A savvy fisherman never reveals the location of his favorite fishing hole lest word get out and spoil it forever.
I stumbled on the most perfect campsite ever and I’m not saying where it is for the exact same reason.
The 4th of July has to be one of the busiest camping weekends of the year as evidenced by the massive lines at REI on Thursday. If you manage to get a site, you are almost guaranteed noisy neighbors and crowded conditions …
… unless you backpack into the backcountry.
I don’t have it in me to do anything but car camp because this back does not sleep on the ground any more.
We lucked into this spot through one of Loony’s friends and every summer we enjoy a quiet evening in the woods with our close friends and no radios, fireworks, loud talkers (except for our kids) and annoying people (except for our kids). It’s bliss.
The purpose of the excursion is to participate in a national butterfly count. There simply is no activity more suited to children than netting butterflies; a specialist identifies their catches and records the species for some national database.
There is a mica mine not far from the campground. It seemed so much farther away in previous years, perhaps because I had to carry/drag someone the entire time. The kids were enthralled.
The site comes with large tents already set up for us and an assortment of sleeping pads and bags ready to go. All we needed to bring were snacks and lunch but I brought my own cot and pillow, just because. It made the experience virtually stress and bitterness free.
Dinner was lasagna with salad and garlic bread and brownies for dessert. The food was brought up from the nearby lodge and all the dirty dishes were carted away. I wonder if they could make a timpano next time?
The kids were so independent on this trip. We met some new families and the kids all quickly assimilated into a group the way kids do.
I brought along one of Itchy’s friends because I have come to realize the truth in the saying that more kids are easier. I couldn’t fathom this when I had small, high-intensity infants, but these days I’m always happy to include more kids in our events. They look to each other for their adventures, the way it should be.
We “discovered” a swimming hole about a mile away. It’s the kind of place that you never forget.
We hiked, swam and explored all day. The kids couldn’t stop raving about how much fun they were having. I felt high on life but Harmy said it was just the caffeine talking. Whatever. I’ll take it.
After dinner we took a walk and enjoyed a campfire with roasted marshmallows and ghost stories. Well, the kids enjoyed the campfire and marshmallows, I was in bed with a book at 9:00. Bliss.
I slept like a baby in the fresh, cold air. And not the kind of baby that wakes up screaming and crying every three hours, either.
I had an EPIC anxiety dream. Do you want to hear it?
Of course you do.
I dreamt I was pregnant again, which is somewhat of a crisis situation given that I am almost 45 and finally at the place where parenting is fun and not brutally hard all the time. And Loony got a vasectomy after Scratchy was born, so there was that.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell him or if I was going to terminate the pregnancy in secret. I was weighing the options. Scratchy would be a wonderful big brother and would really embrace the role, I would name her Hazel (somehow I knew it was a girl) but I worried about my body’s ability to handle pregnancy at my age. And that marriage annihilation thing.
The father was a young and handsome guy (natch) but not so bright and definitely not husband/father material and I didn’t want to leave Loony. Do I tell him or I do I keep it a secret? I think I told him and he was surprisingly philosophical about it.
For some reason I really need a bathroom and I pretended I was Cindy Crawford’s daughter so I could use her master bathroom. She seemed to go along with it but I couldn’t get any of the fixtures to work right and I couldn’t ask her without blowing my cover.
I went to the hospital (which was in my old high school, of course) to confirm my pregnancy and was informed that I needed a raw egg to do the test. All the eggs in the fridge were either hard boiled or had almost ready to hatch chicks in them. I finally found a raw one but it was tiny and ended up being a double yolker. Unacceptable.
I decided to go swimming and a man in the pool said that I was bleeding. Was it because I took RU-486? Did I take RU-486? Was I miscarrying? Was I even pregnant? I honestly didn’t know.
I leapt out of the pool and headed for the showers to wash the blood away. Shé* was in the shower with me and it was a co-ed facility and men were watching me while the water came out in a useless trickle.
*Shé is due with her first child this month so she’s on my mind.
Then I woke up. It was 5:30 and Loony wanted to go on a hike. I was glad to escape my crazy dream but I inflicted it on him because he loves to hear my dreams.
My dream was likely inspired by seeing a mother of young children on the trip. She carried her small toddler around all day in an Ergo pack. I was a big-time baby wearer back in the day but I must say that my back ached watching her carry her child around. I don’t think I could do it but it got me thinking about babies and I always dream that I have royally fucked everything up.
Breakfast rolled up at 7:30 and we spent the rest of the morning swimming and exploring until it was time to get back to Boulder.
The kids piled into separate tent together (hence my uninterrupted sleep) and were up late. You’d think that the late night coupled with the early morning, swimming, hiking and butterfly catching would wear them out … but no.
We got home in time to unload the car, shower, clean up the rental for my next guest and get a load of laundry going before it was time to enjoy the fireworks.