This was a whim, a decision made with some trepidation and concern over what the worst might be, and some not-so-fun things happened… yet we had a great time doing it. And I would do it again.
Imagine the scene. Me with only one working hand, my three small, wild children, one girlfriend and her son, and a minivan headed three hours into the high desert. Camping with those three small, wild children for the first time. We enter our planned on campground to find that not only is it not a worthy campground (although it does have water, showers, playground, and electricity), but is also full. As it starts to sprinkle.
We head west where we can see that little bit of blue sky (and hope) and wind up in the mountains. At a campground with no water, no firewood, no showers, no electricity. But a beautiful campsite and beautiful lake. It is quiet and peaceful.
And we set up our tents.
It starts to rain.
We decide on sandwiches in our tent for dinner. Huddled around eating a little of this and a little of that. Listening. Watching.
There was thunder. Big, rolling, incredible thunder that seemed to shake the ground. The sky lights up with big, bright bolts. It is about 2-3 miles away. At most.
It lasts well into the night. But gets calmer and farther away. I still see the great flashes of light while the boom of the thunder lessens.
Baby girl and I snuggle together with sleepy, breathy boys on the other side. We are warm.
Our tent starts to seep water through the bottom at some point. We are still warm, but pillows, sleeping bags, and blankets begin to get more and more soaked through. I could stay mostly dry if I stayed in a tight “L” shape. Baby girl woke every time she moved and then refused to let me move. She snuggled up into my arms until I could her her breath deepen. I lay still so as not to wake her thinking her sleep is more precious than mine. On the hard, hard ground. Boys started to shiver, but I couldn’t see them since I wasn’t moving.
We all woke when we heard something moving outside the tent. I said it must be a chipmunk or a ground squirrel, until it grunted and snorted. And then I froze. What would I do if it was a bear? And then it went away. Maybe it was a dog?
That next day was absolutely gorgeous. We spent the day exploring the lake and packing our things.
We ambled on into town, enjoyed the Lava Lands and High Desert Museum. It is truly awe inspiring to see such ancient volcanic history. My little geologist was in rock heaven, even though they all had to be left behind. Even that one little tiny one.
Camping with small children.