I LOVE this weekend. Every year!!! I look forward to it all year long. The second weekend in October....family reunion...camping weekend....the great outdoors!!! :-)
Our family started getting together once a year....and after sitting around with grandma and mom, they know that they were doing it in 1968, but believe it actually has probably been going on longer. It began at a different park in Iowa, but has been at Springbrook for longer than I've been alive. It used to be just on Sunday, for a picnic. Grandpa worked in the local grain elevator, so the picnic was based on the harvest.
Since I've been going to Springbrook, we've always met at the picnic shelter. It was only recently that we all began going out for the entire weekend for camping as well as the picnic. (any excuse to camp!!!) The shelter was handy, because you never know what the weather in Iowa is going to throw your way! Rain, sleet, wind, heat...you just never know. The shelter kept us out of all of those elements, whatever they may be. There is also a very large green space around the shelter. For croquet, badminton, volleyball, Frisbee.....whatever we can come up with.
Mot already had the Jeep packed for me when I got home after work on Thursday - ain't he sweet? :-) Because of that, I was able to head out right away. The drive to the park took longer than usual...thanks to grain trucks and slow interstate drivers.
I arrived at the park about 7:15 or so. Mom, Inny and I each donned one of my headlamps and helped light the area for me to put up my tent. After the tent was set up and moved into, I took out the Jetboil system to heat up some canned soup for supper. Mom, Dad, Inny, the munchkins and I all sat together on the picnic table, around the lantern...talking about my sister's interesting week. I started to tell you about her Tuesday, but it seems there is more to the story. :-)
Inny and the kids arrived at the park on Tuesday. The kids headed out for the campground playground, while Inny was unpacking the car and setting up the campsite. In the middle of setting up, she walked over to check on them. The playground is within view of the campsites we had reserved..but she couldn't see them, and thought it better to see where they were. Those two get into a TON of trouble when together.
There weren't at the playground, so she walked up the hill nearby. The hill is actually the dam holding the lake in place. :-) At the top of the dam, she saw this sign near the spillway that leads from the lake into the creek that runs through the campground....
The kids were nowhere in sight, but around the base of this sign....were their shoes, socks, and gloves. Argh!!!
Inny heard there voices right about then, and she looked down to see them IN the spillway. Double Argh!!!
After 'talking to them sternly', they went back to the campsite to finish setting up. Because the kids were with her, and it's Iowa in October, Inny brought an electric heater for the tent. It was then she found out that the tent was too far away from the electrical outlet for the site, and her extension cord only reached halfway. So, the three of them loaded up in the car and headed into town for another extension cord. On the way back.....they hit a deer with the car.
Her vehicle sustained almost zero damage, but was sufficiently schmeared in deer snot. :-)
Then, that evening, the break in to her vehicle.
These three events all happened within 6 hours of each other....so her first day out there this year was....well, less than pleasant....but ripe for story telling. :-)
After eating my canned soup, we all hung out around the campfire for a little while, then headed to bed. I go out on Thursday night, because the first night I'm out at the campground, especially if I've worked the whole day, I usually go to bed early. I love to lay in my tent and listen to the wilderness around us. The creek running alongside the campground.
And this year, my ears were zoned in on the campsite action. In a way, I was almost wishing that the little car thief would come back. The little punk!!!!!!