I am by no means the outdoorsy kind of girl. My idea of enjoyment would be a beautiful cottage on a lake with A/C and all the comforts of our modern world. So, the few times I went camping in a tent there was no enjoyment for me. Yet, the outdoors, my boys being unplugged, fishing, canoeing, swimming, hiking – all that stuff that exhausts my boys in the best of ways, is a huge blessing and great makings of memories. This is why I camp with them. The last few years, I’ve been blessed with a beautiful thing called a yurt!!! Yes! So this has made camping much more bare able maybe even enjoyable. This year the yurts were sold out. I was prepared to forget all about camping, except I was going with a girlfriend, who encouraged me that we could do it… tent camping.
My girlfriend’s husband wanted them to take the canoe so that was strapped on their little Honda (with her husband saying he’d come up the morning we are leaving and help strap the canoe). My truck was stuffed like a turkey on Thanksgiving! Actually, the sleep bags and pillows took quite a bit of room but the boys piled in and were forced to sit real close to each other.
The first afternoon we set up, trying to beat the rain. There were a whole bunch of comical errors but in the end, we had camp set up. Our neighbors were a group camping along with the pet pig! A big potbelly pig! Supper was soft tacos and lots of yummy smores for the boys. The boys and the one girl stayed up after the adults went to bed. I heard the boys voices changing and heard them exclaim about the size and boldness of the raccoons that had come to visit. Eventually they made way to the tents and we had survived set up and the first day.
We woke up the next day, frozen. This crazy summer of weird weather was frustrating! Soon the fire was crackling, breakfast was on and the day began. We had a great time, spending it at the beach. Josh just splashed his way into the cold lake and pretty much lived in there for the day. The older boys took the canoes and were off fishing coming in to refuel with food and then they were off again.
Around 3 pm huge dark clouds started making their way to us. It was amazing how quickly the beach cleared up! We hauled the coolers up the hill to the vehicles and there driving up was Sanj! Such a nice surprise! The afternoon turned into evening… supper was supposed to be spaghetti but bellies filled quickly as we snacked on hotdogs, watermelon and the pizza sandwiches that are cooked in the fire. Of course smores topped off the meal.
I’m telling all this to set up the highlight of the trip. Up until now, it was a normal camping trip. 2 moms and their kids for a couple of night. As the boys were eating and chatting around campfire, I heard them discussing catching a raccoon that night. A lot of talk was what I figured… and in passing, warned them to not leave food around as there was the warning of a black bear visiting campsites. They were busy baiting the fishing rod with a hot dog that they planned to lure the raccoon and they had one of those huge fishing nets… yes, they planned to put the net over it.
Sanj left, camp was cleaned up and the adults headed inside the tent. The boys were disappointed that the big raccoon they were hoping to “catch” didn’t show up and off to bed they went.
The thing I really dislike about camping is not having a bathroom. In fact I hate it. What ends up happening is that I lose sleep worrying over what’s going to happen if I have to pee? The boys didn’t try to be discreet after the first day… they seemed to pee wherever they needed to. In fact, when Sanj asked me where the bathroom was, I found myself asking if he had to go #1 or #2. He gave me a very weird look. Guess he wasn’t into going #1 in the woods.
Anyways, I got distracted… around 2:30 am I woke up and had to pee. URGH!!!! So I lay there and waited. As I lay there I hear loud breaking of branches, I mean loud. There was no way that was a raccoon. OMG!!!! I lay there praying… as the boys were in their own tent. Next thing I hear is my girlfriend sit up and exclaim, “Holy Poo, there’s a bear out there!!!” Ok, I was really hoping I was wrong. There was no way I was going to pee outside. I was kinda freaked that there was only nylon between me and the man eating creature!!!
Fast forward to about 4:30 am, and my girlfriend said she thought the bear was gone and she had to pee. She was bold. She unzipped the tent and begins heading out… well, I couldn’t let her go alone… and I did have to pee. Praying very hard, I went out with her. Obviously I survived.
I don’t thing there was much sleep after that.
The next day, the kids were all doubting the bear being in our campsite until of course, our neighbors stories collaborated stories. It slowly came out that Tyler had set a can of TUNA to lure the raccoons. Hum… the bear probably wasn’t interested in the hot dog as much as the can of tuna, which he could no doubt smell from wherever he was holed up. Tyler said if there was an unfortunate event, he would have kept quiet. Since we were all fine… he fessed up that he had tried baiting the raccoon.
Can I say, I still wonder why God thought I could handle 6 boys???
You’d think the laughter was over, but nope, there’s more…
Remember that canoe that had to be mounted back on the little car? Well, the hubby was called to a meeting out of town. We were on our own. Tyler and friend’s son went to see about attaching the canoe to the roof while we closed up camp.
I don’t think Ive laughed so hard in a while… as they drove up, I was so impressed with the canoe seemingly attached to the vehicle. Upon closer inspection, we saw duck tape. Everywhere! Apparently not knowing how to tie proper knots, they made their own. The twirly whirly knot. To support the knot, they wrapped duck tape all around the knots. Their ingeniousness was quite brilliant! The canoe did make it home, thanks to some serious praying.
This was the end of our Camping 2014!