Monday, June 16, 2014

Tatted Mom's Log: Camping Trip #1

Captain's Log Tatted Mom's Log: Camping Trip #1, Day 1

1 pm
We have arrived at our destination after a grueling, winding, vomit-worthy drive up the mountain. 27 miles took an hour. The temperature dropped nearly 20 degrees. We are truly in uncharted territory for our family, and I definitely haven't seen this much green around me since we moved to Arizona.

We paid our camping fee and got to drive around until we found a site that suited us. We have chosen a pretty remote spot, as we only have an older couple to our left, down the road a bit and across the street, and to our right an older gentleman with a dog up on a hill.

8:30 pm
Shelter has been secured, hammock hung, Toilets of Death explored (as my children have dubbed them- they are, in fact, vault toilets with a huge vile hole beneath), dinner of Cowboy Casserole eaten (baked beans with sausage over biscuits), and now we are ready for bed, yes, at 8:30 at night. We are sure nature will wake us with the sun, so for tonight, we are turning in early.

9:30 pm
What on earth is that sound? It's so loud and horrible that it woke up Hubby and I. I've heard it somewhere before... somewhere... from the depths of my nightmares...

Yes... from my childhood. My brain is filtering through memories now as my fear grows...

There it goes again.

Flashes of memory.

Yes. That movie with the house... and the kid who lives in the walls... with no tongue... who laughs that horrible laugh as he scampers through the walls, evading the owners. His laugh... so horrible... so creepy...

So... coming from the neighbors to our left?? What?

That sound could not possibly be made by humans. And yet, there it goes again. Evil laughter.

So loud. So frightening. So... annoying.

Okay, time to shut up now. Whatever it is can not be that damn funny. Seriously, people are trying to sleep over here.

11 pm
Laughing from the camp down the road has continued for over an hour. Hubby and I have now dubbed them "The People Under the Stairs." Seriously, this night could not get worse.

11:30 pm
I stand corrected. Who in the hell shows up to a camp site at 11 o'clock at night, speeding down the road
and being loud as hell as they set up their tents?

Frat Boys, that's who. Drunk Frat Boys at that. It's cool. They'll quiet down once they get their camp set up, right? They have to. It's just common courtesy...

Tatted Mom's Log: Camping Trip #1, Day 2

2 am
I stand corrected again. Apparently, laughing from The People Under the Stairs to our left can last 5 hours, as can loud conversation from drunk Frat Boys to our right. They brought out cherry bombs or some other type of annoying fire cracker a little while ago, too.

Hubby left the tent hours ago and has been stewing in the hammock for hours. Even though it's pitch black out here, I can see the veins in his forehead about to explode. I've managed to get a little bit of sleep here and there, but not much.

Update from Hubby: One of the Frat Boys is named Chad, they really like playing Halo, and one of them is just getting over a nasty bout of chlamydia.

So nice of them to share that with us, so loudly, from down the road and up the hill, at 2 am.
"Roach" from
"The People Under the Stairs"

3 am
The People Under the Stairs have ventured to the Toilets of Death several times now, and the woman with the horrible laugh now thinks she's a zombie.

At least, she keeps repeating, "I'm a zombie. I'mmmmm a zommmmbbbieeeeee" as she walks past our camp to go to the bathroom. And yes, she laughs the entire time. I have never wished so hard for Daryl from "The Walking Dead" to pop up right now and help us with our "zombie" problem...

The Frat Boys ventured to the lake for a while. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they fall in.

Hubby has returned to the tent. I can only hope we get some sleep.

6:30 am
All is quiet this morning. The Frat Boys are on their 2nd hour of sleep, as are The People Under the Stairs. Hubby and I got about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep and have awakened to the sounds of birds chirping and nature all around us.

So we have decided to wake the kids up and let them talk as loudly as human possible. Some pots and pans banging has occurred. And Hubby and I are being sure to have our conversation about how rude our neighbors are at the top of our lungs. We're even trying to get the puppy in on our early morning shenanigans, but she'd just rather curl up and stare at us like we're crazy... and watch birds.

3 pm
Camp hosts have visited the Frat Boys about their behavior the previous night, informing them of the quiet hours between 10 pm and 6 am. Hubby and I can't stop laughing. No, we didn't tattle on them; must have been the old man with the dog. Unfortunately, The People Under the Stairs have left camp for a while, so they can't get the same stern lecture.

