Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Camping

On Firday I took the girls camping. I took the day off so that I could get everything ready. I was having a great day and was pretty excited. The plan was to stay at Torreya State Park in one of the primitive camping spots that is only a one mile hike in to the woods. The camp site sits right on the Apalachicola River and is absolutely beautiful.I did what I could to pack only the essentials, or those things that you probably won't use but don't want to be without, such as a first aid kit. I was able to fit it all in an army backpack and a much smaller travel bag, though both where still pretty heavy. All of the clothes, and anything else that I absolutely did not want to get wet found their way into plastic bags. I picked up some fishing poles and worms so we could fish in the lake. The poles where brim busters that collapse into ~4 foot sticks.I picked Aurora and Athena up from school with the plan to eat at Burger King so that we would only need snacks for the rest of the night. I took the Dodge Dakota because the girls really like to ride in the truck. It is pretty fun, even if it does lack A/C.When I went to pull in to the Publix parking lot where the Burger King sits the truck stalled out in the left turn lane at a red light. Out of the kindness of my fellow citizens hearts they decided to go around and cut me off in stead of helping me push the truck in to the parking lot when the light turned green. After about three light changes I managed to get the truck parked. I called Kim, who was luckily still at work and not elsewhere where I could not reach her.I left a note on the truck that read, "Gone to BK" and the girls and I got some food. Realising that Kim should have been there after a while we headed back to the truck. Kim was there quite frustrated. When she saw the truck she didn't see the note and was looking for us for quite some time.The truck started back up and Kim followed me home.I was pretty frustrated too thinking that camping just wasn't going to happen. When I got back home I chilled out as much as I could. The A/C was broke so chilling wasn't very easy. We decided we would still probably have enough time to make it out to Torreya and camp at a regular camping spot, so we loaded everyone up in the grey van and headed out.When we got there the ranger said he thought we could probably hike out with plenty of day light left so that's what we did. The hike was very pleasant and the girls didn't mind at all. The very slight rain helped as it didn't get us wet, but it did keep us cool. We set up tent with enough light to eat snack.Because of the rain everything was wet but I was still able to get a fire going without much hastle. The new "2-person tent" I bought that day was a dud. One of the poles came broken, there was chex mix and a straw inside of the tent, and it wasn't long enough for me to lay down in. And with the stuff in there it was barely enough room for the girls. My three person tent, on the other hand, easily sleeps Kim and myself with all of our equipment. I thought going down one person wouldn't be a big deal.The girls where having a good time, but would not listen to a word I said. This is very uncharacteristic of them. I was worrying they where not having fun, but they did seem to enjoy everything, they just wouldn't listen.Our first attempt to sleep was a disaster as Aurora was tired and Athena was not. Athena spent all of her time annoying Aurora which made it impossible for her to sleep.My plan was to try and wear the girls out. The girls and I hunted around for twigs and sticks. I started the fire back up in full force and put the tent close enough to it that we could all watch it and lay down. After a while the girls finally went to sleep and so did I.We where all up at the very crack of dawn. It was probably ~7AM. We started by Athena and I going down to the river and getting some water. Aurora stayed and watched the fire. I gave her the air horn and showed her how to use it. I told her if she had any problem to blow it.When we came back I boiled the water in a small frying pan I brought and made oatmeal from some instant oatmeal packs the girls always love. This is when the girls started acting up again. Aurora made a big scene about how gross it was, before she even tried eating it. I was not interested in her complaining later that she was hungry, and I also had no intention on bringing out the bowls, spoons, and the frying pan until lunch. So I made her eat it which she made a really big fuss about it.After breakfast the two entertained themselves by finding millipedes and jumping on roots. This also involved the two of them pushing each other and just in general being bad.For myself I had brought some MREs I purchased at the Army Navy store. One was an omellette. It was completely disgusting. For the same reason I made Aurora eat her oatmeal, I ate most of the omelette. It also had some soda crackers and a fruit bar that I ate and shared with the girls.Once everything was cleaned up we headed down to the river to fish. The girls whined the whole way to the river and in general wouldn't listen to anything I said. We did see an oak snake which the girls where pretty excited about. I showed Aurora how the snake tastes it's surrounding by flicking out its toungue, since it cannot see very well.At the river our worms where dead and stinky. The where some other people in their boats fishing around and they were talking about how poor fishing was going today. We fished with our dead stinky worms for a while. The girls swung their poles around a lot and kept almost sticking others. They have both been fishing numerous times and have caught many fish. They are also very good about being careful, so it was unexpected for them to do everything wrong.I finally gave up, dumped the worms away down the river and had the girls swim. They wanted to go naked, but with all the people around fishing I told them they could only take off their shirts. This was the only time they where good. They played, had fun, and did a great job listening. They swam for over an hour and a half and then we headed back to camp. Once we started walking back the attitudes came back. Around this time the overcast went away and the sun was out in full force. I had asked them many times throughout the day if they where sure they wanted to keep camping. I didn't want them to be camping if they didn't want to. They insisted that they did so we kept on. Right as we where leaving he river Auroa took her hook and kept poking herself with it. I told her four times not to do that and she just looked at me and kept doing it.At that I decided we where going home. I didn't want to spend all of this time yelling at them when we were suppose to be having fun. Back at camp I packed everything up and we started our walk back.The walk back was much worse than the walk to the camp. Without the clouds covering the sky, it was extremely hot. We stopped about five times and we where all pretty worn out by the time we finally made it back to the van.Despite their bad behaviour the girls insist that they had a good time and want to do it again.Next time we do it will be with better weather and we will probably only plan to stay one night.