Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Candid Camping

We are not campers. When we were dating, I invited Byron to come along on a group camping trip. His response was not only to decline me, but to indicate that he felt camping was “mocking the homeless.”

Ah, how things have changed. We have decided to venture, as a family, into the wild world of camping (pun intended). We actually decided this many months ago, but sometimes it is hard to turn intentions into actions. Luckily, we had some friends invite us up to Yosemite. They gave us a couple of months notice, so we decided we had better start amassing our camping gear. The researching and searching and pondering began.

First purchase: a hiking backpack for Harrison to ride in. We were VERY proud of our purchase, and wanted to practice using it.

See how much Harrison loves it?!

Being the outdoorsy individuals we are, we went right ahead and put it to good use. I’ve never seen him enjoy vacuuming that much!

The tent was another matter entirely. Long story short, we were at REI the day before our trip and FINALLY bought our tent. And here we are the night before the trip, dutifully making sure that we will indeed be able to construct a shelter in the wild. Only, this is actually our living room.

The trip began with a 3AM departure time. Harrison did not seem to mind, since he slept through the drive and then awoke to breakfast with his best friend (and dare I say possibly girlfriend??) Izzie. (Yes, this is the same older woman from past posts, he is not fickle with his affections.)

He is attempting to hold her hand in this picture. He is very unsubtle with his advances; she is appropriately demure and aloof.

These kids hold hands between their two car seats whenever they drive somewhere together. We can’t wait until they meet up again at BYU in a few years!

We loved Yosemite!

I cannot believe his expression of wide-eyed excitement – I guess he loves nature!!

But honestly, who wouldn’t enjoy camping on an air mattress?? Thank you Chris and Sarah, for showing us just how luxurious camping can be. I think using an air mattress to "camp" really is almost mocking the homeless.

And although it looks idyllic and peaceful, there was a darker side to our trip. We were fighting for survival for our entire overnight camping trip.

It got so cold at night; we couldn’t believe it. Poor Harrison was freezing to death, but somehow survived the night wedged between us on the airbed. All of the other kids made it through the night as well, this is the aftermath:

Also, we had to deal with BEARS. I was never afraid of bears before this trip, but Byron and my friend Sarah scared me to death with their talk of bear attack etiquette, bear spray, bear bells, bear boxes and general bear anecdotes.

So, of course, after scaring me to death for two weeks before the trip, they slept soundly through the night while I was up all night, listening to bears pounding on the bear boxes in our campground. Byron claims that at one point I woke him up to tell him that I didn’t want to die. That sounds dramatic now, but I felt it very strongly at the time.

Then, to add insult to injury, I awoke to a campground full of naysayers, who refused to believe that bears had been carousing in our campground overnight. But I feel I was ultimately vindicated, because one of the couples with us DID see a bear as they were leaving our campground. I knew I heard bears at night!!

We don’t have a picture of the actual bear (or bears) but here is the box I’m SURE they were pounding on.

All told, we loved Yosemite and came away from our first camping trip pretty much unscathed. In fact, we may in fact love camping; Harrison most of all.


Becca Theurer said...

I love Yosemite. There's no better place to start an affair with the great outdoors. Of course, you did happen to choose a place with some of the most aggressive bears on the planet. But I guess now you know you can make it. Congratulations.

Matt "Hacksaw" said...

You guys look like you had a great time. By the way, I kinda thought mocking the homeless was the draw of camping. Then you can go home and be like, no you can't have any money, your life is awesome! Except for the drugs and using the sidewalks as your own private(/public) restroom. Can't wait to see you guys!

Ryan and Courtney said...

How fun! I love Harrison and Izzie's developing young love. Harrison's quite the stud going for the older woman. His dad must be proud. Oh, and I'm not really a camper, but if I were... that air mattress would be a must. Smart thinking!

The Bentley's said...

holy cow!!! i am sooooo impressed. way to go! that looks so fun. sad to say our kids have never been in a tent camping.... i know... i grew up donig it... too bad chris isn't a little bit more "outdorsey"...and i loved byrons homeless comment:))

sarahz said...

wow! congratulations! i can't believe i missed your first trip "mocking the homeless." so glad you were able to make it to yosemite, it's an amazing place. are you ready to visit me in colorado, we'll step it up a level and backpack!

Brooke said...

kim, you're great.

Jennica said...

I am just getting caught up on all of my blog reading... I have been out of it for a while. The camping trip looked SO fun. Loved reading the post- it made me chuckle. Harrison is adorable. Love his smiles... :)