So far today we have done some hiking, Hubby took the kids fishing at the lake while I took my first ever nap in a hammock, and we have just completed a nature scavenger hunt. With the exception of the neighbors, this place is pretty awesome...

Oh, and the bugs suck. Like big time. We are currently under a fire restriction, so we can't even have a camp fire, making these bugs pretty intolerable. We keep spraying Off, but the kids have now started calling it On, because it seems to do nothing against these gnats and huge May flies. If only we could have a fire...

Pretty sure this would have happened,
 had we stayed longer...
The wildlife has taken to us, too. The squirrels up here are unlike anything we've seen on the east coast; thin, scraggly tails, fluff coming out of their ears in 57 directions. Weird. The birds come onto our camp site to secure scraps of food on the ground; even with our dog 3 feet away.

And a hummingbird decided to check Hubby out about a foot away from his face. He screamed like a girl. I almost pissed my pants laughing so hard.

The animals up here definitely have balls... huge ones...

10 pm
Kids are nestled in their tent after dinner and an awesome game of glow stick ring toss. Seriously, pinteresting things to do while camping turned out to be extremely smart. Both sets of neighbors have been quiet as church mice, but it sounds like we have some new, younger teenagers behind the hill from us. They are close enough to slightly anger us with their noise, but far enough away that exhaustion wins over them. Hubby and I should get a good night's sleep tonight...

Tatted Mom's Log: Camping Trip #1, Day 3

6:30 am
Hubby and I both slept through the night, and the kids are still sleeping, so I assume things went well for them, too. The nights are so absolutely freezing, though- something I never thought I'd say, living in Arizona.

As Hubby and I enjoy our morning cups of coffee, the conversation turns to what if we decided to leave today instead of tomorrow?

I was shocked, as Hubby was the one who proposed it.

The bugs sucked horribly, and when we first decided to stay 3 nights and 4 days, the fire restriction wasn't in effect, so we knew we'd have a camp fire to help. One of the two fishing poles had broken the previous day, so if Hubby were to take the kids fishing again, they'd have to share a pole. And, Hubby got sunburned at the lake, as did I, sleeping in the hammock, and when the kids emerged from their tent, we saw that The Girl was sunburned, too.

Ironically enough, The Ginger was the only one sunburn-free.

Taking all of this into consideration, we had our breakfast and talked it over as a family. We made the decision to end our camping trip a day early and head home, finishing our family vacation with a nice dinner out in town somewhere (after showers, clean clothes and using a real toilet, of course).

10 am
The forest is revolting against our decision to leave early. As I was packing up the camping chairs, my finger started hurting. I figured I had poked myself with a stick, but upon further investigation because the pain got more and more intense, I saw that a wasp had stung me on my pinkie finger. It took Hubby about 2 minutes to kill the bastard, it was so big. Stomping on it did nothing.

I am officially done with this camping trip.

12 pm
Back at home, with air conditioning, soft things to sit on, and flushing toilets. The People Under the Stairs and the Frat Boys both decided to end their camping trips, too, which almost made Hubby and I change our decision. But we had no idea what types of neighbors would show up after their departures, so we continued on our course.

The temperature was 74 degrees when we all piled into the car on top of the mountain. Pulling into our driveway, it was 96 degrees. I will seriously miss being able to lay outside, cool breeze blowing, enjoying the outdoors. Soon it will be 105 degrees down here, and that blows chunks.

4 pm
I've taken my shower, which ranked up there with the showers after you have a kid (best feeling showers EVER), and am ready for our family dinner. We chose to end our family vacation in style- The Cheesecake Factory. Hells yeah.

I did enjoy our camping trip, and we have decided to return once the fire restriction has been lifted. The kids had fun, too, which had me a little scared- no electronics, no phone, no video games. But they loved it.

And yes, now we have to actually watch  the movie "The People Under the Stairs," so the kids can fully grasp why we nicknamed our neighbors that.

All-in-all, it was a good mini-vacation. I think the time away from reality is definitely needed every now and then, if nothing else to appreciate things like running water, pillow top mattresses, toilets that flush and air conditioning. But the re-connection with nature was amazing, as was our re-connection as a family.

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