Look at us, out on the great big lake on my nieces very first canoe ride! Our first family camping trip of the year was last Friday. This meant that we had to resurrect all the camping accouterments that have been put away, clean the boats (power wash them, even!), re-stock the gear (new drink glasses that match the new table cloth, kitchen towels, and dish pan, of course), assemble the troops, and completely exhaust ourselves getting ready. When we camp, we like to do so in style, so we make sure we have all the comforts of home. This means that we practically pack everything a family needs to live in a house, and then carry it to the the boat, drive the boat to the perfect location, haul all our stuff to our chosen campsite, and assemble a kitchen, lounge, and sleeping quarters. It's work. It's awesome too, especially when someone catches a fish, like Byron did, and we have all the ingredients for a fish fry on hand, plus real utensils and all trimmings for a delicious meal. If we were backpacking, instead of boat camping, and had to carry everything on our backs, we would be eating with our fingers off a rock, I'm sure. But that's a whole different kind of fun.
My nieces were psyched for their first camping experience. Can you see the note they wrote on their sidewalk? "We left to go camping!"
For me, the relaxing part of camping doesn't begin until the pontoon boat is safely in the water, and the motor is running. If you remember, last year we put a new floor on the boat, and after working on the motor on and off since then, it started up the very first time! Hooray! We lashed the canoe to the pontoon, and we were off!
Puck forgot his leash, so he was a little embarrassed by the sparkly ribbon I made him use as he waited on the dock for the boat to pick us up. This is the last photo I took of the entire trip. How can this be? I was too busy having fun. We boated, we swam, we ate, we canoed, we swam, we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, we swam, we picked wildflowers, caught a toad, we swam, ate a water melon, fished, explored, saw a snake, we ate some more, had ice cream at the marina, and then we went swimming again. Mom and I shared a tent with the girls, and they had absolutely no problem sleeping outside, even though the whip-por-wills called all night, and the geese started honking first thing in the morning. All of us girls left Saturday night, but Byron and Jamie stayed to fish for catfish using bush hooks, and caught five giant ones. The first camping trip of the year was an exhausting success!