I love camping. Sleeping in a tent, and listening to the world around you. Waking up gradually as the sun starts shining and lighting up the inside of your tent. Ignoring the fact that you have to pee so badly you're seeing yellow, and the restrooms are all the way on the other side of the campground. Hearing the barred owls first, then the turkeys......
All of those things are great...if they get to happen. Friday morning - we were not so lucky.
At 5:00 or so, a large diesel pickup decided to leave the park. At 6:00, about 40 children (ages 11-14) went walking through our campsite on their way to the lake. The bridge that's in the back of our campsite is on a trail that leads to the education center on the top of the hill. For 15 minutes, these children walked through our site....talking, laughing, giggling....and quite a few of them saying "shhhhhhhh"...really loud. Which was actually MORE disturbing than the talking and giggling. I think one young man was dragging a large stick across the bridge as he walked. It actually sounded like a cooler with plastic wheels...but upon inspection - no one had a cooler with them.
Inny was brought out of her sleep by the "sssshhhhh" brigade as well. We both drug ourselves out of our tents...ran (walked with style) to the restrooms...then came back to start up some breakfast. Inny opted for the open fire...whilst I chose my Jetboil. It's not because I hate cooking over an open fire...but it's because the Jetboil is a new toy I haven't been able to use much of. :-)
The troop of children came back through the campsite about an hour later. A couple of the adults actually apologized for the noise and asked if it woke us up. One jokster asked us what was for breakfast.
I laughed and smiled.
Inny told him "nothing!! you woke me up." She's not a morning person...at all!!!!
Thursday night, the kids fell asleep on mom and dad's bed in the camper, and dad fell asleep on their couch...so mom slept with Inny in the tent. I asked her if mom was still sleeping and she told me mom had left in the middle of the night, to use the restroom. She didn't zip the tent up when she left...and never returned. We laughed about whether we should be worried. But assumed she went back to the camper.
She DID appear in a little while, with dad...to come and see what we were doing for breakfast. Brandon came running over with them...while Lauren drug herself across the street. She's as much a morning person as her mother. :-)
We cleaned up the breakfast dishes, and sat around the campfire for quite some time. We were still pouting about being ripped out of our sleep this morning...and decided that none of us really wanted to be very active.
Next thing we knew, it was time for lunch. We cooked some hot dogs and hung out around the campsite. Actually, as I sit here typing this, I can't for the life of me remember what we did on Friday afternoon.
Inny and I took a bike ride. She was inches away from running over a snake crawling across the road. But that's about all I can remember of importance.
Late Friday afternoon, a pop-up camper pulled into the campsite next to us. Within seconds, Lauren had made friends with the two young girls...and they were inseparable the rest of the weekend!!!!
The creek running behind our campsites was too much of an attraction for the kids. They were in and out of it all day. Closer to dinner time, we all heard a blood-curdling scream from one of the girls. Inny was off in a shot...she knew it was Lauren. Then she screamed for Doug to come help.
I was picturing broken bones....but all I saw was a very, very wet little girl...crying her eyes out. It seems the youngest of the sisters in the campsite next to us, was picking her up...and dropped her in the water.
I have no idea what they were doing!!!
Lauren was soaked and screaming her lungs out. She was cold, surprised, embarrassed...and ultimately afraid she was in trouble. Inny finally got her calmed down and the three of us went to the shower house to clean her up.
When Lauren returned, clean and warm, the girls and Brandon decided to paint the rocks they had been finding in the river. It kept them occupied for quite a while. Oh, to be a kid again!!!!
We decided to start cooking dinner about 6:00. Hamburger, hash brown, cream of chicken soup, sour cream "mess" in a couple of the dutch ovens. Enough to feed everyone already there....and the three still showing up that night (grandma, Robin and Aaric). Grandma arrived about that time. The food was ready to eat at 7:00.
It wasn't much longer when Robin and Aaric finally pulled into the campground. Their tent was new, and they'd never put it up before. It was the perfect combination for an entertaining evening. After eating, we let them get to their campsite and staring to unpack before we all snuck over with our chairs. We lined them up, and sat back to watch the show.
They hate us now!!!
Unfortunately, my father is a nice guy (unlike the rest of us). He helped them out, so we didn't get to hear the expecting cussing and frustrated conversations expected when trying to figure a new tent out in the dark. Darn him! :-)
After dinner and the "tent show," the four girls (mom, Inny, Robin and I) headed out to take annual walk around the lake...in the pitch dark.
We weren't 20 feet into the hike, before Robin let out a yelp. I turned around to see her clinging to mom's arm. It seems some poor little woodland creature decided to make itself known as Robin was walking by. She's pretty easily spooked. Although, by the looks of this picture, she wasn't the only one having an issue with the dark that night. :-)
We were almost all the way around the lake, when we noticed someone behind us with a flashlight. There's no way they didn't know we were ahead of them...with all the noise we were making. Turns out it was dad. He found out we went for a walk, and was trying to catch up to us. For some silly reason, he thought we'd walk around the spooky lake at a leisurely pace. Hello!!!!! :-)
After our walk, we all sat around the campfire and talked...made smores....and relaxed.
Robin went over to the restrooms to clean up for the night. Inny and I went over not too long after her, and decided to wait outside the restroom door for her to finish. As she was walking out the door, we walked up behind her.
I don't know if I can explain her reaction well enough without a visual...but I'll give it a try. Think of this all in slow motion...because that's how it seemed to happen.
She walks out the door, we step in line behind her. She hears us and turns around. At first she smiles, and we think she must have known we were there. And then.....well, that's when the fear of being snuck up on hit her.
Her face went from smile to absolute deer in headlight terror in under 2 seconds flat. You could watch her face morph into the scream.
And boy did she scream. It didn't help that it was after 'quiet time' in the park...so her scream echoed throughout the entire campground.
She called us a few names, and we all went back to the campsite. :-)
All in all....an exciting, but fun Friday!!!