Oh, my, we sure do love our new tent trailer.
My camping mama-buddy just got a new trailer, so her and her three kids (including 10 -week-old infant!) invited us to join them at Rolley Lake, near Mission.
With most everything packed in the trailer, now it’s a lot easier to head out of town on an impromptu camping trip. I’m getting better at streamlining what needs to come with us each trip, so food and clothing is getting simpler and easier too.
One bin of clothing for all of us, combined: two changes of clothing, plus fleece layer, rain layer, pyjamas, swimsuits, socks, socks, socks, socks, socks. More socks. Especially for spring (and fall) camping where wet feet = cold, miserable children.
One bin of dry goods: bread, oatmeal, crackers, dried seaweed, nuts, pasta, tins (peaches, tuna, beans, etc), and the dishtowel and dishcloth to replace the ones we used on the last trip.
A bag of footwear: crocs, runners, rain boots, slippers (we use ALL of these on EVERY trip)
An enormous cooler for the rest of the food: apples, oranges, berries, carrots, cucumbers, kale, bananas, milk, cream, mayo, frozen stews, frozen meat, and a big ol’ block of ice (I’m going to started using old milk jugs for this. Or dry ice … anyone know anything about that?)
A backpack with flashlight, water bottles, books (so many BOOKS!), explorer tools (binoculars, magnifying glasses, string, notebooks, pencils, bug boxes, compasses, etc), iPod, my headphones (I usually listen to an audio book or podcast when the kids are asleep and I’m by myself), my sketchbooks, and a novel for me.
We didn’t even leave the campsite, being that our spot was at the edge of a big oval of mossy, swampy, forest, with endless nooks and crannies for the kids to explore. There was hardly anyone there (YAY for midweek homeschool camping!), so the four kids had the place to themselves while my mama friend, her infant, and I hung out around the campsite. The kids found a half-built fort and claimed ownership of it. They soaked every pair of footwear and their bare feet in the marsh, trying to catch the frogs that sang to us every night, without success.
We didn’t even make it to the lake until we’d packed up and were on our way out of the park. The kids and I stopped for a picnic lunch on the beach. While I had a swim in the deliciously cold water, the kids puttered in the shallows with their nets, hoping to catch baby rainbow trout, which the folks in kayaks and canoes out in the middle of the lake were fishing for. No luck with live fish, but Esmé did find a dead one, which she was delighted to examine up close. That kid is definitely not squeamish.
When we finally left the park, we headed home via Mission. I wanted to practice parking with the trailer, so we headed for a strip mall near Highway 11. I noticed they had a Magicuts there, so Hawk and Esmé had a cheap and cheerful haircut before we got back onto the road.
On our way through Abbotsford, we called Grandpa Dave and Grandma Cathie to see if they were home. They were, so we dropped by. They’re in the midst of downsizing, and as it happened, they were having a garage sale. The kids thought this was pretty cool, so we hung out among the neatly organized tables of Christmas decorations and tools and chinaware and had lemonade and a bbq and a blissful visit.
Hawk spent most of his time in Grandpa Dave’s shop, admiring his tools.
“How ’bout his one?” Grandpa Dave would say, picking up yet another saw, shovel, screwdriver, drill, whatever.
“Yup,” Hawk would whisper. ”I like that one too. It’s my favourite tool in the whole world.”
Hawk fell asleep on the way home, with this new hand-me-down shop vac at his feet and a set of small blue pliers clutched in his fist.
Esmé stayed awake, and therefore was the sole witness when I managed to (almost) back the trailer right into our underground parking spot. I only had to roll it about four feet. That’s pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.
I’m glad that I’m getting the hang of handling the trailer, because we love getting out of the city. Esmé and Hawk are their most authentic selves when out in the forest or on the beach, with nothing to do but explore and wander and play. Heck, I am my truest self in that environment too. We love the outdoors, be it meadow or lake, mountain or river. And that’s why we head out of town as often as we can. I don’t love city living. Jack doesn’t love city living. But it makes sense for us to be here right now, for her work, and for the community. But it also makes sense to figure out a way to take off and go to the places that bring us all so much peace. Here’s to a summer of being outside!