Monday, August 16, 2010

camping and such

In case anyone out there is wondering what goes on around here that isn't fiber-related...

Mom and the boys and I went camping a week ago Friday. We used to go all the time, when the boys were little, but some years, of late, we hardly get out the sleeping bags at all. Such a shame.
We went up to Hope Campground, just 20 min away, up Provo Canyon. We'd driven up the week before, just to check it out, maybe decide which site we'd like. It must have been at least 10-15 degrees cooler up there! Every site is fully shaded, and it's so beautiful!
(It is also, however, what I would call "rustic". Meaning no electricity, "outhouse" type toilets (though they do provide paper), with (potable) water spigots near each bathroom only, none at your site. All sites have a fire pit, picnic table, and grill. FYI.)
That said, we do love it there!
I left work early Friday so we could get an earlier start, but, somehow, it just takes longer than you think it should to pack up the car for 3 people staying one night at a campground (that's just me and the boys - mom did her own packing). When we were finally all packed in to the car, loaded down with way too many things to fit in the trunk, sleeping bags piled on laps, we stopped at moms, loaded our gear into our (borrowed) trailer, picked up dinner at Wendy's (we know how to rough it!), and then finally piled into the van and headed up the canyon.
Backing the trailer into site 18 was a little trickier than you'd think. I know the basic principles of backing a trailer, but somehow, it wasn't working quite the way I pictured. A lot of "forward again...straighten the your, left!...okay, forward again..." later, we got it nicely parked in the driveway. Only to find out, after several tries with the "legs" and many blocks of wood, that the driveway might be just a tad more tilted than it looked (which maybe explains why the trailer didn't seem to be able to go the directions we thought it should), and we'd just have to live with sleeping in a non-level trailer, because my hands were starting to cramp up, and my biceps had gone all noodly. It was definitely stable, not about to tip or roll away, but, according to our level, not level.
Oh well. Let's go see how Twin2 did with building the fire, shall we?
(um, if I'd been thinking, I would have had the camera out...)
The fire looks great. Soon, we'll be ready to roast marshmallows.
How did Twin1 do with the tents? (Because there's only one (king size?) bed in the trailer (and a loft bed that we are pretty sure won't hold their combined weight), and because the Twins like privacy, we brought 2 tents, one for each.) Hmm, 2-pole tents must be a little trickier than they look? No, wait, he's got it. But that tent pad sure slopes downhill. Good thing I'm sleeping in the trailer on that huge bed.
(These things are so much better with visuals...)
We get settled, and eat our dinner. Or, mom and I eat, since the Twins ate on the drive up. Then it's time for 'smores. Twins are disappointed that we only brought Nutella and a Dark Chocolate spread instead of chocolate bars. Mom and I don't like that chocolate bars don't melt enough, so we packed the chocolate in spreadable form. I tempt Twin2 with giant marshmallows. He goes for it, and at least roasts/burns himself a massively huge, fluffy marshmallow. Mom has a 'smore. I toast a massive marshmallow, slowly. We talk.
The Twins, one at a time, drift off to their tents. We keep talking.
Talk turns to her reconstruction (it's big - remove carport, add garage with apartment on top, and a great-room over the main floor of the house), and things she wishes she could do, that would make it just that much better. Further conversation discovers that maybe, just maybe, she can manage that one more thing.
We finally get ready for bed, put out the fire, and settle in with our books. (Because this family reads, y'all.) After a while, we're drifting off, too.
A while later, mom's getting out of bed. I figure just a bathroom break. I'm not totally comfortable - my silk sleep-sack leaves me too cold, but a blanket is too warm. I try to sleep anyway. I hear her come back, get something from the car, get her book, and leave the trailer again. As she's going out, I ask what's up? She says she can't sleep, for thinking about that one more thing to add to the construction. To which my mind replies, "Just four little pieces of flagstone", though I don't say it out loud.
She's outside for a while, reading by the fire pit. When she comes back, she goes to sleep pretty quick, and as I'm drifting back to sleep, I suddenly hear, very loudly, four definite footsteps, right next to the trailer. Someone with a long stride, so probably a man. Not so sleepy now, I sit up and listen, while telling myself there's nothing to be scared of. I realize it must be one of the Twins. Sure enough, a few minutes later, the footsteps return, and I hear the tent zippers.
Then, I really do sleep.
First thing in the morning, as soon as we're both awake, I say, "Four little pieces of flagstone", which cracks us both up. Mom says she had the same thought.
We love that scene.
(from Mr Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse (Cary Grant, Myrna Loy), based on a novel, and which inspired both Don't Eat the Daisies (Doris Day) and Money Pit (Shelley Long, Tom Hanks). For our family, this movie is a must-watch during any reconstruction, redecorating, or drawn-out project. Get yourself a copy and watch it. Seriously. Because I can't describe this scene without it loosing something. I tried.)

Anyway, back to camp.
We have breakfast - yogurt, kashi.
And we reminisce about our favorite serendipitous camping trip, where we found, spilled under the tables, a lot of seed beads. Not just the beads, either. Enough fishing line to string them on, too. Suddenly we had a project and a souvenir, all in one. That was just the coolest.
For this trip, I brought some shell bracelet kits, and we get those out and make up about half of them.
It's getting a little warm, kind of humid, and looking to storm, so we put away everything we can, just in case it decides to rain.
We finish just as it starts to rain. This quickly turns to a downpour, and then hail, as we pull away from the campsite.

Back at home, I get myself up on the roof (again), to check out why the cooler isn't working so well. Lately, I'd been coming home to a house that was hotter than it was outside. And I'm kinda cranky in the heat.
(I'll entertain you with that story later. It's kinda longish.)

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