rockets - I fell so hard and so fast I couldn't even get my hands down, landing smack on my hiney. ooof. The kids are laughing hysterically at what I'm sure was far from my most graceful moment. I am sitting on a rock, in the water, not sure I can move because I was sure I'd shattered my tailbone. I finally get up and find I can walk, but my hind-end is sore! Thus begins the one cheek sitting for the rest of the weekend (and continuing into the week so far). That and I have the biggest, blackest bruise on my bum. Very pretty. But I'm going to use it to my advantage. I'm just going to tell myself for a while that my bum is not big - it's just swollen! hahahahaha

Once it gets dark, we go back to camp, fix some big scrumptious "monster burgers" as the kids called them and hot dogs. We eat a good meal, try to fish a little more (catching nothing) and I get exhausted. C falls asleep in a lawn chair by the campfire. We all roast marshmallows and the girls and I head to bed. I crash immediately, aided I'm sure by the heat of the sunburn and the injury to my butt. I slept great - snoring if you hear my husband tell it.

I wake up to the sound of thunder in the distance when B starts asking what I think we should do? I did not want to tear down a tent in the wet mud after a storm again like we'd done in the past if I could help it. After B listens to the weather radio and learns that a severe storm is heading our way and will be there within the next couple of hours, we decide to take down the tent and just start our day. When he started listening to the weather radio that morning/night the storm chance was still at 20%, then bumped to 40% when he woke me up, by the time we'd realized the storm was coming, the storm chance for the day was 70% - I want to be a weatherman when I grow up...

Itwas now 4:30a.m.! We unload the tent, wake the kids up, take it down, pack it up and load everything except the breakfast stuff and fishing gear back into the van. We fix breakfast and enjoy it in the cool of the morning. It's cloudy, but barely even thundering any more. The kids and I decide to go back to our fishing spot to try our luck again for a while. When we're there, we watch big ,black storm clouds fly in - fast! It was amazing to see. One minute it was fine, the next minute a big storm was imminent. B starts hollering from camp for us to come back. We run - S dragging at least 6 feet of fishing line behind him, trying to reel it up while running back to camp!
We get into the van just as the wind and rain lets loose! And it was soooo windy. And rained so hard! We had thought about riding it out and going ahead with our fishing plans, but it just wasn't letting up.

We left. Driving home in the storm - rain and wind and huge, purple-ish lightning. When we got home we unloaded just the necessities, washed the grime off of each of us and headed back to bed. It was 8:30a.m.

Next time - day trip.


Anonymous said...

Dawn I love reading your posts, they keep me entertained! The last 3 times we have camp the same thing has happened. The last time one of the girls had a friend with them and we really need to leave. Matt was trying to still pack everything - I left him there, didn't even care, I had most of the kids with me. Crazy Fool! Anyway thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Oops might want to tell you it was me typing : )