Monday, August 17, 2009

We are back, a camping story

We are home (have been since Friday) and getting back into the routine. This last week was more exhausting than I realized but it was very fun. We spend lots of time with Allison, Maggie, Ashlee and Paige so we were happy. You can see some of the stuff we did with them over here . The camping part was not as great as I would have imagined. I don't recommend camping in bear country EVER. Well maybe not ever but not when you have little children who drop food all over the ground.

Eva making sure there are snacks for Bears later
Alexander enjoying his ramen

We spend a lot of time trying to pick up all of the stuff they kept dropping which included tiny bites of carrot that Eva kept spitting everywhere.

Eating Carrots with Dad

I am sure in 10 years I will look back on this camping trip and think it was a great experience but I need some time to re cooperate. Here is a run down of what happened. (its a long story)

We got to the site at 5pm on Wednesday. We sprayed bug repellent all over our selves set up camp had dinner and let the kids play in the dirt.

There was no one else at the camp site or even close it seemed. So we cleaned everything up and shut all the food and whatever else in the truck because there were signs everywhere that said to do so because of the bears. We did this and we got in the tent and went to sleep. Well everyone else went to sleep I sat there for a couple of hours waiting to be eaten by bears. I finally dozed off but woke up to the sound of something walking around outside. I could here the walking around so clearly it was strange. I heard it jump into the back of the truck so I woke Daniel up (I wasn't about to get attacked by some animal and be the only one awake) so Daniel wakes up listens and decides to light off one of those loud fire crackers (this was our plan to scare off animals, I don't care if it was loud and obnoxious). We just lit off one to sound like a gun shot and it did. Daniel's head was outside off the tent and he saw the whatever's run away. He said he couldn't tell what they were. I was somewhat satisfied that they wouldn't come back so I feel asleep pretty quickly. I don't think Daniel did.

Then I woke up again to the sound of the walking around and told Daniel, as soon as he turned on the lantern we heard them run away.

In the morning we decided to pack up camp and go a little further down the road. We did and liked the area better. It was more open and pretty close to the creek river thing so we could go throw rocks. I was dead tired after setting up camp again (I hadn't slept much) so we decided to make lunch and Eva and I would take a nap while Daniel and Alexander would go exploring). We made lunch and I was going to do some baked potatoes in the fire. Well I had no idea they would be ready so soon so I burned them to a black crisp. I took them out of the fire and left them out of the fire pit to cool down so I could throw them away. I went in the tent and fell right asleep with Eva.

We woke up later with Daniel napping on a mat outside and Alexander hitting things with his stick. We were well rested so we decided to to go wash in the river. We walked over to it and there was a lovely snake. After a few convulsions I continued on and washed the kids.

Eva 30 minutes after her river bath
(those are old white pants with green stars on them)

Then we decided to take a drive up the canyon to see what was there. We found a beautiful little waterfall and let Alexander throw rocks for awhile. Then we saw a beautiful bride hiking up to the fall to get some bridal shots done there. I hope she didn't dirty her dress. Anyway then we drove a little more and saw some beaver dams Daniel wanted to hike to.

Alexander stopping every few minutes to throw rocks

Daniel and Eva hikingSo we were trekking through freezing cold water but it was pretty fun.
We got pretty far but realized the kids wouldn't make it all the way up to the dam so we turned back and went to make dinner.

I asked Daniel if he had thrown the baked potatoes away from my burning lunch. He said no. I know I hadn't so we looked around and found them in the bushes half eaten. We were guessing it was squirrels. I picked up all the stuff and threw it away. We figured it wasn't raccoons because they would have taken the shiny (foiled) potatoes home with them. We made dinner ate it and it started to rain a bit. We put the kids in their pjs and zipped them in the tent to play.

Alexander reading Thomas the tank Engine

We cleaned up all the food and garbage and stuck it all in the truck so the bears wouldn't come and tried to go to sleep.

Eva trying to go to sleepThe rain actually made it easy for me to block out any animal sounds so I feel asleep pretty quickly. I woke up to Daniel shaking me and telling me to listen. I heard something in the truck and told him I heard so he got right up and threw a fire cracker out of the tent. I tried to go back to sleep but Daniel was shaking so bad I couldn't go back to sleep. Then we realized the rain was getting in the tent. Eva had woken up so we checked her and she was DRENCHED! She had 4 layers of clothing on and they were all wet except her socks. so we stripped her down and stuck her in with us and she warmed up quickly and went right back to sleep. So Daniel never went back to sleep. The tent was pretty wet so he said as soon as it was light out we were packing up and going home. I was happy to hear that but I fell back asleep even with the two sleeping children slapping and kicking me (they are not peaceful sleepers). Then all of the sudden I am woken up by Daniel. "ok we are leaving lets get the kids in clothes and pack up and go" I figured it was day light and time to go. Nope it was 4 am but Daniel had had enough (he was sick already by now with nose, throat and chest). So we packed everything soaking wet in a half hour and started to drive home.

