Camping Chaos


Camping is wonderful. I love it. But, it has its ups and downs.

First, the rain. Living in a desert state, we don’t get much. I’m used to dry camping trips, with perhaps a sprinkle or two. This time, we got drenched. The movie/book title A River Runs Through It aptly described our campsite. For the two and a half days we were there, it rained for two. I was intensely grateful for the natural pine tree umbrella we hung out underneath. Since we can’t stand or even really sit in our dome tent, we used the pine tree to shelter during the day.

Then, there was the nutty squirrel who was determined to chase me away from the bathroom. I woke up before everyone else and skipped to the loo, my darling. (My bladder wouldn’t let me just saunter.) As soon as I came within twenty feet of the pine tree that is its home right next to the bathroom, it began to chatter wildly. Soon, I was the intended target of a barrage of pinecones. This mad squirrel was pulling them down and hurling them my way. I ducked my head and ran in to the bathroom only to hear the roof being pelted as I tried my best to settle in enough to complete my business. (You try having a pee when you’re constantly hearing things being chucked at the roof which you fear may come crashing down at any minute.) When I was done, the squirrel continued its relentless air attack as I covered my head and ran. Who knows what this squirrel might have been capable of had I stuck around for it to scurry to the ground and take its grievance up with me hand-to-hand? I still don’t know what I did to anger a squirrel so much.

Sleeping while camping is, well, not so much sleep as rest. Sort of. I would describe my nights as sleeping in vignettes. I must have had ten to fifteen different pieces of dreams. In between them all, my two-year old was pushing me off the air mattress or kicking me in the face, or trying her best to stake her claim to my pillow. I thought tumbling off the air mattress was bad, but it beat the next night when, after my hubby tried to blow up the air mattress, he pulled out the valve. Though he shoved it back in, it deflated faster than a balloon held by a three-year-old. We were staying in the mountains where the Mormon Pioneers quarried the granite for the Salt Lake Temple. I think they forgot some; we were sleeping on it.

Our mattress for the night

Our mattress for the night

I did love making pixie dust with my kids and the awesome pinecone war we had. (The kids claimed they won, but we totally flanked them and took them by surprise. The adults won. Though, I’m sure had the squirrel joined in, it would have schooled us all!) The ukulele jam was great. And the little forested area right by our camp, named Anatopia by the kids, was perfect as always. Not to mention the hike we took during the brief dry period. Mostly, I just loved spending time with my kiddos, hubby, nieces and nephews, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, and my mother-in-law and her husband without any distractions and in the beautiful surroundings God created for us. So, even though the air mattress broke, as did the hinge on our Thule, and the minivan’s battery died and had to be jumped before we could leave, we had a great time.

I do keep seeing images of a rabid squirrel every time I sit down on the porcelain throne. But I’m sure that will fade in time, right?


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