Everyone said we were crazy to even consider it. Everyone said they wouldn’t do it, that WE shouldn’t do it, but even though we were a bit nervous, we were determined to go through with it. We were going to take the kids camping.
The idea of camping popped up as we were trying to come up with activities to fill up our at-home summer. Bill really enjoys camping (I do too, but not as much as he does), and he had been talking about taking Dylan to Starved Rock State Park anyway, so we figured, why not? Starved Rock is only about an hour away from out house, so if things went wrong we could always just pack up and go.
Camping is one of those activities that usually plays better in my mind than it does in real life. We never seem to have the perfect camping conditions. When we were newly married and went to Big Bear, CA, we discovered upon reaching the campsite that, due to a drought, campfires were not allowed. We just about froze to death.
A few years later, Bill and my brother Jadit got lost driving around inEnsenada,Mexico, while my sister-in-law and I were left stranded on the campsite with no IDs, no money, and only enough supplies to last for two days. After they had been missing for over three hours, Arleane and I decided to start walking around the campsite to look for CA license plates and ask for help when the boys finally showed up. We were about to kill them.
It was so hot when we went camping inAppleCanyonsoon after moving to IL that we could barely move. Our first day in Starved Rock was fantastic, but the night got so cold that we had to go to town the next day to buy more blankets so we could survive the second night. Our last camping trip, inPuerto Rico, resulted in my brother’s car getting broken into and all the boys getting stung by jellyfish.
So you might say we don’t have the best camping luck. We still enjoy it, though, and we knew that Dylan would have a ball. It was Liam we were a bit concerned about, since he is still so small, but we thought we’d give it a shot.
Things didn’t start off to well. Bill had been out of town on business all week, so all the preparations had been left solely upon me. Between my sleepless nights with the baby and the exhaustion of taking care of both boys on my own and Bill getting home late on his flight on Friday night, you might say that we were not exactly gung-ho about going camping Saturday night.
Dylan had developed a cold during the week, but Liam seemed to be fine. We put the boys in the car and they both took a nice, long nap while we took the scenic route to Starved Rock. As soon as we got there and Liam woke up, I noticed his nose was runny. Oh, no. He’d caught Dylan’s cold.
We tried to hike along the trail for a bit, but it was about 100 degrees outside and we were soon tired, sweaty, and out of breath, so we decided to head for the campsite earlier than planned, thinking that our lot would be wooden and shaded and we would get some relief from the stifling heat…
(Continues next week)
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