Thursday, June 23, 2016

Knight-Christensen Campout 2016

Rebecca Christensen expressed a desire to go camping for her birthday this year, so we planned an impromptu camping trip to Tolt MacDonald Park. We went the weekend after Memorial Day, and a week before school got out around here, so I didn't expect it to be impossible to find a campsite.  If we made a reservation for a weekend night, we would have to reserve two nights, since that is the policy at this campground.  I started to get a little bit concerned about finding a place when I happened to mention to a friend, Jillyn, on Thursday that we were hoping to go camping the following evening, and the friend also happened to be planning to go to the same campground on the same evening.  We planned to go a little bit earlier to the campground and claim campsites.  I called the campground reservation line on Friday morning, and there were still two campsites unclaimed. 
When we got there, a little before 4:00, there was only one campsite left.  The campground host looked the other way as we filled the one campsite with a few more than the eight person per campsite limit.  It wasn't hard for the host to not notice us, since we were in the farthest campsite from the entrance to the campground.  It was a long half mile hike pulling a cart full of camping gear to our campsite.  
The water was COLD, but it felt nice in the sun on a hot day.  Sammy loves throwing rocks.  B doesn't seem to feel extreme temperatures.  He just waded on in until he was afraid of being swept away.  
 The Christensens arrived a bit later, and Rebecca gathered everyone old enough to understand into a safety huddle to discuss rules and fire safety.
 Our friend who we had mentioned we were camping to ended up being in the next campsite over (the second to last one claimed).  It was three seven year old girls (Eve, Dorothy, and their friend Evelyn) and their dads.  Grant and Jared spent most of their time bouncing between the two campsites.  They even found a fallen log that acted as a "secret passage" between blackberry brambles to the girls' campsite.
Daniel is such a chill baby.
 Sammy has a hard time not running constantly.  Fire+Sammy=four adults was almost not enough.  There were a million mosquitoes.  We lathered on the bug spray.  Jared and Sammy, who didn't get bug spray on their faces, were eaten up.  Eloise was mostly ignored by the bugs, and the rest of us got a few bites apiece.
 This was our first time using our new tent that we got for Christmas.
I know what you are thinking.  Doesn't the sun set rather late at this time of year in these northern places? Why, yes.  It does.  What is that small child doing awake in the dark, you ask?  Well, all of the children slept rather terribly.  Sammy in particular was pretty bad at sleeping in a tent.  B seems to have improved slightly, by which I mean that he didn't end up hiking back to the car to scream all night, but it was a very short night, as far as sleeping goes.
 To compound the exhaustion the kids were already experiencing, we fed them birthday cupcakes and sugary cereal for breakfast. Things could have been much worse.  I would have enjoyed the mayhem more if I had slept better, but it's camping.
  B loves entertaining Baby Daniel.
 Rebecca and I spent the morning soothing hurt feelings, rolling up sleeping bags, tending small injuries, and counting little heads as they darted around in circles.  Todd and Cambell fetched carts, loaded carts, and hauled gear to the car.
Eventually the last of the gear was loaded into carts, and we started the long trek back to the cars.  Sammy fell asleep in the baby carrier on the way, which he hardly ever does.  The other kids were all great carrier sleepers at his age, but Sammy hates to feel like he is missing anything.
Happy Birthday, Rebecca!  There is still enough summer left to do this again. . . maybe.

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