Saturday, July 10, 2010

First Camping Trip

We went on our first family camping trip this weekend. We thought we'd start out small with a campsite only 35 minutes from our house and only for one night. Cachuma Lake is beautiful, and for those not native to Santa Barbara, is our domestic water supply, which means we can't swim in it. And although it's weird camping next to a giant body of water you can't get in, Marielle can happily throw rocks in a lake for a really long time.

MK and I are not native granola, so this weekend's trip was full of learnings. Here's a few:
  • If you pick your campsite off a map, you might have gangstas on one side and mariachis on the other. Also, that unimposing map square that represents the parking lot will be a lot closer and a lot uglier in person than on paper. A quick drive through camp will probably be worth your time.
  • Blow torches (thank you, mariachis!) are more effective than matches at starting a campfire.
  • Don't pack according to the weather at your home. Since it was overcast and chilly at our apartment, and the lake is 700 ft. higher in elevation, we packed jeans and sweaters. It was 85 degrees when we arrived.
  • It's best for all involved, if Mom takes the girls to the park while Dad (slowly) sets up the tent.
  • Camping is about snacking and getting dirty. Don't be surprised when you eat everything you brought, though your wife might have thought those granola bars and fruit snacks would last you weeks.
  • When you tell your wife she can't bring an air mattress, be prepared to eat crow when all your neighbors have them.
  • Even though you go to the park and play pretend and eat dinner with all the same people you see at your house, there's something magical about doing it outside around a campfire.
  • Don't stay up too late chatting around the campfire. Pre-dawn bathroom calls out the tent and down a chilly hill can really wake a kid up. In fact, such a kid might not go back to sleep at all. Three hours is a really long time to stall getting up.
  • And of course, these girls are too cute, even covered in dirt:

Finally, we saw this live. How cool is that!

1 comment:

Katie said...

I love it!

We still haven't taken our first family camping trip. When we finally do, you'd better believe I'll be making Jack read the part about the air mattress.