Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Best Thing in Camping Since Well Camping

            I have to admit I was expecting a total disaster. That’s how stuff like this usually goes for us. I am told that we aren’t the only people on the planet that these things happen to but I have yet to see the proof. But…this whole camper thing has turned out better than I could have ever hoped for. There was only one minor issue. Well a $138 issue.
All the stuff I had to get organized and packed in the
Camper. What a mess.
All packed up and ready to go 

Rain, rain, rain
            We managed to get to the campsite relatively easily. It rained most of the drive up there but we had kind of expected that to happen. And I say relatively easily except for a few minor hiccups. First Charlie realized that he had only brought one pair of shoes. Of course at a point where there was no turning back to get them from the house. Next was just the general nervousness of pulling a camper that could disintegrate at any moment with a truck that could very easily meet the same fate. There were a few times that I caught myself holding my breath. The highlight of the trip up though was the really awesome BBQ place we stopped at. So good. Once into Front Royal we stopped at a K-Mart and Charlie found some very charming camouflaged shoes. Problem one taken care of. After K-Mart we got to the park and got everything set up and without getting rained on. Well for that moment anyway. The park rangers were super nice and had us considering a career change almost immediately. They did however look at us a little strangely because well it is January and we were camping. Normally I would have looked at us strangely too.
            I can’t say enough about the campsites. They were so well maintained with gravel spots for the camper and around the campfire. This turned out to be one of the most important aspects of the whole trip.
Awesome campsites 
            After we set up house we got the pups fed and started a campfire. Well that lasted about 20 minutes. Then the rain came. Which honestly hadn’t bothered me that much, because it was cold and damp and we had a cozy camper to curl up in. Then it rained and rained and rained. It rained a lot. Good thing is that the camper keeps most of the water out. There are a few spots that leak but mostly just get saturated not a dripping leak. Thank goodness. So instead of letting it get us down we cooked dinner on our adorable stovetop. Chef Charlie whipped up some great hot dogs with peppers and onions. Now it doesn’t sound like much but to a mother of two very excited puppies who had been running around all afternoon it was the best meal ever! Plus while he worked I got to stretch my artistic abilities and color in my Peanuts coloring book. After dinner and a quick clean up we made the dreaded trip to the bathhouse. And let me just say the only reason it was dreaded was because it was pouring down rain, that and I had to take Seven with me. The bathhouses there are amazing. I mean nothing like the Hilton (not that I have been in one) but better than going in the woods in the pouring down rain. Which by the way I would have gladly done too, had there not been a choice. That is after all what I am used to. The best part about the bathhouse for me was 1. The hot shower and, 2. The fact that I could use my blow dryer after that hot shower. I have to admit there is something to be said for being able to take a shower and then get my hair dry afterwards while camping. I have a lot of hair so this is a big deal.
Favorite spot, curled up under the table.
Home sweet home
            So night one was rather uneventful. The next day the plan was to take the pups hiking. Well the place was totally saturated so we decided that we would stay out of the woods and hike on one of the gravel trails that the park had. So glad for that trail, the camper was getting a little cramped. After that a quick jaunt into town, and then up to Sky Meadow to walk around. Right. Well we made it to town, and then I noticed that the truck was smoking just a bit. At first I just thought that it was just steam since it was super cold, but on further inspection we noticed that the antifreeze was leaking. Well Charlie had had this problem fixed before. To make a long story a little shorter when he had it fixed it wasn’t done correctly. So to a mechanic we went along with our two wet smelly dogs. It didn’t take long to get it fixed and the dogs were relatively well behaved while we waited. In fact they were kind of the hit at the shop. So needless to say Sky Meadow was out by the time we got the truck taken care of. So it was an evening of puzzles, Yahtzee and some DVDs.
Thank goodness we made it home before all of this 
            The next morning brought a much-needed break from the rain so we ventured out to Sky Meadow. What a good-looking park. It was very well kept and if it hadn’t started raining again then we would have explored more. But the dogs were happy to get out and about and were sleepy the drive back. Our last evening was quiet and cold as the first real winter storm of the season was starting to roll in. Luckily we made it all the way back to Richmond mostly in just rain. And clean up wasn’t that bad much easier than having to clean up from our normal camping trips. I can’t wait for the next trip. 

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