Weekend before last, we were planning to just visit the family camp that our church put on just past Darrington. The same day, we also attended the 50th wedding anniversary of our friends Alice and Ed Richards, which was amazing and sweet. We left that early in order to get to the camp--just to visit. However, within just a few minutes of being in the car, going home just to get some casual shoes, Tim had pleadingly convinced us that what we really should do is join the church in camping there.
Camp is not what we often do. I actually dread the thought of a night in a tent, and a few nights will guarantee me a sleep-deprived state that will garner lack of energy, plenty of pain, likely crankiness, and inability to think. Still, we rushed around the house to cram enough things into the car to at least approximate preparedness for a camping trip, rather as if we were looking forward to it. We did leave the tent at home because it was missing a tent pole; we'd buy a new one at Target along with a short list of other items. So next we stopped at Target on the way up; we quickly got our things, including a tent on clearance, which (other than it being a tent) is to my liking and speaks my financial language.
As we left Target it was sprinkling. It had been cloudy, but this is Washington and you have to just be willing to chance it once in a while if you camp anywhere any of the time at all. As we headed east, the sprinkling turned harder and it was hard to see eventually whether there really were individual rain drops or if it wasn't just water cascading in torrents down upon us, at a 45-degree angle. Still, I was amazed to see Gary determined to try to get there. We almost got to Darrington, pretty close to the camp, when we became convinced that it was not possible that anyone had stayed at the camp by then. We turned around and went home; still, our spirits were pretty good that we'd made the effort.
The next morning we arrived again for church at the camp, not too sure whether they would have it there, thinking it had to be a most sodden mess of moisture and muckiness. They indeed were there, and seemed quite settled in as if they had spent the night. They made room for us to join them in the worship time, and because we'd arrived a few minutes late, our noise and disturbance embarrassed me. However, there were a few who'd arrived just before us, so they assured us it was okay.
After the service I asked if many had stayed the night. Indeed most of them had; only a few had arrived that morning. It turned out that while we were being drenched it was fairly dry at the camp just a short distance away. We must have been dragging the forefront of the storm around just over us! They didn't feel the rain until hours later.
So we had a great visit, some good fellowship and Tim enjoyed the rope swing over a creek and we potlucked. Due to my lack of preparation pretty much all we had to share were a jar of peanuts, some peanut butter, and some homemade jam--no bread; I'd unpacked it the night before, somehow thinking we wouldn't need it. They were kind enough to make a fuss over my jam while their masterpieces were being devoured by all. It was a memorable day and might have been an even more memorable night of camping if we'd persisted in our efforts to get there.
Since then, I shopped at Walmart and found a nice little tent that Tim could use for just messing around, and he's had it put up outside for about a week. He's asked to camp outside by himself, but knowing that bears have recently been sighted nearby, and coyotes roam the nature preserve behind us, we're not too comfortable leaving him out there where we'd be oblivious to any danger he'd encounter.
So he's been begging us to camp outside with him. The only problem is, when night-time comes, we're tired and don't feel ready to park our carcasses out on the cold ground in a tiny tent that has no room for air mattresses. He hasn't managed to talk us into it yet...but tonight he found a way to accommodate his needs and some of Gary's: he brought the tent indoors. Now they're cozy and warm, if uncomfortable, in the tiny tent, in our front room. It may not be Hilton camping, but it's as close as we're likely to get to any of the options for adventure this summer.