Friday, June 13, 2008

Called on accounta rain

We took the last few days to take the family on a camping trip. This is an excellent idea by my husband, to get the kids out where they can only talk to each other and to us. This way, they can't walk into another room or turn on the ipod and tune us out. In fact, if they get too bored, they have to play a game with us. Heh heh. I loved this plan. Unfortunately, it has its disadvantages, as well, the most extreme of which was the public toilet, but also included a good crop year for mosquitos. We hiked in a mile and a half to our campsite, which my hubby had already set up for us. This is casa de Cobbler:

Nice, ay? Not bad for a campsite. I bought some Opal sock yarn and started a feather-and-fan pattern for my camping socks. It's not hard to remember, but not boring, either. I liked them. And this is a pic of them as I sat and knitted while everyone else slept.

And here's what I got done until everyone woke up that first morning. Nice.

And then I tried them on. And even though I knit with my regular sized #1 needles, and cast on 72 sts instead of my normal 64, they were still too small. And I realized I wasn't knitting my camping socks, but my older daughter's camping socks.

The second day, we hiked out and took some beautiful scenic pictures of the area. I admit I was distracted by scratching at mosquito bites and wiping sweat off my forehead. I had gone past even trying to look attractive. But still, nature was pretty enough by herself:

You can't tell by these pictures, but bad weather and tornado watches were on the way. That night, everyone slept in the same tent, and we feared for being struck by lightning. Actually, that was just me, but I was scared enough for everyone. It was kind of exciting, actually, in a sort of are-these-my-last-moments? sort of way. And when I finally laid down to rest, I heard a chipmunk or mouse or something trying to get in, scrabbling and scrabbling. I was the only one awake, and I admit that I felt a little smug that I was in a nice, warm, uninvadable tent, though I don't know where I got that idea. In the morning, I awoke and found a hole in the corner of the tent. And I said to my husband, pretty calmly, I think, "Doesn't this look like something got in?" And my husband and I looked and looked (I'm pretty sure he was faking calm for the sake of the kids, too) and we couldn't find an exit hole, which he said should have been there. So the assumption I got to was that the mouse/chipmunk/nature being was in the tent with us. That gave me the willies, but I kept poking around, and - though I had to take the picture outside once I'd found the camera - I did find this:

My sock yarn! Invaded! And of course I was pretty sure that the little invading creature was inside that mound of wool, but my husband scooped it outside of the tent, and there was nothing in it, but.. well, poop, to be honest, but I'm not skillled enough to identify the animal by its droppings, except that it wasn't a bear. What this means probably is that the mouse/chipmunk/whatever was in the tent with us when we were arranging sleeping bags and such for the night, and the scrabbling I heard was the beast trying to get out. Could you imagine if I had actually found my headlamp, which I was looking for and unable to find, and turned it on? Holy cow, I can't even. I'm terrified of small toothy things, and it's just a good thing that I didn't get a chance to scar my family with my screams if I'd seen the little beastie. In the morning, I fortified myself with my two favorite camping aids, which should have made everything better...

... except that it didn't stop raining. It just kept up. We hiked out (again) and I pretended we were just going home for a shower. But the rain got worse, and eventually my husband took a nap on the loveseat. Yes! I knew we were back in civilization for good. Sweet. And then, guess what I found in my front yard?

A little nature right there on the lawn. Here's a baby snapping turtle, fresh out of the shell. When he was scared (we picked him up), he didn't even pull his head into his shell. He just closed his eyes and hoped for the best. Cute little fella. Next year, we're at least going to find a drive-up campsite, so I won't be hiking around with a four-year-old on my back for an hour each time we go in or leave. You take your pleasures where you can get 'em, when you're camping.


lobstah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lobstah said...

Great stories, you had me laughing all the way through! I got to the part where you mention the "impenetrable tent" and I thought "Uh-oh". Brought back memories of the time my bf and I were backpacking and were too lazy to put the trail mix back into the hanging food bag and left it in the tent (not smart). Morning found a small hole through the tent floor and trail mix bag. The mouse must have pulled out nuts one-by-one, until a big Brazil nut finally stopped the hole up! LOL!

Well, sounds like you survived anyway!

(had to delete and edit due to typos!)

Anonymous said...

Well - it certainly wasn't a boring trip! But there seems to be some sort of trend going on here with the socks.

Anonymous said...

I spent many a birthday growing up, holed in a tent in the pouring rain with my family. Memories.

That toothy invading creature used your skein as a restroom? The gutty nerve.

I don't think I'd want to sleep in the tent again, with the makeshift door.

Anonymous said...

You can borrow my trailer next time ! :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very "interesting" time! You are a heartier soul than I; I can't handle tent camping.

Were you able to save the yarn? Or did the poop do you in?

Mouse said...

oh my.. lol! I guess someone thought that your sock yarn would make an excellent bed for the night- it is a pretty yarn! I'm sure that if I drank my camping necessities would look a lot like yours- thankfully the place we camp in Florida has power in the sites so we can even have bagels & tea! MIL camps with her toaster.. lol.

Anonymous said...

Fun times...
The kids will probably always remember the poop in the yarn as a highlight of your camping trip.
Good story!

AR said...

You should have posted a pic of the hole the litte beastie chewed in the tent. The nerve! Abusing sock yarn like that. Naughty little bugger, at least it didn't chew it up!

MsAmpuTeeHee said...

Ha! Great stories lately :-)
Although it's really too bad you keep ending up with socks that aren't your size!

Rachel said...

Ah--so you were forced into camping! After that story, I guess I can see why you don't look at it fondly. You have to watch out for the critters...especially critters and soft fluffy wooly yarn! At least you just heard it...staying in an old trailer for some field work, I had something large and hairy shoot across my face in the middle of the night. Not pleasant!

And too bad about making small socks...but your girls are getting some great gifts in the process!