The Great Outdoors!
This weekend we took the girls camping for the first time! It was a terrific trip and everyone had an awesome time! Kim and Linda generously invited us to join them camping at Dosewallips State Park and we jumped at the chance to expose the girls to one of our favorite pastimes- with two of our favorite traveling partners!
The girls were great little campers- gamely playing under the big shelter that Kim and Linda erected for them. The coolers were awesome little tables for them to stand and bang on and it even meant that got to stay up a little later (7pm- oh la la) on Friday night.
On Saturday we trekked out to the "clamming beach" which had an oddly placed observation tower that was about 1/2 mile from the shore. As far as we could tell- from the observation tower (a not exactly breathtaking two stories up) the only thing you got a good view of was how far from the water’s edge you were. We walked out along the very shallow tidal plane towards the clammers and came across a group of moms perched on the only dry spot surrounded by treacherous looking broken oyster shells- they were out there with kids toddling around, sporting bikinis in the humid heat with no water or shade for 1000 yards in any direction. It was pretty odd.
On the way back, we walked in the shallow river that we were camped beside- cooling our tired feet and splashing the water on the girls. The campsite itself was your stereotypical car camping paradise- lots of families that appeared to attempt to bring their entire houses with them when camping. There was even one group that had several huge bird cages with brilliant green parrots in them. The campgrounds, despite the preponderance of RVs and outdoor-living room sized tents, was actually very well maintained and the campers were all friendly and neighborly. I didn’t hear any obnoxiously loud music or drunken boisterousness- which has seemed like a requirements at previous campgrounds of this type. Perhaps it was because there were so many families.
Camping Brings Out Your Inner Glutton
Even though we weren’t WATCHING the Olympics, we were doing out best to match Michael Phelps calorie for calorie. 12,000 calories a day, ha! When camping I can (and will) do that sitting down. I don’t know why, but camping brings out the inner glutton in me. Perhaps because you can absolve all culinary sins (whether simply eating spam for breakfast, or stuffing in "just one more" s’more after a huge dinner, beer, and chocolate chip cookies! And when car camping, you don’t actually do a lot of physical exercise- it’s mostly the kind of exertion that tires you out without actually doing much. Things like moving the chairs around to maximize the shade (or sun). Tidying up the table, so you can get ready for 2nd breakfast or a pre lunch snack- Sam the Hobbit would have been proud!
Campfires are the perfect way to end a great day. The girls have gone to bed and settled down, everyone is groaning from too much good food, feet stretched close enough to be warm but not to burn- it puts you in the right mood to reflect on how wonderful everything in your life is. Closing your eyes and listening to the crackling, unchangeable sound of a campfire- a sound that hasn’t changed in millions of years, you realize that you could be inhabiting any point in time and yet in spite of that, there is nowhere else you’d rather be.