Sunday, April 18, 2010

Myre Big Island State Park - Day 2

I was up early again today. I don't know why! I am definitely not a morning person. But being outdoors does get me up a little earlier than usual much of the time. Well... and the dogs wanted out too. So I got the fire going and made some breakfast for us. Then we relaxed a little while. Definitely the theme of this weekend! I've gotten more reading done on this short camping trip than I usually do on longer trips where we're active the whole time. At some point, a dog (a hyper hunting dog type that I don't know the breed name for) came running to our site and right at Tori. She's blind remember. So we get pretty protective of her. Lorrie and Emma Blue were collecting some kindling but Emma heard something going on and pulled Lorrie out of the woods and ran over to check on Tori and look for the intruder. It was cute. The dog's owner apologized and everything. So that was fine. But I still felt compelled to suggest he put his dog on a leash as is the law/rule/expectation/etiquette when camping.

Around noon, we decided to go for a little hike. So we loaded Tori into her stroller (she has difficulty walking), got Emma Blue situated with her leash, and took off. We walked out toward the backpacking sites and made it to the entryway before turning around. It had gotten in the high 70s so it was pretty warm and very sunny. Awesome! We turned back and spend some more time reading and relaxing before packing up around 4pm to head home.

It was an awesome albeit short trip. We ended up being the only people on our loop and the only people aside from the camp hosts in that campground within the State Park. There were many more people in the Big Island campground. There were few bugs at all. Which works great for me as I seem to be the bite magnet! Lorrie saw one tick, which freaked her out. But it was as we were packing up so it didn't last long. It did initiate a very thorough checking of all of us when we got back home though.

Can't wait to get back out there for more than one night!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Myre Big Island State Park - Day 1

We had planned to go camping on Friday, April 15th. But for some reason, the knowledge that it was supposed to get below freezing through the night deterred us. I think we both blame it on Tori... the blind elderly dog that we are so gentle with. But the truth is, she has so much hair that she'd stay warm in the Antarctic without shelter. And, she's got so much gumption that we never actually need to be *that* gentle with her. So. It's us. We. are. wimps!

So today...

I was up at about 5:45am feeding and emptying the dogs. We had wanted to get going early so I just stayed up. If I'd gone back to bed, I probably wouldn't have woken up again until 9am. Or later. As it was, with finishing packing, eating breakfast, showering, stopping at the bank, and stopping for coffee, we were on the road by 9am. Good job gang! We got to Myre Big Island State Park a little after 10am. We drove around the White Fox campground and also the Big Island campground before agreeing we wanted the same site from last year. White Fox Campground #89. It was very cold when we got here. I don't know the temp but I know I put on my big down winter coat for a little while before I warmed up as we set up camp. We got the Queendom up with little difficulty except deciding which way to orient it. Then I realized I had forgotten the vestibule. Oops! Once that was done, we (*I*, really) decided to put up our new Kelty Noah's Tarp 9. Now *that* was a challenge! Took between 45 minutes to an hour to get this "simple" shelter up. The main problem with the Nite Ize Figure 9 attachment thingie that makes tightening it a cinch. I had a Youtube video on my iPod with instructions that we watched over and over pausing, rewinding, fast forwarding until we could finally see what the heck he was doing. Just a suggestion... when making an instructional video, DO NOT cover your work by placing your hand between the work and the camera. Here are some instructions for the Figure 9. Once I got the knot thingamajig figured out, we had to work out the two poles. I'm still not sure it's right as the middle is a big sunken. And I had to support one of the poles with a tree. The other 2 corners are tethered to the ground and a tree. I'll have to practice with it at home. I'm just not sure how one person could put this thing up if there are no trees around. Once we got that up and everything into the tent that needed to be, we got a fire going and set about relaxing.

It was pretty windy but the temp got warmer and warmer. I graduated from my down jacket to my down vest then to a sweatshirt and finally just a t-shirt. That's my temperature gauge! We did some reading then I took a nap. Can it get much better?? My parents came to visit and for dinner around 5:30pm. Hot dogs and burgers over the campfire. Well, except for the 1 hamburger Lorrie dropped into the campfire! LOL Potato salad, fire grilled vegetables, sun chips in their new noisy compostable bag, and chocolate cake for dessert! My mom sure knows how to camp! (= We sat around the fire and chatted while we burned papers from my EPPP studies. That was fun! My parents have been gone all winter so this is the first time I've seen them since Christmas. They left when it started getting cold. Smart! It was a nice visit and great to be outside away from TVs and computers.

We stayed out just a little longer until about 10pm and then made our way in to the tent. Lorrie is doing some reading but I am too tired. We tried out the new REI candle lanterns and they worked great! Emma Blue is bundled up in her sleeping bag on a dog bed and Tori is in her big orange personal tent. Everyone seems content!