Wednesday, September 1, 2010
This year's annual camping trip with friends brought us down near the Iowa border to Lake Louise State Park. This was also Nathan's first camping trip. Camping with a 9-month old was certainly a change, but overall I think we adapted fairly well. Thankfully one of our friends brought the our bins of camping supplies this year, otherwise there would be no way we could have driven down in one vehicle.
I worked a full day on Friday (maybe I'll take the afternoon off next year), and after our usual evening routine at home, we headed out just before Nathan's bedtime so he could sleep on the way down. We arrived around 9pm and despite our hopes, Nathan didn't sleep through our unloading of the car and instead got to play with our friends while we unpacked and set up the tent with the help of our car's headlights. We stayed up for awhile around the fire and Beth put him down to bed. He had trouble sleeping each night but we think it was mostly due to teething issues lately.
I love our new tent. It's huge. We knew we would need space for us and a pack & play this year so we upgraded to a new big tent. It took a little troubleshooting to get it set up just right, but it worked out great. There were even poles for each door so we could have doors that swing open. A little hard to get used to, but very nice.
Saturday was a beautiful day for camping. Our friend Amanda brought a portable highchair that hooks on the edge of a table, and we used it to feed Nathan at the picnic table and it worked great for every meal. While he enjoyed his pureed food, the rest of us had fruit, bacon & eggs (a new addition to this year's menu) and my fried donut. I fry up biscuit-dough donuts on the camp stove each year and coat them in sugar. They're always a big hit.
My sister let us borrow her baby backpack and we used it to go on a short hike with Nathan later Saturday morning. He loved riding on my back and checking out the scenery. We stopped at the beach for snacks, and headed back for his lunch. After he ate rest of us had our Tacos in a Bag using a bag of Doritos, taco meat, and taco fixings all mixed up in the bag.
In the afternoon we played with Nathan on a blanket with his toys, and I went for a hike with a couple friends while Beth and Nathan went down for naps. The highlight of our hike was an unexpected river crossing. The trail was marked as a horse and hiking trail, and all our our previous river crossings were over bridges... except for one. We ended up stopping and enjoying the cool water for awhile, and then kept hiking until our feet dried so we could put on socks and shoes again. After the hike we took some much-needed showers and got ready for dinner.
Like previous years we made our "Hobo Dinners" (aka Foil Dinners) consisting of meat, cheese, and veggies roasted in a packet of foil on hot coals in the firepit. Nathan slept well for the first part of the night while we enjoyed s'mores and good conversation around the fire. He had a rough time sleeping later that night, though.
This year a bunch of our group had tickets for Wicked on Sunday and had to leave right away in the morning, so Sunday was a quick scramble to pack up first thing in the morning. We managed to take down the tent and stuff all our gear back in the car and made it back home before lunch, with a brief stop at a rest area on the way home.
As always, we had a great time camping with our friends, and I think our first attempt at camping with a baby was a success!