Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mom's Disastrous Camping Trip

Monday was gorgeous and I wasn't going to do chores in my house any longer.

I decided to load up the kids and go camping.

Stern was at work and pleasantly surprised by my announcement. If he got home before we left he was welcome to come with us, or meet us there... I was leaving.

We all cleaned, packed, prepared delicious tin foil dinners, and had everything in perfect order. I was really feeling like a product of my utra-organized father at this moment. There was no detail overlooked in packing up this troop. We were like a well-oiled machine.

Because the trailer was purchased during a period of rain we had to leave the trailer up until it could dry out. We didn't want mold growing and ruining our new toy. All that was left to do was put down the trailer, hook it up to the hitch, and drive away.

I put Jedrick in charge of cranking down the top while I backed up the Suburban. Once the top was down I told him he needed to crank it around 10 more times to give enough slack to clip it down. He did as I asked and said "I probably already did that 20 times before you said that." If you have ever owned a pop-up you may see where this is headed. If you're clueless like I was, read on.

When we got to the campground I squealed "I can't believe we're camping!" To which Pupa replied "Mom, I've never heard your voice sound like that." Yeah. I was excited.

I wanted a sunny camp spot. Not easy to find in a place where birch trees grow like weeds. Scoping out the sights we came upon site 47 and it was a scene like Joseph's First Vision - - just picture sunbeams shining down on our picnic table. This was the place (no pun intended).

I put Jedrick in charge of cranking up the trailer roof. 

"Mom, why is this so hard to crank?"

"It shouldn't be. Hmmm. I have no idea. Oh well."

He cranked and I was glad my basketball-belly-self wasn't the one doing it. He's my muscles.

Man, did he crank.

Trailer up. Check. Everything secured. Check.

Time for a delish dinner and desert.

Tin foil dinners, hot dogs (because they weren't full), cherries, & s'mores.

Always a goof-ball
 Jedrick got that awesome fire going

 "Mom, I'm in trouble."

"Mom!!" Okay, I'll stop taking pictures and laughing.

 Daddy showed up for the food - - of course.


I love dirty, sticky babies.

Routines are good. Real good. Until you're not in them anymore. Chubbs has gone to sleep the same way every night since the day she was born. It's beautiful until we're in a campground with no crib in broad daylight going to bed. 

Let the screaming begin.

Oh I was careful to pick a sight that was not only sunny but away from everyone.

I had to laugh when I heard a horn honk from the tent campers a few sites up. As if I was unaware that I had a screeching two-year-old keeping everyone awake. I'll get right on that.

I took her into the truck with me and we sat until she calmed down to normal breathing. It was less than a good night's sleep with her in our bed.

The next morning I was still on top of my game. Who needs more than a couple hours of sleep when your pregnant? I had just better get used to it.

We came back for some things Stern inadvertently took with him when he left in the morning. Chubbs got a nice nap in her crib. We bought more tasty food and headed back up.

I made a delicious dutch oven potato dinner - - that got burned in the end. I still made everyone eat it.

We packed up everything, pushed the beds in and began the process of putting down the pop-up. 

Weird. It won't move.


We tried and tried and prayed and prayed.

No inspiration came. Nothin'.

Ya' can't drive home with the top up.

We'll wait for dad.

Stern: "The winch is jammed."

Clueless Me: "There's a winch?"

S: "Yeah."

CM: "Where? Inside?"

S: "Yeah."

Stern secretly loves all of my questions. I know it.

Here's Stern checking the winch.

 Here's what Stern saw.

 CM: "Doesn't look too bad."
Then Stern showed me this.

Not-so-clueless Me: "Oh."

Jedrick cranked really hard. The block was bent,  the bolts were bent, the cable was jammed & frayed, and the winch was broken. 
I took the kids home to go to bed and brought back some tools so that Stern we could get to work.

The bolts were loosened off the block, the top started collapsing on us, many small trees were cut down with a little hatchet, roof was propped, remaining bolts were removed, and it was time to slowly and evenly lower the top..... Stern and his six-month pregnant wife.


On the first attempt to remove a support the whole thing started coming down. I just looked at Stern with the weight of the whole trailer on him and whispered "I can't." It was too heavy for me. 

One side came down, I started laughing, Stern started swearing dropped his side, it was half down/half up, and we finally just hit the poles and the whole thing came crashing down. I couldn't stop laughing and that brought a smile to Stern's face.

We brought our broken trailer home that we'd only had for five days.

I've got skills..... I've got skills.

This is why I camped close to home. I was practicing.... and I failed.