As a single mother with her daughter, it’s fun to watch fellow campers try to figure us out. I mean, who does this? I know I am unique. I love the great outdoors, and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. Sure, I’d love to have someone in my life who could help out in times like this. But the fact is, I don’t. I can’t live my life waiting for “help”. I’ve wanted to camp, since I had my own family. But there was always others holding me back. Or really, I was holding myself back waiting for others to “tag along”. In 2013, I decided to just do the things I want to do and not wait on people to do them with me. I cannot be afraid to go it alone! Yes, it’s a lot of work setting up, taking down, and even cooking. Showers can sometimes be scarce, so you can’t be afraid to start to smell yourself, especially after spending a whole morning chopping wood.
Meeting camping neighbors is really nice. Fortunately on our New Year’s trip, we met a very nice family on our first day! It consisted of two married men with their two children from their previous marriages. One man brought his 10 year old daughter, and the other had a 7 year old son. Apparently their wives aren’t too keen on camping. LOL! Hannah has gotten very good at making new friends on these trips! That was something she has struggled with in the past, since I always used to plan events with friends she knew. They brought a lot of firewood from home, so we were usually warming up around their fire with our chairs in tow. We shared foods with them, and vice versa. But mostly, we ate at our own camp. Ultimately, we were all quite compatible as camping buddies. The kids all had bikes, so they really motivated Hannah to ride a lot. This is GREAT! And to think, I wasn’t going to bring the bikes. This has been the most we’ve used them yet!
It has also been very cold camping!!!! Even with all the sleeping bags and blankets we brought, I remained a little chilled at times. We really have to layer up! Hannah also likes to stay up till 10 or so, and then sleep till 9:30 am! She’s really likes her sleep! I finished chopping up firewood before she even woke up one morning. I think she really didn’t want to get out of her warm bed.
We even visited Juniper Springs two days. It was 63 degrees out, and the kids got in the 72 degree water! On the third day, we visited the springs with our friends, who joined us camping. The kids wanted to get in the water, but it was in the 40s or 50s! It was too cold. When our friends came out, our other camp buddies left, so this was perfect. Hannah had friends to pal around with the whole time, and so did I.
It rained for 2 days straight, which got old really quick. It also made it difficult to start fires with wet wood, but I persevered! I was the official fire starter! I have always LOVED building fires! When I was a kid, I used to build bonfires in my back yard. On this trip, I even was able to start the fire IN THE RAIN! We had a great time enjoying the fire under our umbrellas. We even roasted hotdogs and made s’mores in the rain! I came up with some really funny campfire songs to share with the kids when our friends got there. They couldn’t get the songs out of their heads!
It was in the 30s two nights in a row! We were chilled, especially the second night. Hannah woke up shivering, so I put like 4 layers of clothes on her with her sleeping bag zipped, another blanket and a comforter on top. She wore her winter hat on her head and was toasty warm. I had to do the same thing, but I had an extra comforter, since I tend to get colder than Hannah. We even had on 4 pairs of socks! I don’t think I care to camp any colder than this.
Fortunately, it didn’t rain on our last day, so I was able to put a way a DRY tent, for a change!!! I just had to dry the bottom. I even considered staying an extra night after spending 5 nights, but it was to rain the next day. I didn’t want to risk having a wet tent! So, we left. We camped for 7 days!!! This is our longest camping experience yet.
On the way home, we stopped in Jupiter, FL to visit some friends from my playgroup, Baby Bunch. We had an impromptu party, so we didn’t get home till like midnight! We still made it to church in the morning. But I was super tired with puffy red eyes!!! My cats had missed me so much, so I let them sleep with me….big mistake! They wanted pet pet all night!