Camping with My daughter
Camping is supposed to be fun right? After a full day at work I went home to pack up everything for camping. It had been raining all day at work but stopped before I got home, so I was hopeful. After a couple hours of frantic packing, we got in the car and headed out.
A good hour into our trek, we stopped to eat dinner and I discovered that my daughter did not pack herself any pants. I blame myself. I should have checked her bag. There might be more doll clothes in there than her own. So we looked up stores and I found a Goodwill on the way. We popped in and tried on almost all the pants in her size. Trying to get children to try on clothes when you’re not in a rush is a feat all on its own, but this was double the fun. I was sitting in the dressing room barking orders to try on the pants as fast as possible while she complained about every little thing. Then we headed for the check stand just as the cashier had issues with his till. The screaming baby we were next to who’s mother kept apologizing to it ( why?) was just icing on the cake.
We leave Goodwill and I check the GPS. We had one more hour left of driving, and the sun was going to set in 15 minutes. So we put on a brave face and kept going. Ten minutes from the camp, it started pouring. So there we were, pulled into our campsite, in a puddle, setting up out tent in the dark and in the rain.
First I hung up a tarp between the trees to put the tent under so it would not get too wet. My daughter and I are both not known for being very tall so let’s just say the tarp is maybe 5.5 feet off the ground. Only 3 trees to hook it to, so my daughter held one end up while I laid out the tent on the wet ground. Once I got to the poles, she had to help me with that so the tarp snapped away and we kept cranking. We eventually got in up, but let’s just say there was a lot of whining from the both of us.
The next step was to get the blow up bed going. Simultaneously the flashlight and air pump died. Feeling defeated (or deflated I should say), my daughter and I lay down on a semi inflated bed. And by semi, I mean hardly. We lay there for about 30 min trying to get comfortable. I decided to try blowing up the bed with my mouth. I took the nozzle off of the pump and put my mouth over it. And, guess what, it worked! I almost passed out, but it worked! I couldn’t have been more proud of myself than I ever was in that moment.
By this time it was 11pm. I fell right to sleep but woke up not long later freezing. My daughter put one sleeping bag inside another so she was very cozy all night.
We woke up bright and early, me cold, my daughter cozy. We got out of our tent and saw where we should have put it. The rain had just barely stopped so we got in the car and try to turn it on. It’s dead. Clicking, but dead. So I gathered up my phone and wander around the campground to find service to call roadside assistance. While waiting and wandering, my daughter and looked at other campsites. We found a couple right on the creek that looked much better than ours. We decided to move and slowly brought our stuff while we waited. Roadside assistance showed up and has the car running in seconds. I had killed the battery the night before using the headlights to set up the tent. I felt very stupid for not remembering I had to keep the car running.
We had already moved most of our things and had only our tent left to move. I did not want to dismantle is so my daughter and I carried our tent down the road fully put together, blow up bed inside. I had nearly passed out blowing it up with my mouth the night before, and didn’t want to do it again. While we were walking down the road a car came up on us. I bet it was a funny sight. I can’t imagine what other campers thought of us, but I don’t really care!
The rest of the day went pretty well. My daughter played in the creek and I experimented with using branches to hang a tarp. A neighboring camper saw me and asked if I needed help, but I declined saying I didn’t know if I needed help, because I was just messing around with the tarp. The weather was on and off rain, mostly not, but we had a good time. I made a fire and it wasn’t very big but I got it going nonetheless. I had read that sage wards off mosquitoes, so I bundled some up by the fire. We didn’t get bit once!
We popped into bed at 9pm. I found a wool blanket the second night and cacooned it around my sleeping bag. I was much warmer than the night before.
The third day we slept in until 8:30am. We got up to slightly more sunny weather and had a good breakfast. The same neighboring camper popped over and asked how my daughter and I slept. He complained about party goers and how he couldn’t sleep. I began to be curious about this guy. It was his second time talking to me and I couldn’t tell if he was asking those questions for the wrong reasons. My daughter and I made another fire and I debated on if we should leave or not. When he showed up again an hour later with candy for my daughter, my mind was made up. We needed to leave early. Bummed, I packed up our things and we were out on the road a little after noon.
My daughter really wanted to go to Northwest Trek so I decided we would go there on the way home. I pulled in and saw about 484767838 cars ( ok, just slightly exaggerated). The lady at the entry told me that today they broke their attendance record. I frowned and consider turning around, but I already gave up camping a day early so we stuck with it.
We got through the entry and my daughter went straight for the zip lines. I told her we could do that and went to pay. $64 for the both of us! I ask the crew why it was so high and showed them the brochure I had that said parents were $9.95 to go along. They told me it was a misprint and only for a different course. It is, however, required I go along on the course with my daughter and pay the full course price. I was pretty irritated and even complained to the front end staff. I was given a complaint card and a promise to turn it in. They told me I’m one of many many people who complained about that, but no compromise in price was given.The course we went on had a ropes course and a few zip lines. My daughter loved it, but I enjoyed it less based on my qualms with the price.
At our arrival we were told to get tram tickets at the zip line course, who told us to get them after our course. We got done with our course and the zip line desk was closed so we went back to the front to find out they only had their latest tram still open. We waited another hour, wandering around to see animals and took our 50 min tram tour at 6pm. This was my favorite part of the day. We got to see many species of herbivore animals and the narrator told us a lot about them. It turns out 6pm is one of the best trams to take because the animals come out to feed in the evening. Did you know that moose eat 60lbs of food a day? Wow!
My daughter and I made it back to our car after 7pm, totally exhausted from the day. We headed home and both enjoyed hot showers before heading to bed. This camping trip is not what I quite hoped it would be, but we had some fun. I am nervous to camp alone or just with my daughter again. I can’t ever seem to find anyone to join, but that’s just part of being a single mom. My daughter and I will find lots more fun things we can do without camping.