The Goings Last Camping Adventure....for awhile at least
In case you didn't know, DH recently got laid off from his job. Couple this with the fact I'm just a housewife, who happens to be pregnant, and the sudden, dramatic downturn of our economy, this doesn't bode well.
However, there are a few irons in the fire for my ol' hubby and his job prospects, so all is not hopeless. Due to this craptastic crapfest, we decided we needed to get away for awhile and relax. As you know, we've gone camping a few times in the past, but never "by ourselves". We've always gone with friends. This time around, we decided to meander on up to Ft. Stevens, Oregon on our own, a place we've actually never visited - the only stretch of American soil to be shelled by the Japanese in 1942 (as Hawaii wasn't a state when they bombed Pearl Harbor).
Anyhow, it was awesome to camp out there, amidst the many different batteries protecting the mouth of the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. We had fun exploring the catacombs of the bunkers and the old giant gun pits.
But that wasn't our only adventure. The first night, we discovered our air mattress had a hole in it. We tried patching it, but to no avail. Thankfully, DH had just bought an air mattress for the kids, a "king" mattress, which is actually two twin mattresses that will zip together to make a "bigger" bed. Well, that first night, they were sound asleep, and we didn't have the heart to steal it from them then. So we "roughed it" on the hard ground with just our blankies and two half-inch thick foam pads we had. You might think this is what camping is all about, but not when you're 7 months pregnant! Holy cow, I couldn't sleep at all that first night. I was so uncomfortable.
Not to mention the LEGION of raccoons that descended upon us once we were safe in our tents. Once we'd doused our lantern, they were bold enough to enter our campsite while me and my oldest daughter were sitting at the campire. They were trying to get into our chip and bread duffel bag. LOL Okay. So I shooed all FOUR of them away - yes, four - and my daughter was freaked out while they snorted and hissed at me, little buggers.
I then proceeded to put our dry goods bags in our van which was just a few feet away from our site thinking, "They can't open the ice chests. We're all good."
We finally go to bed, and a little later, we hear THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. Little bastardos CAN get into the ice chests! Let this be a lesson to y'all. So we put a few of our heavy items on top of the ice chests while DH shooed away SIX of them. The four came back with two of their friends, I guess. Cute as all get out, but dang, are they little pests! One even tried to make off with our kids' clothing bag which had their toothpaste inside, which we figured they could smell. LOL He was snorting, huffing and puffing, trying his hardest to drag it away, but it was just too heavy, I suppose. We got a good laugh out of it all, especially when raccoons lined the pathway to the bathrooms a few yards away. Fun times when you're heavily pregnant and have to get up 2 to 3 times due to shivering.
Yeah, when I shiver, it makes me have to go more often for some reason. And I was shivering. Why? Because it wasn't just cold, it was BASTOGNE cold. Holy cow.
So the next night, we steal the air mattresses from our kids, tell them to deal with sleeping on the ground (with our pads and a few extra blankies as more padding to lie on), but even these mattresses suck due to the gaping CHASM between them! Sure, you can zip them up, but there's still a crack about 2 to 3 inches wide in the middle. And since the nights were BASTOGNE cold, cuddling is a must to stay warm. So that crack didn't do any wonders for DH's back, lemme tell you. LOL
We managed to go for a family bike ride to one of the batteries, which was fun, and another day, I was exhausted (due to lack of sleep), so DH took the kids for a longer ride. We had good food and many a roaring fire, played Apples 2 Apples Jr. with the kids, and had a fun time.
We originally were going to stay there for four days, but the cold and the uncomfortable mattress situation made us come home a day early. But it was fun nonetheless.
You might think we're crazy for going camping at the end of October, but it was only because baby Sophie is going to make her debut sometime in January, and camping with a newborn isn't going to be pleasant. So while DH might be able to take the kids on his own, I won't be able to go camping with the baby until she's older. Fort Stevens was our "one last hurrah" as a family. Also, there was NO ONE else at the camp site aside from a few older folks in their campers, which was probably why the legion of raccoons descended upon us as easy picken's. :P
We liked the empty campsite because we never had to wait for the potty and we always found an open shower. (Yes, there are showers, we don't like "roughing it" camping in the back woods). Well, let me rephrase. DH would probably like that, but I like my car-camping. I don't necessarily mind if there are showers nearby or not, but there MUST be some sort of outhouse/toilet/honeybucket on hand. I can't stand hiking, so trekking to the campsite with gear from the car doesn't appeal to me.
Anyhow. :) DH has his perspective of the camping trip on his blog at www.jimgoings.com, or you can see our camping pics at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimgoings/sets/72157608393198748/