As we drove Daniel starts to say in light conversation: "oh by the way I have a confession to make that first night it was two bears that were walking around our camp site, one of them was walking around the camp site and the other was in the back of the truck" the reaction in my mind was "WHAT THE ##!%*^#$###*" He saw the look on my face and then said "well I guess it could have been two really huge raccoons" Yeah the biggest raccoons in the entire universe! He saw them as they ran away. Then he says that is why he was shaking so bad that second night and not sleeping because he was worried there were bears again. When he looked in the back of the truck he saw that whatever animal had been in the back of the truck the 2nd night had knocked the box of water bottles and something else (I can't remember) over. So yeah what a joyous memory that became.

Daniel drove until he couldn't stay awake anymore (1 hour) then I drove the rest of the way home. We left the campsite at 5 am and I got us in our driveway at 8:30 am. I was a little anxious to get home and sleep. We all took showers and baths and went straight to sleep until 12 noon then we got up to clean the camp stuff.

Eva and Daniel both got sick with colds from camping. Alexander was fine and I was stomach sick since we left Utah and still don't feel so great. I have been catching up on sleep and feeling better though.

You may recall we were supposed to go to Mesa Verde on the friday we left. Well it was raining, everyone but Alexander was sick and we hadn't slept much so I didn't want to ruin the Mesa Verde experience and we literally took a rain check.

That was our camping trip. As a disclaimer I HATE wild animals and I can't sleep very well away from home ESPECIALLY when there are wild animals lurking around and the only piece of protection I have is an extremely thin piece of material. Sorry if this is a depressing camping trip story. I asked Daniel to blog the story (because I didn't want to revisit the memory and be pessimistic about Daniel's dreamed about camping trip) but he said I should. So I did and there you go.


St.Pie said...

Hey Reeves family,
thanks for revisiting the dangerous, illness-inducing camping trip. I completely empathise with your lack of enthusiasm for sleeping with wild animals around. Completely. I love travelling in the US, the nature is to die for, but ironically that is exactly what can happen, what with bears, cougars, wolves, and what else?, roaming around.

My first week living in Utah a man on horseback was attacked near Spaneesh Fork by a cougar. He killed it with his knife! As I don't carry knives on me much I was petrified of living there.

I did travel quite a bit whilst living and studying in Utah, but the longer I was there the more animal (attack) stories I heard and this made me more scared. Not just stories, I mean, the news was full of this stuff! On a 6 week road trip with a friend I often made her pay for hotel rooms for us (she had a credit card) bc I couldn't stomach camping in the dark, perhaps right next to a mama bear and her cubs (though I am pretty sure they'd have let us know of their presence). On same trip we ended up stranded at relatives' house, where I watched Bear Attack Specials on Animal Channel non-stop. Not sure why ... I think my fear glued me to the telly:)In Yellowstone I couldn't fall asleep due to wolves howling nearby, and on that above road trip, while once camping at the same campground as a bunch of bikers, I couldn't sleep for fear of us all, especially them, being torn to shreds and eaten up by local bears - especially since the bikers all slept in tiny little corpse-bag (proper name?) like tents:)

It's a shame really if those wild animals keeps one from camping, or even hiking. I once lost my marbles and ran up a tree (that's how I remember it, anyway) when a golden retriever ran past me in a Utah forest; this was after hearing alerts on cougar mums being about. Yikes!

Hire a little hut at Mesa Verde. A girl I know did this for her honeymoon. Whatever you do, don't miss out on Mesa Verde; it's one of the most wonderful places I've ever been. The experience is almost spiritual, silly as that sounds:) I camped there, and was attacked by wild turkeys, gobblegobble, as you can see on my flickr:)

Now that my comment is longer thank your post, I will bid you adieu, and hope Öld Reeves and Eva get over their colds. And you, Miriam - splurge and hire cabins every time you wanna camp, rather than decide on not venturing into the wild:) That's what I would do - lucky me the wildest animal here is the fox, and moose, both of which I can easily tackle with a wee Leatherman:)

S xx

Malo lelei, Godan daginn, Hey Y'all!! said...

Miriam that is exactly why I didnt want to go camping in yellowstone hehehe I will stay in a house but not in the great out doors. I have a terrible fear big cats and wolves, but mostly cats. I even get worried at the zoo because you never know hahahah. You certainly had a very scary camping experience. I loved camping in california because all we had to worry about was spiders and snakes hahaha. Love you guys.

St.Pie said...

It's deer, not moose we've got up here. S xx

MoBo said...

LoL I was gonna say, Moose are very dangerous, they like to gore people or trample them especialy the mamma's, and they are bigger than horses, normal big huge horses, not normal little Icelandic horses, I'm more scared of mooses.

I'm not sure if its cuz I am sick and twisted, or morbid or anything but This post made me Laugh Lots hahahaha But it sounds Super Scary!!! I would have bun pussen my paunts! gosh scary scary scary! but camping is still Awesome, I have yet to experience such a terror as this to knock some sense into me muahaha great stuff, sounds like a Blast of a time