Thursday, December 5, 2013

So, how was your summer?

We’ve got some catching up to do!

Camping with the family was a real adventure!  The story that will be told over and over is that of our very first night…

We had borrowed a 1970’s canvas tent with heavy steel poles from Perry’s dad rather than buying a new tent for the family.  His would easily fit two parents and three kids and it was kind of like a small canvas one-room house.  It was tall enough that we could stand up and the windows were more than waist high.  It had double door flaps that tied back and let a great breeze flow through.

We arrived at our destination in the afternoon and found my parents had already parked their RV and were preparing dinner for all of us.  Perry and I set up the tent and noted the dark sky and the smell of rain in the air.  After dinner, we hustled the kids into the tent for their first night of camping.  We spent some time settling in and reading books, then tucked in for the night to the sound of gentle rain on the canvas roof.

Somewhere around 4:00 AM, Perry and I were startled awake by strong whips of wind and rain pounding the tent on what seemed like all sides.  Perry and I talked quietly about whether we should move the kids to the car or wake my parents and join them in the RV.  Before a decision was made, another gust of wind knocked down the steel poles on the back side of our tent.  I jumped up to hold the tent wall up while telling the kids to grab their shoes, books, and stuffed animals because we had to run to the camper.  I was trying to hide my panic as the rain was beating through the canvas wall on my back, soaking my clothes.  The wind was swirling around the tent, blowing in the now unsupported walls.  Perry helped the kids find their things while I called my parents’ cell phones repeatedly to wake them and ask them to unlock the RV door.

Within about 45 seconds, everyone was ready to run.  At this point, all sides were collapsed and there was just enough space under my drenched outstretched arms for Perry and the kids to huddle around.  Perry struggled to unzip the 30+ year old zipper, and he and the kids bolted out and ran to the RV.  I followed, dropping the tent and abandoning our pillows and sleeping bags.  Perry insists that I did a barrel roll out of the tent like some kind of ninja.

We made it into the RV and dried off.  Our tent survived another two days, always leaning to one side and threatening to give in to the smallest gust of wind before we decided it would be in our best interest to spend the money to replace it.
After a night in the wind.
We had to laugh about how we’d given the kids a great introduction to camping.  The rest of the trip would be easy after running out of a collapsing tent in a rain storm.  We went on to see an outdoor play of Little House on the Prairie on one of the properties where the Ingalls family lived.  We explored Wall Drug.  We hiked the Badlands.  We saw Mount Rushmore all lit up at night.  The kids earned Junior Ranger badges and promised to appreciate, respect, and protect all national parks when they were officially sworn in.  We saw the Corn Palace and learned a lot about U.S. history.  We ended our trip by surprising the kids with one night at a hotel with a water park where they played to the point of exhaustion, then slept like angels.

It was a great trip and we have tons of family memories.  We’re already thinking about places we can camp and explore next summer.

No comments:

Get 15% off
your first order
use code positron
Home Essentials
Buy Home Essentials at Soap.comBuy Home Essentials at
Not valid for existing or customers. Some resctrictions apply.