Sunday, June 30, 2013


We took off camping for one night this weekend, and it was the easiest camping trip we've ever had as a family.  Finally, some of this camping-since-they-were-infants work seems to be paying off, and Clara and Elena are feeling more autonomous and entertained on these trips. Whew!
We drove just about an hour away from home and stumbled upon a perfect site for about a dozen of us to hang out at together.  In the end we set up at least seven tents on this one spot, but it worked out great.
Steve got straight to work with the hatchet, not even pausing to smile in his quest to get Christina enough firewood to begin the evening meal (which was going to take a good two hours to cook, so it's a good thing he didn't waste any time!).
Clara headed right off to her favorite camping activity - remember what elicits this kind of smile?
Butterfly catching!  We don't know what kind of butterflies these were, but there were also caterpillars everywhere that were also pretty fun to play with.  At one point the girls had made a "kingdom" for the four caterpillars that they found, complete with a corral, a bathtub, a sandbox, and plenty of snack options.
Christina's campfire experiment - the foil packets are new potatoes in olive oil, with garlic and chives, and they just hung out in the coals for about an hour and a half.  The peppers and Walla Walla sweet onions went right in coals that had been burning for an hour - they got turned every ten minutes, and then you slip them right out of the charred skins and have a deliciously cooked vegetable in the end (it worked!).  We also grilled eggplant and zucchini on the grate above some more active flames.
Somehow, we forgot plates and cups.  Luckily, our children are good at scavenging and our friends are good at sharing.
Steve, getting ready to head out to fish - and Elena and Sylvie carbo loading on pretzels.
Some of the finished food - other people brought lots of great additions as well, and we were very well-fed campers.
And as the sun set, we all knew what it was time for...
...s'mores!  We decided to try some variations.  This one Christina made with thin almond crackers, and a Ghiradelli caramel-filled chocolate, and the marshmallow. 
 We brought variations with dark chocolate, and the hershey's and graham crackers were the usual hit, too.
There was some thunder and lightening and just a bit of rain in the night, but we awoke to that famous big sky, blue and beautiful.  We hung out at the creek and played before heading home to catch our first baseball game of the season.  This is truly the season to be a Montanan.

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