We love camping as a family. We’ve been taking Samuel since he was a wee one, and though it was mostly pop up camper style at first. we’ve since turned to tent camping. This is not necessarily by choice. We prefer pop up campers with little ones, but alas, we moved across the country and no longer live near family who has the complete camping set up.
This year was our first real camping trip as a family of three. No Nonnie and Pop to help keep Sam away from the fire, or cook us dinner, or bring our fishing poles, or whatever else they always supplied (which was everything!). But because this is something I loved as a kid, and Mark has fallen in love with family style camping, we didn’t let it stop us. We headed to our footprint size WalMart and geared up for a summer of family camping.
For our first trip out, we decided to head to Browns Park. There was still snow and mud in most parts of Steamboat, so we decided to just get away from it all and head to the desert (thanks to the recommendation from Mark’s co-worker).
First stop, potty break…
We brought along Sam’s potty for the trip since we were going to be roughing it a bit, and I did not want to hold him over a glorified outhouse potty. I also wasn’t ready to teach him how to stand up potty just yet … I knew what that would mean for our neighbors. But I digress…
Halfway to Browns Park the urge hit, and he let us know he needed to go potty. So we pulled over and this was a sight to see.
We arrived at our destination with plenty of time to set up camp before we needed to take our first stab at cooking dinner for ourselves while camping. Sam road his bike, dug in the dirt, rolled in the dirt, chased Maddox, and “helped” Daddy set up the tent. All while he exclaimed every thirty seconds, “Whoa! Cool man!”
Dinner was so yummy! Hamburgers on the grill, corn on the cob from the open fire, and Bush’s Baked Beans from a can. I’d never done this before, but I’d always seen it done in the movies. Yes I said I had always seen it in the movies…therefore, I wanted to try it. Plus I read a well respected blogger who said she makes allowances in their real food diet for campfire baked beans (icing on the cake for me!).
We opened the can of beans and stuck them in the fire to cook while we set up camp. My word they were amazing, and we will make allowances at each meal while camping in the future. So good!
This little booger loves corn on the cob!
Then it was on to Smores. Two things to note:
1) Please notice the sunglasses on Samuel’s face. He insisted on wearing his sunglasses even though it was growing dark outside. He’s such a ham.
2) This was Sam’s first REAL experience with Smores. He totally loved it … and so did Daddy might I add.
Yep still wearing the sunglasses! Soon after this picture we all washed up, cleared away the food, and hit the sack. Mark didn’t sleep well (being the man of the tent and all), but Sam and I slept like babies. Love sleeping outside!
The next morning was chilly, but with hoodies on it was perfect. Daddy is handsome. Just sayin’.
Breakfast wasn’t as easy as dinner. We planned pancakes and bacon. It’s a tradition for us on Saturday and we weren’t letting camping stop us from keeping tradition. However nothing seemed to go right. Sam was clingy, wanting to be held, which cannot be done while cooking over an open flame or while pancakes are incessantly sticking to the griddle no matter what trick you pull out of your sleeve. We were running out of pancake batter and running out of patience. I do not know how we managed to get an edible meal on the table, but we did and it was actually really yummy. Phew!
While we cleaned up from breakfast, Sam got dirty in the ashes from the fire. Then he stuck his glasses on upside down to make us laugh. Things started looking up after that. Camping with grumpy toddlers is no fun. Again, just sayin’.
The next several hours we spent touring the park, trying to fish, but mostly looking at scenery like this:
And then the weather did this:
We hurried back to camp to get dinner going before the rain hit. We thought it’d blow on by us pretty quickly. Well it blew alright. It blew and it blew and it blew. No rain came, but the winds were so heavy it wasn’t safe to be outside. Our hot dogs were covered in dirt and ashes, our potatoes burned to a crisp, and we ate salads huddled in the Suburban (after we hurriedly anchored everything down). Sam had animal crackers and celery.
Once the windstorm FINALLY seemed to die down enough to restart the fire, Mark stoked the fire and we made the executive decision to just head home. The two of us could have roughed it another night. But the little boy’s potty was covered in sand, our beds had half an inch of dust and dirt (even though we’d sealed the tent), and our dog was pacing something fierce. We were hungry, tired, and just needed a shower. So we cooked our hotdogs, unloaded the suburban so we could reload it all correctly, and packed up shop. We weren’t taking our chances on another windstorm again.
We got home around 9:30pm. We all showered and immediately fell into bed exhausted. I don’t think we rolled over until 8am the next morning.
All-in-all it was a really fun trip. A big learning experience, but really fun! If my pregnant tail can handle it, we might squeeze in a couple more trips before it gets too hot.