Saturday, September 27, 2008

Camping Anyone?

. . . then there was the time I decided a camping vacation with our three young children would be fun.

I had heard that the east Texas town of Mount Vernon, about 75 miles east of Dallas, was pretty country with a lake and campsites. The idea seemed good: camping, cooking-out, and maybe a little fishing. And quiet, wide open space for the wife, kids and me to enjoy together.

So I bought the gear: tents, cookstove, sleeping bags, ice chest, fishing poles and we were off for a weekend at the lake.

One of the longest weekends in my life.

Was it the owls that hooted all night or the unseasonably cold weather that drove me to the car and its heater around 3 a.m. so that my kids could keep warm with my sleeping bag? It was so cold, the old guy in the motorhome next to us invited us to sleep in his RV the following night. I declined.

Or, the water skiers who decided to rev their boat engines at 6 a.m.?

Or, the cooking on a mini propane stove, cleaning the charred pans with cold water from a nearby spigot, then three hours later, repeating for lunch; by dinner I decided to find the nearest restaurant and relax, which we did. I remember all of us laughing and enjoying dinner with a "wow, what a relief not to be having fun camping" disposition; though the wife and kids were kind enough not to say so directly.

Oh well, the old guy in the RV taught my boys how to tie a fish hook onto a line and how to fish, and I think they caught one or two bony, little, 3 inch something or others. I cooked them but couldn't find the meat through the bones when we ate them.

A baby bass, I think that's what it was.


me said...

Ouch! Yes Stephen caught an old boot. We lent out the camping gear to the next sucker and hoped never to see it again. Unfortunately it came back.

Becca said...

I really don't know how you fit 3 kids, 2 tents and all the other stuff into a Volvo sedan. I kind of remember being squeezed into the back seat and having piles of pillows and sleeping bags on top of us.

JohnPeterSmith said...

I've done the "take the kids camping to enjoy nature" trip myself.

You got it right, the worst part of camping is that it seems like you spend the whole time either preparing for, or cleaning up after, meals.

That's why I'm pioneering the concept of "Urban Camping". Right now I'm trying to talk the Basses into turning a block or two downtown into an "Urban Campground". That way campers could still the get the camping experience but eat at some decent restaurants as well.

Andrew said...

I remember catching a bunch damn angry red-eyed snapping turtles. Oh, and getting a fish hook stuck in my flesh.

me said...

Becca , as I told dad you kids were molded into the bach seat.Totally custom fit.