Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Camping Adventure

We took the girls camping to Oregon last year, where we slept in a yurt on the coast. But we wanted to try camping with them in a tent, without them sleeping in portable cribs, and so we ventured on a trip with our friends Kate, Kevin, and their daughter, Annie to Idaho last weekend.

The week before the trip Elena came down with a fever, and the day before the trip Clara got one. Our doctor said we should still go camping, as it couldn't hurt and might help her be distracted and feel better. So we packed up the truck and off we went.

Arriving at our campsite, all three girls had a sit on the tailgate for some trail mix to revive them after the drive:
There was toasting to our arrival:
And general merriment (well, except thoughtful Elena here):
We set up camp - here's the tent that we got for our family camping adventures. You can see from the picture above that we didn't exactly camp "light" - this thing weighs a ton, and we have a carpet we lay down inside so we are all nice and comfy:

We just love it, and it takes only minutes to set up. After the tent set-up, we snacked some more (this is our favorite part of camping). Elena shows off a really funny move here - whenever she's being especially sweet to a little friend/sister (in this case getting Annie her sippy cup) she squats down like this, almost as if to say "here, you little thing, let me help you." Nevermind that she is just as tall as Annie!

Here is Kevin, laying out some snacks:

And Clara and Steve, partaking:

Christina with Elena, goofing off:

Clara shows off her fondness for camp chairs:

I know, riveting, right? Just as we were gaining our momentum for camping fun (in our second hour into the adventure) Annie came down with a fever. It was fast and it was high, and we were all a bit worried. Kate can be gracious and fun in the face of anything (look at her here!) and tried to make the best of it, but Annie clearly wasn't feeling well:
And so, Kate and Kevin and Annie drove back home. Yep. The rest of their campout was popsicles and sleeping bags on the living room floor, safely in cell phone range again and in close proximity to doctors (neither of which we had in Idaho). We were so sad to see them go.

We took Clara and Elena to the Lochsa river, which was just steps away from our camp site. They love water, and loved seeing this river at a nice, shallow spot:

Steve and Clara were wading in to get a better view:
While Elena preferred dipping her feet in and out with Christina at the edge:
Then, Steve helped them find rocks to throw, their favorite game:
We also watched all the small fish swimming around -can you spot the one right near this speckled rock?

We rallied as best as we could, but Clara was still not feeling 100%, and Steve and Christina radically misjudged how best to help the girls sleep, so there were a daunting few hours of discontent at the camp site as we figured out what everyone needed. We ended up with Clara sleeping in the tent, and Elena outside at the fire making her first toasted marshmallows with Christina and Steve. When we took her back in the tent when we went to bed, she sweetly grabbed each of our hands and fell straight asleep.

And then. Then there were the hours between 10:30pm and 6:30 am where roughly every hour a girl ended up moving in her sleep and finding herself cold out of her sleeping bag or in the corner of the tent and lost. Not a lot of sleep for our camping lot. We woke and had oatmeal and coffee over a campfire, then high-tailed it back home.

We're proud we did it, and we'll do it differently next time (hopefully back with our friends and with everyone healthy!). We can't help but think that this is the kind of advanture that will get easier as the girls age!

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