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Iím Going Camping


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#1 Christian

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 04:11 PM

A tough work day is winding down. Iím eating my dinner, about to head out to a movie. But I wanted to post quickly, just to say that tomorrow, my wife and I are going camping. For four days. In tents. With our almost 4-year-old, and our 2-year-old.

And my wife is due to delivery our third child on Nov. 11. So sheís very pregnant.

Sarah and I last went camping before our almost 4-year-old was born. To my amazement, Sarah took both girls camping for a few days last yearówithout me. Now itís my turn to join in the fun. All of the trips, including this one, involve meeting up with Sarahís parentsóso we do have someone to fall back on if things get, uh, ugly.

Neither of us is the outdoors type, although weíre not exactly intimidated by the idea of camping. Still, the idea of driving a couple of hours to be in the woods (actually, itís right off Skyline Drive, in a National park! Not exactly rough Ďní tumble) strikes me more and more as surreal. Yeah, natureís cool, but do I really feel a cryiní need to be out in it for several days in a row?

OK, Iím sure itíll be fun. Maybe I should put that in quotes: ďfun.Ē Because weíve all had camping experiences that were anything but ďfun,Ē havenít we? Let me tell you some stories from my childhood.

Better yet, how íbout you guys tell me some stories?

Edited by Christian, 14 September 2006 - 04:12 PM.


#2 Christian

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 08:51 AM

No camping stories? Drat.

Our big highlight this time: A buck, who came right up to the camp-site and let us feed him apples from a nearby tree. The deer was standing, literally, 3 or 4 feet from us, staring at us while he munched. It was glorious, but after it happened a couple of times, it began to seem routine. How quickly we adjust to the amazing wonder of God's creation, and begin to take for granted things that, only hours earlier, would have seemed, rightly, exceptional. How sad.

But it was a great four days in "the wild." Started out dreary, but became quite lovely about halfway through. Who knows -- maybe we'll go camping again next year!

#3 Andy Whitman

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 02:07 PM

QUOTE(Christian @ Sep 14 2006, 05:11 PM) View Post

A tough work day is winding down. Iím eating my dinner, about to head out to a movie. But I wanted to post quickly, just to say that tomorrow, my wife and I are going camping. For four days. In tents. With our almost 4-year-old, and our 2-year-old.

And my wife is due to delivery our third child on Nov. 11. So sheís very pregnant.

Sarah and I last went camping before our almost 4-year-old was born. To my amazement, Sarah took both girls camping for a few days last yearówithout me. Now itís my turn to join in the fun. All of the trips, including this one, involve meeting up with Sarahís parentsóso we do have someone to fall back on if things get, uh, ugly.

Neither of us is the outdoors type, although weíre not exactly intimidated by the idea of camping. Still, the idea of driving a couple of hours to be in the woods (actually, itís right off Skyline Drive, in a National park! Not exactly rough Ďní tumble) strikes me more and more as surreal. Yeah, natureís cool, but do I really feel a cryiní need to be out in it for several days in a row?

OK, Iím sure itíll be fun. Maybe I should put that in quotes: ďfun.Ē Because weíve all had camping experiences that were anything but ďfun,Ē havenít we? Let me tell you some stories from my childhood.

Better yet, how íbout you guys tell me some stories?

My wife and I have camped, with and without kids, at least a couple times per year for the past twenty-five years. To be honest with you, I have never gotten used to it. I do it because I love them, and not for any other reason.

Some of it is attributable to wildly different dispositions, some of it to wildly different physiques. They think of the beauty of God's creation. I think of mosquitoes and tree roots in the middle of my back when I lie down at night. They are long-legged and slender, leap nimbly from boulder to boulder, and think that just about any day is suitable for a good, strenuous mountain hike, preferably of ten or more miles involving several-thousand-foot climbs in elevation. I, on the other hand, have the physique of Gimli, and the best I can say is that I like to curl up with a good book on a soft bed of pine needles, covered in mosquito netting and smelling strongly of Off. I gamely tag along, but I can assure you that this dwarf is not a natural sprinter, and I struggle not only to keep up with them, but not to pass out.

