I’m a creature of habit. I like the traditions we’ve formed over the years, and one of my favorites was taking our annual summer trip, and staying in the funky cabin near Pinecrest lake. I liked lounging by the lake, eating soft serve ice cream cones from the Snack Shack, hikes around the lake, movie watching under the stars,… I love it all and I never wanted things to change, ever. So when Justin suggested we try something new this summer I was hesitant (read: being stubbornly childish). Why mess with something that’s already so perfect?
“Babe, don’t you think the kids would love a chance to go tent camping? Do something different this time? Give them a real camping experience?”
We decided to get the kids input. So I asked them, “Hey kiddos! Would you rather go to the cabin this summer and play in the lake, watch movies, and sleep in real beds?! OR, go tent camping?”
All four of them in unison “GO TENT CAMPING!!”
So that’s what we did.
The boys had their own camping haven that they stocked with new comic books and flashlights.
We had campfires each night with different treats to enjoy. The first few nights we did S’mores, but as a surprise, I also brought a bag of potatoes and let the kids roast them in the coals. We fished them out of the fire, smeared them with butter, and hit them with a good sprinkling of salt. I am here to testify that hot, slightly smokey flavored, coal roasted potatoes, are the best potatoes a person can eat. Period.
By the second day, I must confess, tent camping in the Sierras had won me over completely. Sure, at night I missed the hot shower and sleeping on a real bed but…the fun and the memories were totally worth a little discomfort.
In the afternoons Miss E preferred mom and dad’s big bed for some light reading (do you see the grime on those jean?! Oh my word, there is nothing like mountain dirt. It gets EVERYWHERE, all.the.time.)
So, a few things I learned: keep the kids warm at night! It’s way better to bring too many blankets than to not have enough. Even though the afternoons got hot, the temperatures really dip at night and cold kids don’t sleep soundly. Also, next time I’m bringing one of those solar shower units. Clark’s Fork is a beautiful campground but there are no showers. I found that I could handle sleeping on an air mattress each night, but man, I need a shower now and again.
At the end of the trip as we headed back down the mountain I asked the kids, “Well, are you guys ready to go back to the little cabin next year or will it be tent camping again? What did you like better?”
One again, all in unison “TENT CAMPING!”
You know what? That’s just fine by me…