Wednesday 3 October 2007


If you are an avid reader of my blog (and you better be!), you will have read about my families camping adventures this summer. This was an important holiday for me on so many different levels.

As a young family, I'm not sure how my parents could have afforded to take us five children on holiday. Maybe they couldn't. Maybe that is why we went camping instead. I can honestly say that I don't care that we didn't go on extravagant holidays to Disneyland. I think what a child can learn exploring the campsite is better than any theme park ride!

Camping taught me a whole host of life skills that I still use today. Knowing not to run from a bear and that the best defense is to curl up in a ball can be very useful. In North America. We don't have bears in the UK! OK, not sure if I use these skills but it was great fun. Ah, peeing outdoors: never know when this might come in handy!

Abigail has a complete fascination with the whole camping concept. Not sure where this grand idea has come from. And one insightful individual did point out to us that it seemed a bit mad to allow the whim of a 3 year old influence you choice of holiday destinations. but she is already talking about our camping adventures next year.

But none of us had a better idea. Besides I have incredibly fond memories of camping as a child.

My first family camping adventures started out in a tent. My dad had this ancient jeep and we would pack everything up and go. At this point I believe there were 4 of us and Tyson was little more than a wee baby. I remember one time in particular lying in our sleeping bags and hearing the trees behind the tent rustling in the dead of night. My mother swears she saw the outline of a moose. I believe her.

This was the time that me and my brothers found this amazing natural slide in a group of rocks. We would sit down on our bottoms and slide down. Every night when we got dressed for bed my mother would find holes in our underpants. It seems that our jeans were sturdy enough to withstand the sliding down the rocks but our underpants we were wearing straight through. Dad told us not to go sliding down the rocks any more.

Seems to me we spent a lot of time fishing. or trying to fish. Mostly my dad was digging hooks out of each other. Hard to fish with small children. I imagine it could be classed an extreme sport. But we did always seem to catch something. Mom was always cooking up trout for dinner over an open fire in a large cast iron skillet. Mmmmmmm, mouth watering just thinking about it.

Shortly after that we got one of those campers that fold down then once you get parked they pop up and the beds slide out from the sides. I don't remember lots of camping in that one. But we must have done it because that's it in the picture. It was hard to pack with not a lot of room and no where to do the cooking. Steph wasn't born yet. I think my mom might have been pregnant with Tyson. You can see my dad leaning against the jeep. That's Shelby hanging out the window and George is sitting on the ground. Obviously that's me standing up near George.

But then we got the Cadillac of all campers. Dad bought us a fifth wheel trailer which is bigger and better than a motor home. This was a house on wheels. Of course, we couldn't go to the out of the way places in the Rocky Mountains like we did with the tent and I never heard a moose behind the trailer but we did take the trailer to the Colorado State Fair. And the bed were comfy.

Mom & Dad's bed was up some stairs at the front. Steph was a baby and we had this little moses basket that mom would just put down next to the bed. The kitchen in this trailer was lovely. But I reckon camping with 5 small children was no picnic. But we did have some fun times.

I hope my children gain the same fond memories of camping that I have.


Janell said...

Wonderful remeniscence. Thanks for the pics, too. I love camping. Unfortunately, the only other member of the family who tolerates it is my horse! Everyone else prefers exploring hotel rooms; you know: finding out what channels are available and what number they are on the remote?

Sue said...

Aunt Julia and Uncle Harley took us camping in the mountains at least once that I vaguely remember.
One time we met Julia & Harley in Ogalala and camped by Lake McConaugy. We met to either take Grandma A to visit them or to bring her home.