Camping: One Mother's Story of Survival
Monday, August 4, 2008

We did it. Forty-two hours--just us and nature. No showers, no comfy pillows, no heat. Eric's dream. Catrina's nightmare.

Actually, despite my incredible amount of pessimism, our first camping trip as a family went very well. It's always been my philosophy to expect the absolute worst, so that when things turn out better than expected (they usually do), everyone is happy! It seemed to work like a charm in this situation, anyway.

We set up camp at about 7:30 p.m. friday night at a campground just outside of the coast range. As Eric was setting up, Wyatt (our little politician) began making friends with all of the neighbors (and their dogs) while Avery was having her usual knock-down drag out fights with the pavement. It was just the beginning of the dirt fest that would ultimately render them unrecognizable as the clean and well-kempt children they otherwise tend to be.

With Avery and me in one tent and the boys in the other, the dreaded bedtime scenario I had rehearsed so many times had perfectly started to play out according to plan. I bundled her in a fleece blanket sleeper and read a couple of stories before laying her down in the new travel bed we purchased just for the occasion. She proceeded to climb out several times, a little unsure of what she was expected to do. After several attempts of putting her back in bed, she finally drifted off to sleep, as did I. She woke up a few times during the night and was thankfully soothed back to sleep without much difficulty. Overall, Avery did great.

Oh yeah...Wyatt...our "experienced" camper. Let's just say all of those friends he made the evening before most likely didn't want anything to do with him the next day, as he became the annoying little rooster that started to "cock-a-doodle-doo" at 6:30 a.m., and continued to do so until the tires on our car eventually squealed out of the campground--afraid someone was going to cook up our little rooster for breakfast.

After some much needed coffee, we proceeded to seek refuge at the beach. We found a really awesome spot with a great view of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, to which we later hiked. The tide was out, which gave the kids a lot of room to run and play in the sand. It's amazing how much more fun you can have with kids when there aren't any pressures to sit still or be quiet. On the beach, they were able to scream, jump, sing, and run to their hearts content. In my opinion, it was the best part of the trip.

Eric's signature "texture photo".
I especially like this one.

The girl LOVES playing in the sand

If you click to enlarge the photo, you can see the lighthouse
just to the right of Wyatt's head

Miraculously, I even got a couple of cute shots of Wyatt and Avery appearing as though they actually enjoy playing with one another.

After the beach, Eric and I strapped the kids to our backs and busted out a 6-mile hike in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. It was such a beautiful forest--not to mention an amazing workout. We finally headed back to camp for Round Two. It was pretty much a repeat of the night before, including Wyatt's campground wake-up call followed by squealing tires.

Lessons learned for future camping trips:

*Find a more isolated place to set up camp (although I'm not sure anyone within a 50-mile radius can escape the call of Hurricane Wyatt).

*Stock up on bottled water, as the drinking water smelled and tasted like it came straight from the toilet. I'm amazed that my children didn't come down with some funky illness!

*A nice comfy pillow wouldn't hurt, although Eric might consider it too much of an indulgence. But I'm sure I could sneak one in the car somehow.

Blogger Shelley had this to say:

Congrats on your first successful camping trip!!! I can't believe how great Avery did! I'm glad she didn't take too long to figure out that the travel bed was for sleeping. I can only imagine how long it would take Sienna. ;)

August 4, 2008 at 8:59 PM 

Blogger Shelly and Jared had this to say:

So I've been anxiously awaiting the camping report and am so pleased it went better than expected!

What's this about no pillows on camping trips?! Doesn't Eric know you are now "family" campers...which means coleman stoves, 12-person tents, old fashioned doughnuts, play pens, bikes, and oh yes, pillows!

August 4, 2008 at 9:33 PM 

Blogger Laura had this to say:

I was wondering if you were camping over the weekend...and you were :) Sounds like it went really well - your pictures are great, as usual. Avery is such a trooper - I'm hoping Clara does as well.

August 5, 2008 at 8:28 AM 

Blogger Rachel had this to say:

You are a better woman than I for submitting to the camping trip. But how you got along without a pillow...well, that's just crazy. I take my pillow even for trips up to my parents' house, where there are real beds!

I'm glad the kiddos had fun! That beach looks like my kinda place!

August 5, 2008 at 2:42 PM 

Blogger Carmen had this to say:

Beautiful pictures (again!). Sounds like you guys had a blast!

August 6, 2008 at 6:38 AM 

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My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771