Sunday, June 9, 2013

Going on a Bear Hunt...

I am just going to put this out there: when someone is attempting to take their 11-month old camping for the first time, it is not helpful to flood her with stories about how many bears are running around the state park. Because I love nature, but the idea of trying to keep a curious little one from crawling into the fire or off a cliff, rolling in poison ivy, and eating rocks can be daunting enough. Trying to remember the proper procedures for dealing with a black bear (play dead? act big and scary?) and how to get a baby to cooperate with those procedures was enough to make me almost cancel the trip.

Fortunately, I didn't let my silly fears convince me to cancel. And on the first Saturday night in June, the three of us were able to  get out for a night of fresh air and family time - both of which were very much needed!

We decided to go somewhere very close to home (Happy Acres Campground, right next to Little Pine State Park, which is about 30 minutes away) and to only go for one night. This way, if things didn't work out well with Samantha, or if the predicted thunderstorms did end up coming our way, we could just pack up and leave. We went with very low expectations. No pressure to hike five miles and then sit down to a gourmet campfire meal. No belief that Samantha would sleep... at all. No plans other than to just be together as a family, and to be outside.

I'm going to let the pictures tell the story, but there are a few things I learned. First, now that I no longer spend all of my days playing outside in the woods, I have lost my "bug tolerance" (seriously, those critters were everywhere and it was driving me nuts!). Second, I'm getting old, and no matter how many sleeping bags and blankets I pile onto the ground, I still wake up achy. And third, D and I still are most content, and most complete as a couple, when we are able to spend time together in the outdoors, without any distractions, schedules, or agendas.

Without further babbling, here is how Samantha fared on her first camping adventure:

We had a busy day before we left, so she passed out on the way there. She slept long enough for us to set up the tent without her trying to "help."

Sleeping arrangements for the night. we made a little nest of blankets on one side for S, and brought a few comforts from home (her puppy and blanket).

D was excited to show her the tent as soon as she woke up.

"I in a tent!" (words her father woke up and shouted in the middle of the night on his very first camping trip)
The hot day cooled down perfectly as a light rain fell and the sun shone through.

"Now what do we do?"

It took a while for the excitement of having such a large 'playground' to kick in.

D tried very hard to get her to stop eating rocks.

But she's a persistent little girl.

I got this camping chair at a yard sale for $3 that morning. She loved it! It was also the perfect distraction to keep her from trying to play with the campfire.

Snack time.

Trying to climb a hill full of pine needles... and slipping again and again.

She's a persistent little girl.

Practicing our walking skills.

Fast asleep by the fire. Once I put her down on her "nest" in the tent, she didn't stir. Well, until someone's car alarm went off at 2 AM.

We enjoyed mountain pies for dinner, and warmed up some apple bread for breakfast.

Mmm... apple bread. Delicious when smothered with crunchy peanut butter or Nutella.

S asks for more bread. It was the first time she'd ever had any, and she loved it.


I was trying to take down the tent to leave, and she refused to climb out.

No bears, and we will definitely be camping again! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love it! She's a natural, just like her parents :-) Glad she slept well - a bunch of sunshine and fresh air does wonders!