And I do it a couple times per year, because they thoroughly love it, and they are in their glorious element as Primal Nature Women. I'm fairly certain that the tradition will be carried on with my grandkids, and I will find myself in ten years still doing it as a hobbled, gnarled dwarf.

The fact that your wife, Christian, is doing this when she's seven months pregnant doesn't bode well for your future either, my friend.

Edited by Andy Whitman, 19 September 2006 - 02:11 PM.


#4 Christian

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:48 PM

I'm going camping again. This weekend. With my wife and four kids -- the first time with the whole family. The weather's supposed to be beautiful, which is good. Our van is equipped to pull the camper, although I've never done any such thing and will let my wife take the lead on the driving. In fact, she'll be taking the lead on most everything we do the next few days. I'll take my orders, do my best to keep up, try not to act like I'd rather be somewhere else. There will be nowhere to hide.

But you know, I think I might really enjoy camping with the family. In the camper, not a tent. Tight quarters, but better in the rain. Even though it's not going to rain.

I'm bringing a New Yorker. And my Thelonius Monk biography. And my Bible.

Who thinks I'll have time to read?

I'm bringing my iPod. And a battery-powered radio.

Someone told me I'm supposed to spend time outdoors while camping, but I can't see myself doing too much of that.

Whatever happens, I Am Going To Have a GOOD TIME.

#5 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 07:54 AM

I went camping with the boys for a weekend outside of Chicago. Both nights we ended up in a hotel. Once after our tent flooded. The second time after we abandoned the campsite to a swarm of ravenous mosquitos.

I hope to never go camping again.

#6 Christian

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 04:21 PM

That sounds tough, Buckeye. My experience was pretty good. Beautiful weather, but several things on the camper that didn't work, or threatened not work, and a couple of Coleman stoves that we thought worked but didn't. So we cooked by open fire, which became fun only AFTER I got the coffee percolator to work. I was a morose fella until that point, depressed and ready to pack it in. The freshly brewed coffee did wonders for me. It turned around the experience, gave me a delightful two days after the first-day downers.

I'm disappointed that I'm so dependent on the hot, caffeinated liquid, but the situation is what it is. No denying it. As long I have coffee, I can get through anything.

#7 Christian

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:22 PM

We'll soon be off on another camping trip, the second of the summer. Our first 5-day trip, in late May, was beautiful. The weather couldn't have been better. The kids had a great time, and so did Sarah and I. The forecast is looking pretty good for the upcoming trip; cooler temps for part of the time, and we'll be at a higher elevation, which helps. I'm packing jeans in addition to shorts.

It's been a long, hot summer where I live -- and a busy one. I want to relax, and will, but camping requires a certain amount of effort. Not as much reading gets done as I hope will get done. Certainly not as much writing. But I've packed a couple of books, and a couple of notebooks and pens. The triumph of hope over experience.

#8 Christian

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 06:55 AM

Time for a long weekend in the mountains! I'm very much looking forward to it, even though there's a 60% chance of heavy storms later today. I'm hoping they miss us. The rest of the weekend is looking good!



#9 Christian

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:44 PM

West Virginia, here we come! Another trip starting tomorrow, and a much needed time off work. The weather forecast is looking pretty good, and I've got plenty of reading to catch up on when I'm not hiking or trying to listen to baseball games on the hand-cranked radio. 



#10 Christian

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:39 AM

Back from a four-day camping weekend that followed a short work week after our week-long camping trip. Whew! This time we were in Big Meadows off Skyline Drive for an organized event from a group called Classical Astronomy. 

 

The skies did not cooperate. Cloud cover and rain dampened the presentations. I never went to one, staying at the campsite with the boys while my wife and daughters attended the first night; we skipped the second night because "scattered showers" turned into extended showers.

 

Still, a great long weekend. And now it's back to the grind, dealing with some work crises that have grown for two business days in my absence. I'm praying that today, those crises will resolve.