Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Camper

Last weekend, we took our first camping trip. Not only was it a first for Claire, but it was also the first time Josh and I had camped together. I love camping but this was the first time I was the 'adult' if you will.

We went to Ponderosa Campground which is halfway between Payson and Christopher Creek. Being our first time with a child I wanted a developed campsite that I was familiar with. (my family went there all the time when I was younger)

Josh expertly packed everything into the tiny Sentra and made our way up on Thursday. We set up camp and just chilled at the campsite that first day. Claire loved running around and collecting things she found in the dirt.

Her favorite thing was to start up where the car is and yell "Momma! I something we could never make out! Watch! Then she would hop down and run from the car to the table and close her eyes as she passed through the smoke from our fire.Hours were spent this way.

At night, our lantern attracted a bunch of beetles that were pretty large and disgusting. They made hissing sounds and hurt when they flew into you. They were like kamikazes and could not land on their feet. Claire loved to look at the bugs and would exclaim "It hit me!" every time she felt one fly into her.
She was waiting so patiently to have s'mores.

I was dreading bedtime because Claire doesn't sleep if she is in the same room as us so we put her into the attached side tent. She slept until midnight but then woke up. I could hear her because I was awake most of the night due to our air mattress having a hole and deflating. My moderate back pain then went to debilitating so I was up a lot that night. I heard Claire stand up and walk around, she hit the side of the tent and then started screaming "Momma!!!" Josh went and got her and she ended up sleeping in our tent for the rest of the night. I was so proud of her. When I woke up that morning my stomach was asleep but Will was moving around like he was on a mission so I guess that is okay.

That next day we drove up the the Rim and went to Woods Canyon Lake. It definitely was not a child friendly place. I didn't realize how big the rocks and hills were you had to climb to get along the shoreline. We had to either carry Claire or hold her hand and travel at a snails pace.

We stopped along the shore in a good place and Claire threw rocks in the water. I caught a little crawdad for her but she wasn't impressed.

We left shortly after because there was just nothing to do with a toddler and we went back to the site. We tried to put her down for a nap but that was futile. It was also so hot and humid that we could barely stand it so we decided to drive to Tonto creek so at least Claire could play in the water.

No sooner did we get there then it started to rain. It was raining pretty hard so I suggested we go the fish hatchery because that was inside/covered. So we drove up the rode a few miles and by then it was raining harder with tons of thunder and lightening. Unfortunately, the parking lot was a little ways from the covered area but we were feeling adventurous so we made a run for it - just then it started to POUR and I mean POUR. I wish I had a picture but of course we didn't want the camera to get wet. By the time we reached the covered area we were completely wet and freezing - the temperature went for 100 to what felt like 60 in about 5 minutes. There were some other people stranded under the covering and they had a towel they let us wrap Claire in because she was shivering. We stayed there, freezing for about 15 minutes, then Josh ran down and got the car and drove up to where we were to get us. It was an exciting time but we were worried about how our tents back at the campsite were doing. When we got back to the site, it was completely dry but thankfully not as hot.

Claire loved to play in the tent.
She found some bugs to play with.The wind picked up a few times that afternoon and the tall, pine trees would sway back and forth. The first time that happened Claire gasped and looked up at the trees. "Don't fall trees, don't fall!" she exclaimed.

That night we tried putting her in her own tent again and to our surprise she made it through the night - only to be woken up by the people in the site next to us who had a Harley Davidson and joined in the unwritten code of motorcyclists that you have to sit on your bike and rev the engine and let it rumble for at least 10 minutes before you finally drive away. This was at 6am. So, Claire awoke to the sound of one of her biggest fears and was teary-eyed when we got her out. Poor thing.

When I was making breakfast she found another bug. She definitely does not hesitate to pick them up.
Enjoying some bread by the fire while I made french toast.We decided to give Tonto Creek another try since it wasn't raining. She LOVED it, however, the rocks were big and slippery so once again she need constant help. The water was freezing! I don't know how she could stand it. She fell in a little too far a few times and was soaked from the waist down.
She had a good time though.

We got bored there and went to the fish hatchery so we could maybe see some fish this time. She was very excited to be there and loved to look at the fish.
A guy who worked there came to feed the fish. The fish went crazy and were jumping all over the place.
From there we headed home with one, very tired, little girl.

Here are some of my thoughts on camping:

It was very fun but due to Claire's age and being the only child, Josh and I NEVER got to sit and relax. I think that we will go again - not next summer, but the following so that Will and Claire can play together.

I would prefer to not go camping when I am so pregnant. The back pain always kicks in about halfway through the pregnancy so I would go before 20 weeks. I felt useless when it came to carrying things - including Claire.

I would not recommend taking a flashlight to the pit toilet because no matter how many times you promise yourself on the way there that you will not shine it down the toilet, you probably will. Stick with a lantern.

Toddlers have no concept of not stepping on bedding with filthy, sandy shoes and for whatever reason cannot remember this even though you tell them a billion times.

Here are the things I forgot to pack:

Off! repellent - although I only got one bite the whole time and Josh and Claire didn't get any.
A fly swatter.
A can opener - that was a pain
Syrup for our french toast.

Things I didn't necessarily forget but will get before the next time we go.
Pots that can be used on the fire.
Cutting board
Pot holders
Metal pitcher for heating water
Something to wipe your feet on before entering the tent

That sums it up! It was a fun learning experience and family time.

1 comment:

  1. What a great story! It brings back exhausting memories! :) I love the pics, especially the tired little girl at the end.