Monday, November 07, 2005

Camping: Bringing Families Together by Giving Them a Common Enemy

My family went on a camping trip last weekend, and had GREAT weather. We were at a really pretty state park with a bunch of friends. It was nice to get away from the city for a while and spend some time outdoors.

Before we went, I charged up my camera batteries and packed my camera. I then left it in my backpack all weekend and didn’t take a single picture! So, please use your imagination as you read my list of the fun things we did:

-We played volleyball using a net made out of rope. Two long lines of rope were tied between two trees, then the rope was zigzagged between the two lines. Every time the ball hit it, the rope wound up looking like a pile of spaghetti. Hey, it worked!
-We went on several hikes, including an orienteering hike which means you follow a leader with a compass and a map of curvy lines as you stumble through the bushes trying to avoid being attacked by God’s creation while searching for a white numbered stake next to an elusive rock face.
-We played Frisbee for, I think, hours and hours. We even played at night since someone had brought light-up Frisbees. That was incredible, or at least it was until the boys caused the game to somehow turn into tackle Frisbee!
-We played Spoons with about twenty people at one long picnic table, but divided into three groups. I know you thought we had people diving down the length of the table, but please don’t let your imagination run away with you.
-We played music together for quite a long time on both Friday and Saturday. I think we played pretty much every song we knew. We figured we were running out of songs when we played “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Ten Little Indians.” Have you ever heard the bluegrass version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”?

We also had some encounters with wildlife:
-We found a giant millipede, and one of my brothers used it to make Anna scream so loud the stone picnic shelter almost shook. Then my other brother pulled out his knife and cut off the back half inch of the thing, but not quite all the way. It just kept right on walking, pulling its new caboose behind it. Sick.
-We had a crow who felt that it was his personal duty to stand right above our tent and caw at 6:00 in the morning, both mornings! We almost had fresh poultry for breakfast, I think.
-I had the memorable experience of a Daddy Longlegs in my pants. I am not sure the details of this episode are suitable for publishing.

Speaking of my personal trauma, I also scratched my arm on a tree, cut my hand on a Frisbee, walked into the lantern (nearly knocking myself out), strained a muscle playing the guitar too long, and got covered in pine needles by my dear brother who said he was making a pyre! Maybe I should stay at the office where it’s safe.

All in all, it was a great camping trip. The tent was dry, the sun was shining, the friends were fun, the breeze was cool, the oatmeal was hot, the strangers were quiet, and we all made it back safe and sound, dirty but happy.


Lindsay said...

Even though I was around for most of that, I got quite a laugh out of reading your take on it :D Oh, and I have a picture of the makeshift volleyball net if you want it :)

I found the millipede incidents rather amusing :)

And Spoons would have really been interesting had people been diving down the length of the whole table, instead of just their own sections! The collisions that would have ensused could have caused some hospital visits though, so I suppose that wouldn't have been such a good idea.

Katie said...

Yeah, wouldn't that have been tough to explain at the emergency room?! "Well you see, Doc, there was this game of Spoons...and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground with a broken leg!"

And I thought telling people I sprained my ankle playing four square was embarrassing!

Ray said...

Awesome! I'm like SO stoked now. Why even bother going to work Friday?!

Playing volleyball with me is very entertaining: I'm horrible, and always end up rolling on the ground in some fatalist attempt to recover the ball.

Mr. Crow won't bother me, I'll already be up fixing my hair. (smile)

Pyre eh? Wow... you'll have to tell me about your first husband sometime.