So I haven't been camping very much. My family's idea of vacation was flying someplace, usually warm, and staying in a nice hotel with points my dad earned in his business travels. Camping wasn't something we normally did. I was an Indian Princess however. Indian Princesses was a group I was in with my dad from 1st-3rd grades. We got together every month with the other dads and daughters and wore our Indian (or is it Native American??) headpieces and vests and discussed our upcoming meetings, events, and campouts. We were the Sioux tribe and I honestly made my first friends through Indian Princesses-my family is still friends with some of the original group. Anyhow, every year we always had a fall, winter, and spring campout. The winter camping trip we did stay indoors but the fall and spring ones were spent in tents. These were my original memories of camping with my dad. For one of our first fall campouts, we had to decorate a pumpkin for the pumpkin contest. We knew this ahead of time and brought a bunch of vegetables and things from home to decorate our tribe's pumpkin. Little did we know that we were supposed to have gathered our decorations from the woods where we were camping (is that how the Indians do it?)...so we got disqualified that year. But the next year I think we won first place, partially thanks to my dad's great pumpkin carving/decorating skills. He always loved Halloween.
So this brings me to my first camping (?) trip as a married woman. We were to go camping this past Friday night with some of our friends here in Des Moines-the McGargills, Aaron (Jamie's brother), Justin, and Mike. The forecast all week was iffy-was it going to rain or wasn't it? Well we debated all day about if we should go or not but it looked like the rain was going to hold off til Saturday or Sunday. Right before we were about to leave, the McGargills called and said they weren't going to spend the night (being that Jill is 7 months pregnant and wasn't loving the idea of sleeping in a potentially wet tent all night...understandable). We still decided to head out to Jamie's parents house (where we would be camping) and at least build a fire, eat dinner, roast some marshmallows and decide a little later if we would spend the night. Once we got there, we realized that mine and Jamie's bag of clothes to sleep in hadn't made it in the car so I was definitely not sleeping in a tent without my fleece pants and sweatshirt. Shockingly, even though the weather has been nice (in the 70's and sunny for the most part) for the last several weeks, mother nature decided to give us some frigid temperatures and rain the weekend we wanted to camp. I'm cold blooded and wasn't about to camp without warm clothes. So at that point it was decided to head back to Des Moines that evening. We made hobos (combination of meat, potatoes, veggies, and gravy in aluminum foil) for dinner, courtesy of Joe and Jill, made S'mores and lit things on fire during the course of the evening. Now I know what goes on during the guy's camping portion of Labor Day each year....no more lighter fluid.
At around 11, we were all ready to head back home and get a good night sleep in our own beds. But we had to get the fire to go out first. So we're pouring whatever liquid we have left on the hot coals in the fire pit-including egg yolks, ice from the cooler, and the finale-urine. I luckily wasn't involved in that part. We made it back to Des Moines at around 12:30 that night and had a wonderful night sleep in our own beds.
The best part of the night was the massive thunderstorm that swept through central Iowa at about 3am. I was glad I wasn't in a tent that night. And I'll never trust the weathermen again.
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