Thursday, August 28, 2008

End of Summer Camping Trip

Ben and I went to Little Green Pond camping last night, and Gail was able to come and hang out for a few hours in the afternoon before having to go home (Penny-sitting and an early meeting this morning)...one of the really cool things about living where we do is that we can head out for an overnight camping trip, have lots of places to choose from, not have to make a big deal about it, and camp in a more beautiful spot than most people will ever see in their lives...


Ben has a new Hennessy Hammock, a smaller version of the one that I have, and we were anxious to try them out, and since the weatherman was predicting perfect weather I didn't bother with the nylon flies designed to keep out rain and such...


Little Green is a beautiful little pond, and it was a very sunny and warm afternoon, so we all got into our swimming stuff and went for a cooling swim...


There were lots of little bugs and beasties in the water, and (but?) it was nice to keep our feet cool in the clean sandy bottom...


We stayed at campsite #4 this time, and I stayed at #6 a couple of weeks ago with some friends from Zombie Squad, and both sites are large and clean and have sandy beaches...


Ben was fascinated by my water filter...it holds a couple gallons of pond water that drop through the filter cartridge through the good graces of gravity (rather than pumping)...he kept going over to take sips all day and night and the next morning as well...


He helped me set up the tent that attaches to the back end of my Honda Element...he's getting more interested in how the camping gear that we use works, and he likes to help set things up...as his sixth birthday nears, I am very much aware of how much more he is a boy rather than a toddler...


He thought that the tent and the missing seats in my Element (which fold and then tilt out of the way) were amazingly cool, and played in the back for a while, enjoying the breeze off of the pond through the screen door in the tent...the tent was a nice storage option, but also served as a backup in case the hammocks didn't work out for Ben, or if the heavens opened up and drowned us in rain or snow or slugs...


Gail was jealous of us, but her school-year has started, so she couldn't stay very long, but she enjoyed a cool drink by the pond before going...


In the picture above, she can be seen working on her croc-tan, and doing some rigorous stretching exercises...


Ben was ecstatic about his new hammock, and practiced climbing in and out of the velcro closure on the bottom until he could do it without my assistance...


Gail was persuaded to try out my hammock for a bit, and as a result, we may be getting a third at some point in the future...


Ben loves camp-cooking to the extent that we had appetizers before supper, and he even helps with the pot-walloping ( a cleaning method involving sand and scrubbing and splashing)...


Our main meal was a campfire traditional favorite, franks and beans...Ben prefers not to have the outsides of his dogs burned, so I used a fry-pan to cook them, which was a bit out of profile, but still works...he discovered for himself the ancient truism that all food tastes better when it is cooked over a campfire and served while facing a beautiful view...


He likes eating out of campware, especially my huge all-purpose "FairShare" mug by GSI, which was designed to encourage large servings when camping with a group...


He washed all of the pots from dinner, pointing out that it was only fair since I had cooked...it would be hard for me to love him more...


The only hitch in the dish-washing process was the attack by this crayfish, which lived under the log we balanced our tableware on...he kept coming out from different holes under the log, and we both feared that he was going to nip our toes (well, one of us was more worried than the other, but I won't tell which of us it was)...


Later, as the sun set, Ben noticed some clouds on the horizon, and his faith in the weatherman proved to be not as strong as mine, so he asked me to put the hexagonal fly that came with his hammock...it took me 4 minutes from the time I put down my beer and went to look for the fly in the back of the Element...


After the sun was down behind the trees on the opposite side of the pond, I got Ben changed into his bedclothes...because of the nature of the hammock, you tend to dress warmer and not wrap yourself up in as heavy a sleeping bag as you would in a tent (I sleep under a light fleece blanket, but wear a fleece jacket when sleeping in my hammock)...so Ben got into a set of long underwear and warm socks and a balaclava (it was in the 40s last night, so this seemed prudent)...he thought that it was a ninja outfit, and spent the next little while before story time flitting around the camp like a well-armed shadow...


There were some bugs that came into camp while Ben was ninja-ing around camp, but a pipeload of strong tobacco (cherry flavored/scented, because that's how I roll) kept them at bay and made me yearn to tell tales of the sea and squint and plonk my pegleg on the tavern floor...


About 30 minutes after the sun went down behind the trees, it must have ignited a unicorn-farm or a cache of weapons-grade fairy dust, because the lightshow that it gave us was truly fantastic...after we watched the colors rise and then fall, we started in telling (not horrifically) scary stories...I started off with a tale of a lonely prince in a dark castle, and Ben followed that up with a story about a boy and his best friend's spooky house...


We wisely saved our best scary stories for the next morning...I told a story about a family of bears that lived unfortunately close to a zombie-filled graveyard, and the misadventures that occurred when they foolishly lost track of time one full moon's night...Ben followed that with a spook-a-palooza about werewolves and vampires and monsters removable heads and bravely shouted magic spells...



We had breakfast in a few stages, starting with oatmeal and cocoa and some reading for me...quite civilized...


Some paddlers went by in boats like D just bought, I'm not sure if they noticed us sitting their, quietly watching them...


Ben found and caught and manhandled a little toad who made the poor choice to hop right through our campsite...he hopped away again a few minutes later, none the worse for wear, but perhaps a bit wiser about hopping through the camps of little boys...


After a hand-washing to de-toad the boy (stated for mothers' and grandmothers' benefits) we continued with some pineapple left over from last night and cooling hot-chocolate...a bizarre mix that Ben loved and I managed to enjoy more than I had planned to...



After out second-breakfast, we took a walk around the pond, and noticed on our way back the sign above...we knew that all ponds around here can have them, but the authority with which the sign stated the warning made us both check our legs...

We had a great time camping on Little Green Pond, and plan to go again sometime this fall...

1 comment:

City Mouse said...

Gorgeous pics and awesome sunset! I have that same green folding chair! Glad you had a great time.