Monday, October 15, 2007

Camping on the St. Croix

I was itching to get outside before the weather got too cold, so we took a family camping trip with our new friends, Mike and Karly. It was a great trip, although not without it's little bumps in the road (more on that later). The campground, being only an hour from the Cities, was crowded. Although that wasn't my ideal, it was heaven for Isaac. Dogs, fires, lights, people, all outside, all the time. What could be better?
For those of you who've never seen a Peapod in action, here it is in all it's glory: one of my favorite pieces of kid-gear. Isaac has slept in that tent when we were in Germany last summer, when he spends the night at Beth's house, when he's napping at someone's house during the day...anytime he needs to sleep while we're on the go. He's getting too big for it, though :(. He still fits, but barely. Of course, he did have something like 16 layers of clothing on when we were camping! He was a little freaked out by being in a new place, but I love that he is at the stage where he is comforted just by the sounds of my voice. He started crying a couple of times as he was falling asleep, but I just stood outside the tent and sang a song or two, and he calmed right down.

If only that was our sole musical endeavor for the night. We unfortunately had some drunk neighbors who loved to play one oldies song after another after 2am in the morning. Picture this: you're a rather pregnant woman who wakes up early in the morning to 1) a shivering cold body 2) a strong need to go to the bathroom, and 3) "In The Still of the Night" (the irony was not lost on me, even at 2:30am), "Build Me Up, Buttercup", "Rollin' Down the River", etc, etc. Not a pretty picture. I felt like I was in some sort of twisted nightmare. Thankfully, after suffering through ten or so foot-tappin tunes, I got up the nerve to venture outside, go to the bathroom, and put on another layer of clothing. Mercifully, the music stopped at 3am, and then euphoria set in. I was warm, I was comfy, and I was surrounded by silence. Blissful. And yes, we did tell the park rangers about our nefarious neighbors in the morning. :)

My man, the pyro (or is that just all men? or all people? Everyone loves a good fire.).

Ok, I know I'm a bad mom for letting my son pick up the hatchet, but it was so cute! He really wanted to imitate Vance, and he really thought he was helping. And he didn't cut off his legs at the ankle.

Just look at that impish grin!

It was so cathartic to take a nice long hike, and Isaac loved riding up high.

Did you know that you can whistle through an acorn top? You can! Mike showed us how.

We hiked through the wetlands, which had an open beauty all their own.


Kiddies in the Sun said...

Ok, now I really, really want to go camping this fall with the kids! You have made it sound so fun, but then I guess there are those 'bumps in the road' you eluded to that you haven't mentioned yet. It looked beautiful and fun! Thanks for inspiring us to go, we'll see if we can fit it in! (and yes, I can see Collin wanting to use a hatchet too!)

Ellen said...

Glad you're posting more of your adventures. I love to see you having fun. Pray for my camera. I'm hoping I'll be able to take more cool pics like those you had later on. Loved the mist in the woods...

Sarah Shingler said...

Such beautiful pictures!! I love that everyone is busy getting in their camping trips before it gets too cold. That look on Vance's face where he is building the fire.. looks very familiar :) Stephen is a fire building genius as well :)

Jenn said...

I LOVE this post, you had me really laughing over your "choir campers" hee hee that was great.
We went camping a few years back with our caregroup and the joke was on us. We sounded "drunk" because we were having such a good time and laughing so much (of course we hadn't had any drink at all, we just were enjoying fellowship. It was great when the park ranger had to come and tell us to pipe down and also discovered we had had nothing to drink! Fun memory. :)