Camping Trip #1

published

We went camping at East Harbor, Upper Sandusky, this weekend. This was the first camping trip I’ve taken since college. It was also the first camping trip as a family, and the first camping experience for the twins. Carina and I were both a little trepidatious, not sure what to expect from the girls. When we tried sleeping in our tents in our backyard, Tayler got extremely scared and ended up sleeping in her bedroom.

The drive to East Harbor was long, but largely uneventful, and we arrived at our campsite a little after 8 PM. The sun was already setting, so we scrambled to assemble our tent and screened canopy. Almost as soon as we were out of our car, the guy in the campsite next to us wandered over to say hi. Gil, from Strongsville, was a retired engineer who did a lot of camping with his wife. They had a trailer so I don’t really consider that camping. Gil watched us unpack and assemble our gear, making small talk the whole time. Five minutes after we’d met him, we knew all about his horrible second-ever camping trip, where it rained for 11 out of twelves days. Within 30 minutes we knew considerably more about his camping history. Gil praised us for our bravery and patience with tent camping, and reminded us several times that he’d never do it again. Aside from a smattering of rain Friday night, and a lot of neighborly-but-uninvited conversation from Gil, we had a great time.

I woke up first on Saturday morning, and enjoyed the calm, cool grey morning alone. Smoke whisped into the sky from the smouldering embers of the previous night’s fires. Tayler woke up next, and accompanied me to the water pump to fill the coffee pot. We walked hand-in-hand through the nearly silent campground. A few people padded into and out of the bathroom, and we exchanged quiet, cordial greetings. Tyler woke next, sleepy, and adorable. The twins sat quietly, watching me try to stoke the fire. As the sun slowly rose, so too did the campground. Breakfast was granola bars, and eventually coffee for Carina and I. The coffee pot took an eternity to boil!

We took a walk through the trees bordering the lake, and eventually walked along the shoreline for a good distance. It was quiet, and peaceful. The twins were full of questions and stories. It was delightful. We ate sandwiches for lunch, then stopped by the glacial grooves. Both girls were fascinated to learn about the glaciers and their effects on the landscape. After the history and geology lesson, we went swimming in the lake. The twins had a blast, and I got a horrible sunburn.

For dinner, we ate hamburgers cooked over the fire. As the sun set, we told stories around the campfire, and slowly wound down for the night. The girls were asleep shortly after their heads hit their pillows. Carina and I stayed up a little longer, enjoying the serene quiet and just being close to one another. Then we crawled into the tent and slept soundly through the night.

Sunday morning was much the same as Saturday. We broke camp around 11:00, and were on the road immediately after checking out. We weren’t exactly well-rested, but we had a terrific time. It was an educational, and successful, camping trip!


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