This weekend Ella, Madeline, Michelle and I took our first camping trip as a family. We were actually camping with a group of college friends celebrating 10 years of friendship and stuff. The camp site was at Horseshoe Cove Campground, on Baker Lake up in Northern Washington. It was quite the haul, as I’m sure our friend Joe can attest. He rode with us from Portland to the campground and back wedged between two car seats. He did a great job of keeping the girls entertained, and seemed in good spirits about the whole thing. I later figured out the ratio of travel to camping at something like 15.5:36. We’ll have to work on those numbers, especially with the ‘lil ones.
In many ways, this camping trip was a test for the future of camping for our family. We all made some sacrifices, especially when bed time came and it became clear that neither Ella nor Madeline were going to sleep in their designated areas. All 4 of us ended up sleeping on a double air mattress that leaked. My butt and hips were touching the ground at almost all times during the night, but my mass helped keep the rest of the family reasonably inflated. We also tested the early stages of a camping kitchen, and things went quite well. I learned yet another way that my mother showed her love too; by her doing camping dishes. Without a good place for them, camping dishes are wretched, especially without a dog (he stayed home… no room in the car). I may boycott bacon on camping trips from now on despite how good it was on Saturday morning with some home laid eggs and coffee.
Our friend Clem and his daughter Talia also came on the trip so Ella had a playmate the entire time. She seems to have had a blast, which is a relief. Not only that, despite a 2 am outburst, the girls were quiet during then night and I think our friends largely forgive being woken up so early by kids. We were rather worried about the whole kid thing since we’ve been doing camping trips for a decade now that were..rowdy. Turns out that’s normal, and the two camp sites near us fit the same profile, and they were even louder than us.
I bought a fishing license in hopes that we could enjoy some trout for dinner on Saturday night. I had no luck though until after dinner, though the 4″ trout wouldn’t have been much of a meal. So I put it back. Ella actually watched me catch the fish and release it, and she wasn’t scared or upset. She even got to reel in a few casts, which I think she rather enjoyed.
So besides the great comfort of old friends and the joy of seeing them all again, I think I’m just tickled that the trip went so well. It will embolden me to camp again, and soon. Here’s some photos.