Camping, Capsizing and Crying (all in a weekend at play)

As backpackers, my husband Jamie and I are minimalists. We pack the bare essentials because we know we will be the ones hauling them into the backcountry.

We had also taken the same approach with car camping…until we saw the light during last weekend’s camping trip to Eleven Mile State Park, a venue that came highly recommended in Family Fun magazine and a rocky, barren venue that I would never recommend in a thousand years. Or in the eleven hundred miles it seemed to take to get us there.

Our friends Tina and Mark are Pack Everything Including the Kitchen Sink kind of campers. There is nothing wrong with this unless you are camping with them and your rations suddenly seem woefully inadequate and you find yourselves begging them to please share just a bite of their pancake, sausage and bacon breakfast to spare you the trauma of your Frosted Flakes without milk.

In addition to having a tent trailer that was stocked to the hilt, they also brought their canoe, a ton of toys, games, bubble whistles, glow-in-the-dark necklaces and a visit from the bead fairy who helped them make bracelets.

My contribution? Paper plates. A lot of them.

Oh, and both of my boys brought diarrhea. A lot of it. But I will spare you the joy of how I spent my afternoon in the park’s laundry room cleaning the pool of poop that had saturated Bode’s carseat during the drive. Jamie’s rendition of Said Illness did not hit until 11 p.m. and he had a grand ol’ time darting in and out of the tent all night and relieving himself in the outhouse.

Because those things don’t smell disgusting enough.

Our first day was windy and cold, which forced us to hunker down in Tina and Mark’s camper. Day two dawned glorious and calm so Mark announced that we would take the kids canoeing and issued a decree for anyone who wanted to come?!

Tina bowed out. She is afraid of tipping over in the canoe. Woosy.

Jamie was still nauseated from his all-night puke and poopfest. Woosy.

So I ponied up. Mark and I sailed across the water with Hadley and his son Nolan. All was going smoothly until we approached the shoreline and three motorboats departed at the same time. Three motorboats vs. one little canoe.

I will spare you the details. Actually, I don’t really remember them. All I can recollect is my end of the canoe was the first to tip and the rest soon followed. Hadley and Nolan screamed hysterically. Mark and I laughed in the same manner.

Ever the loving, concerned friend, Tina was quick to react by barking out orders from the shore:

“I’ll get the towels and Jamie, YOU TAKE THE PICTURES!”

Just not with my camera because it was in my pocket at the time. And for those who are wondering: no, it was (as in past tense) not waterproof.

Hadley speaks of the incident as if she had one foot in the grave. She was so freaked out that family therapy sessions are assuredly in her future.

Rest assured, I will bring the paper plates for that occasion, too.

Later edited: By popular demand One mommy blogger’s [humorous? painful?] path to a nervous breakdown.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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