So, we have not camped since my 15 year old son was about 4. Every year since then we have gone to North Dakota to see family. This year, we decided to take a camp trip with the kids here in our own state.
We headed up highway 20, one of our favorite drives, on the bike, or in the car. This is a gorgeous area, and is packed with history. Newhalem, one of my favorite little towns, has a history going back to the early 20's and is run by Seattle city light. This is where Employees live and work on Ross Dam, and Diablo Dam. (Diablo is my absolute favorite place. The water there is as green and brilliant as an emerald.
On the website for the campground we choose, it said not to bring your own wood. So we didn't. We Stayed at Colonial creek campground, and all the wood, ice and amenities should have been there but were not.
We left Antony in the campsite as we registered. Paul had given the boys knives for whittling, and Antony had already broken the tip on his knife. We showed him how to make it dull on the rocks so he would not cut himself with the broken edges. While we were down registering, Antony took Jake's knife and was throwing it at the tree. Well apparently, for some reason he kept his hand on it, and the blade collapsed.......... on his KNUCKLE! (A real nice slice that should have had a couple of butterfly stitches.) We had to head back down the mountain to Newhalem anyway for wood and ice, so since we had FORGOTEN a 1st aid kit, we decided to grab one of those also. I did however have packing tape and feminine napkins in the Jeep, but the boy freaked out! "NO WAY" he says!
The rest of the day was spent driving back down the mountain to Newhalem, and then to Marblemount, because Newhalem was out of wood. (WHY? they are in the middle of a forest! How could they possibly be out of wood?) Oh, and NOBODY carry's a 1st aid kit in the area. Apparently the broken down fire truck we passed on the way to Marblemount is the ONLY emergency services around there. (we did pick up pack of band aids)
After getting back to the campsite, and oh, picking up band aids for the boy, we settled in for the evening. Paul had a beer, and I had a cooler, and my son say's, Hey mom, I am only funny with alcohol! Ha ha... good one, but NO. The site had a cool granite rock in it, and the littler kids played on that while we sat up the tents and made a fire and dinner. It did rain the 1st night up, but was not a lot, and we were pretty well covered.
The second day out, we actually switched campsites to one by the tributary that feeds from Ross Dam into Diablo Dam. A gorgeous site, and we were the only ones in that area of the campground. The wood we picked up, for 5.00 a bundle, (we ARE bringing our own the next time) (I think they don't want foreign wood. Well tough, mine does not have french bugs, OK? Anyway, the wood was green. PFFFFFFTTTTTT!! GREEN! Who does this? Do they not know how to season the wood? Sheesh.. so it was hard to cut, and also smoked a whole lot. A LOT! Speaking of cutting, back to injury #2. Paul was making kindling.... or trying to, and the hatchet was dull, and he got a bit miffed at the piece of wood he was hacking on, so he took a good whack at it, and the axe bounced and slammed back into his knee. GOOD ONE! Again, no 1st aid kit, but the cut was not as bad as Antony's which was still open and bleeding periodically, the hatchet was dull. THANK GOD!
That evening a ranger dropped down to our camp to let us know there was a slide show in the amphitheater. After he left, my funny boy says, hey mom, "I was going to yell", "hide the weed!" OMG.. thank god he refrained from that little joke. I don't think the guy would have been amused.
The trip over all was awesome, and the scenery was beautiful. They did a few slide shows in the amphitheater, and the kids enjoyed that. The weather was great, and there was some wildlife. Mostly birds that annoyed us at the butt-crack of dawn, but hey, that's camping.
We did take a few hikes, thunderhead trail and the gorge trail. There are pictures on my facebook page, and if you ever make it to Washington, this area is a must see.
So for all you peeps out there who have camped, or are intending to camp. Please bring a 1st aid kit. I have never done a list, and have always forgotten at least one thing that should have made it with us, but never have I forgotten a 1st aid kit.
An aside to my good friend Brenda Ford, We had taken the kids to get their Junior ranger badges, and I was chatting with Ranger Katie. I brought up wolves, and apparently we do have a pack in this particular part of the forest that meandered down here from Canada. It would have been awesome to see them, but we did not get to. Only chipmunks.