Of campfires and pinot

Oh, my, dear readers. You might not be able to smell it, but there’s a good chance you can: Naptime reeks as though someone rubbed a citronella candle in a dirty armpit and barbequed it. Four days of camping with the small people and Spouse was just wonderful.

I know some people don’t like the whole sleeping-on-the-ground thing, the lack-of-shower thing, the cooking-over-an-unpredictable-flame thing. But I think camping is awesome. I love falling asleep and waking under trees and clear skies. I love having nothing to do but hike. I love the lack-of-electricity excuse for going to bed with the kids and waking up in a quiet, bone-chilling dawn.

It helps that I packed well. Bags and bags of food, enough toys, great books, good snacks, plenty of non-toxic bug lotion, clothes for every weather, and lots of wine. When, every now and then, I open a bottle of wine, it takes me five days to finish it. For this four-day trip, though, I packed three bottles. And drank them all.

Because did I mention I went camping with a two-year-old? Peanut, the six-year-old, was in heaven. He collected leaves and climbed trees and ate his weight in scrambled eggs and watched the campfire and begged for more than five hikes a day. Butter, bless him, learned his first lesson in how hard it is to get pinto-bean-sized piece of creosote out of your nostril. And how when your parents tell you not to throw the contents of your shovel, they do it to avoid days of itchy leaf litter in your unwashed hair. And how constant entreaties to get off the picnic table are intended to avoid that big fall where you gouged your forehead open on redwood detritus. He was a filthy, bloody little urchin when we got home, but he had the time of his life.

As did we all. Stinky, uncomfortable, well rested, exhausted, frustrated, and content.


16 thoughts on “Of campfires and pinot

  1. ps: I should have said The Other CK…wait…how about I’ll try to remember to be CK2, which sounds more mountain-y and adventurous than I’ll ever be?

      • Totally gigglin at MountCK, CK2.0, CKbeta, RockyCK, CKallterrain, CKupslope, CKmudkingtires, CKandthebandit, ….I’m done now.

        Oh that waterfall. You KNOW I love that kind of scenery.

        • So many of the redwoods has been hollowed out by a huge fire, but are still alive and towering. The boys took their headlamps into each tree cave and we spoke often of spelunkers. You would have enjoyed their thoughts on the cave behind that waterfall.

  2. Coming from a family of 7, all of our vacations were of the tent variety. Those are some of my most precious memories. It sounds like it was a perfect four days. I’m looking forward to enjoying similar adventures with my little ones, but I feel like I need another year or so. Maybe not. Zachary (without his cast) would enjoy it much more than Isabelle. Or should i say “I” would enjoy it much more with an older Isabelle?

    • Camping with a toddler is very stressful. Spilled food = bears. Frequent tumbles far from medical care = unnerving. Naps = impossible. Short attention span = frustrating. I hesitated about this year, but figured we were setting the stage for next year. It’ll get more fun as they age, so we wanted to try now. You have time. She could be 3 before your first trip and you won’t have missed out.
      Except that 3 is uber-challenging.

    • Oh, my…four is probably just right for some families, but for ours two is more than enough.

      It was fabulous. Hope you have something equally wonderful in your summer this year.

    • Oh, it is. But the hard ground and lack of amenities and fickle nature of weather, fire, stangers, wildlife, and bugs are reason enough not to tolerate such amazing views.

      Day trip.

  3. Pingback: My summer vacation « Naptime Writing

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