Monday, July 02, 2007

Camping = Superfun

I am happy to say that our camping trip was enormously successful! We all had a great time. The campground was lovely and we got a great site - one of three in a little clearing in the trees right next to a deep swimming hole on the river, below tall bluffs. We managed to have that little area to ourselves for the duration of our stay except for some people wandering through to the swimming hole... which unfortunately included a group of about eight young boys who came through after dark the first night and again at just past 6am the next morning. Six. In the morning. Which is indeed outside of the posted quiet hours but that wasn't much consolation when they woke us up.

Pearl, of course, was entranced by all the trees and dirt and rocks and water around us, along with her first flashlight! She was content for the most part to sit in a chair and read or munch on some crackers while we worked at setting up and preparing food, and she understood about the fire being hot and stayed back. Bedtime the first night was rough as we were very busy and it got late far quicker than we realized and so she was not a happy camper... literally. But she slept fairly well and I made sure I got her to sleep at a more reasonable hour the next night.

It was beautiful in our little clearing after the sun went down. There were a few clouds but not enough to completely obscure the stars or the moon, which was huge and bright. The moon didn't climb high enough to shine directly down in the clearing before we went to bed, but it shone through the trees and reflected off the bluffs above the river and made them glow.

The next day we hiked for a little while... not quite as far as I would've liked but we were all pretty tired so that was okay. We got to cross the river a few times and we stopped across from some bluffs and snacked while Pearl played on the rocks and frogs' calls echoed across the river.

Buffalo River, as Seen While Being Crossed

We got some swimming in, too. The water there is so clear and clean. Pearl has really enjoyed being in the water this summer: splashing, and floating forwards and backwards while I hold her chest, putting her face in the water and on this trip throwing stones in and hearing their plonk-and-splash for the first time.

I had a lot of fun planning and preparing our camping fare: Sesame Lime Tofu with Mushrooms and Zucchini (the latter from my garden!) for dinner the first night, then Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins and then bacon for breakfast the next morning. For lunch we drove about thirty miles to a wonderful bakery called Neighbor's Mill that we've been to once before and we had turkey avocado sandwiches. We also picked up some absolutely divine sticky buns - sweet cinnamon rolls covered and a sweet buttery pecan sauce, and a loaf of honey-wheat bread to use as hot dog buns for supper that night as I didn't get any beforehand. We also stopped and got some charcoal and a chimney to start it with to make creating a cooking fire easier and more of sure thing.

The charcoal and the chimney did the trick and Mr. Peach started up a fire that lasted even through the rain that started as I was laying Pearl down to sleep that night. It rained for a bit then let up, allowing us some dry time by the campfire so that we could giggle and talk and roast bananas in foil, split down the middle and filled with chocolate chips.

However the rain started again strongly in the night and was still coming down hard the next morning. Thankfully everything was pretty much either in the car or in the tent, so I stayed inside with Pearl and got everything ready to go and Mr. Peach ran it all up to the car with a little protection from an umbrella. We dried off and dressed in clean clothes at the bathrooms (which had flush toilets and sinks and mirrors - what a luxury when camping! Often it's just a vault toilet. I'm still weighing whether I think those conveniences are worth the larger crowds they draw - when I camp I want to enjoy nature, not hang out twenty feet away from strangers, grumpy old hermit that I am.) then ate our sticky buns in the car and headed home!

I can't wait to go again!

Here is a slideshow containing all the photos from the trip.

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Anonymous sarahgrace said...

Oh yay! I'm glad you had such a great time! Makes me really miss camping. I haven't had a trip like that in a long time. My hubby isn't much of a camper, he's not very could at just sitting back and relaxing, he always has to be doing something.

Off to look at all your pics!

10:15 PM  
Anonymous sarahgrace said...

Oops, I meant to "good" instead of "could"...hee hee...

10:16 PM  
Anonymous gearhead mama said...

I'm so glad you guys had fun ... it sounds like it was just lovely. And the pictures were great!

11:11 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That does it. We're going camping!

How did you do sleeping bags--for Pearl?

This sound like such a great weekend...

7:32 PM  

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