I grew up camping; spending most of my summers camping with my family. A child in the seventies, being outside dawn to dusk defined my childhood. My husband, Mr. Darcy, is an Eagle Scout and an experienced camper and outdoorsman in his own right. We have been anxiously awaiting our first family camping trip with our 5 children, who include twin boys (age 12) with severe special needs, and three little girls ages 8, 5 and 2.
To This...in 40 minutes...Mr. Darcy and I make a good team.
Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona is one of the most gorgeous camping areas in the United States. We reserved our spot a few months ago, so we were able to have a private campsite with our own access down to the Oak Creek. Mr. Darcy outdid himself...it was positively perfect!
Blackberries are in season, so we were greeted with...
Funny, Bears were not part of my childhood memories of camping with my family...I'm happy to report that we did not site any black bears this trip, though we did have a herd of Elk run about 20 yards from our camp the first night. And the day we checked out, a lovely elderly camp attendant who was off the day we checked in, informed us that it was our actual campsite where bear scat had been found a few days before. I think I'm glad I didn't have that information beforehand.
The first night we had a great dinner compliments of Mr. Darcy...actually we had amazing food the entire trip; my husband has mad campfire cooking skills! We had fajitas, campfire popcorn, toast and hot tea (for me!) for breakfast one chilly morning, roasting hotdogs, campfire grill packets of chicken, peppers, onions, and mushrooms (that Mr. Darcy stayed up late the night before our trip prepping so I wouldn't have to cook on this holiday...my hero) and of course...the best Smores ever...
Small stuff not sweated:
*I forgot to pack ANY extra socks for Mr. Darcy (sorry honey!)
*It rained our second day there but gave us a great excuse to play games inside the tent (I had packed UNO and the dice game, Feed the Kitty), and to tell stories and answer questions round-robin style as a family (what is your favorite color, what is your favorite holiday and why? etc.)
*Tent camping is more comfortable sleeping-wise when you are a child and not a 40 yr old person used to a mattress.
*The rain made things a tad muddy...but puddle jumping helped the kids keep shoes cleaner, if not drier...
*Two different people inquired why my kids were not in school when it was definitely not a holiday. "WHY thank you Random Strangers for being
concerned nosy about my childrens' truancy...
*Brooke, our busy 2 year old, hardly sleeping at all the first night...which made for really tired Mom and Dad the next day...
*Sitting around the fire
*site seeing around Sedona (Snoopy Rock was the kids favorite)
*Animal spotting (elk, woodpeckers, blue-jays, to name a few)
*Waking up to discover little paw prints all over the table cloth which we assumed were raccoons but were informed our last day that it was probably skunks looking for snacks and then being told that more than one camper a season is surprised by a curious skunk working their way into their tent. Can I just say so happy that was no us ;-)
*Popping jiffy pop on the campfire
*Me and Mr. Darcy racing to get a 10 person tent up before an impending shower with what had to be the worse "included" directions ever printed.
*Mr. Darcy cooking all the meals (well, a lovely memory for me and the food was great!)
Our first family camping trip was a success. It wasn't perfect, but it was wonderful. There is something cathartic about being in nature without technology that is good for the head, heart, hands and soul.
Here's a few last pictures to share...Have you ever done a family camping trip?
p.s. that's snoopy rock, upper left hand corner...
To read more Waldorf Wednesday posts click here... This post is linked up to: