Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Adventures in Camping

When we reserved the campsite, we were told that the pavilion was unavailable. It had already been reserved by another group. The lady on the phone actually laughed when Kerry asked about it. "You have to reserve it a year ahead of time to get it," she told him.

However, when we arrived, we were told that the group of boy scouts who had reserved it had cancelled their trip due to the rain and we could have it after all. Over the course of the weekend we sent up prayers of thanks numerous times for that pavilion. Turns out, it would have been a miserable weekend without it!

The fact that another group cancelled their trip because of the weather should have been a big clue.

Flash flood warnings had been issued. We just didn't know it yet.


The spot where we set up our tents seemed great. In between rain showers, we ran out and set the tent up and threw our gear inside. During the rainy moments, we hunkered down under the pavilion (Thank You Lord, for providing the pavilion!). During one less rainy moment I ran out to our tent to fetch something and as I stepped inside my foot came down into a puddle inside the tent. "Kerry, the tent is leaking!" It actually rained down on my head while I was in there, despite the fact that our rain flap was on securely.

We grabbed our EZ Up tent and put it over our entire family tent to help block the rain. Then we went back to the pavilion and made dinner and played board games for a while.
(Thank you God, for the pavilion!)

After a while I ran back out to the tent to get something else, and when I stepped inside, the water came up to my ankle. "Kerry!"

The EZ Up tent had collected so much rain on it that the back side of it had collapsed and dumped all the water directly into our tent. Everything was soaked. We managed to salvage two blankets which were only damp around the edges but all of our towels, sheets, sleeping bags, pillows, and a large portion of our clothes were completely drenched.


We wound up spreading our stuff all over the pavilion trying to get it to dry, but of course, with rain coming down all around us, it was far too humid for anything to actually dry. By this time, other families were experiencing leaks as well and we were all moving as much stuff as we could to the pavilion (Thank You, Lord!).



My wonderful, wonderful husband had fortunately brought an extra tent in case some of the teen girls wanted their own tent so they could stay up late and giggle. Instead of letting the teens have it, we wound up setting it up underneath the pavilion and Kerry, Katie, and I slept in it. We had an air mattress and the three of us squished together like sardines on it, but at least it was dry. I slept inside a sleeping bag liner, Kerry slept under an Army poncho and Katie slept under our one blanket that was still dry. Kerry wadded up a jacket to use as a pillow, Katie used a stuffed animal, and I took one pillow which was wet on one end and turned it sideways to sleep on the dry portion.


The teens all slept under the pavilion with no tent, but they were happy. The biggest issue was that the lights on the pavilion can not be turned off so it was as bright as day all night long. Inside our tent, it wasn't too bad, but the teens had to pull their blankets over their heads to block out the light so they could sleep.



Our blessed pavilion had started to look like a refugee camp.

I was so tired and waterlogged, when I got into dry pajamas and into the tent, I slept like a log all night. I found out the next morning that at 2:00 AM, we had been invaded by feral cats who had broken into the food, ate our bread, and then sat around yowling for more.

On the second night, it rained so much that one of the moms said the air mattress she was sleeping on actually started floating and moved around in her tent!


When we finally broke camp, we discovered that a river had actually formed and had flowed right through the area where our tents were staked!


These were the glorious mountains right next to our camp site.




Once the rain started pouring down, the mountains were covered in waterfalls!


What an amazingly beautiful sight! We may have been wet, but the view was worth it.

Of course, with not much else to do, the kids wanted to play in the rain. We finally let them. After we got home, we found out there was a "brown water" advisory which means because of the flooding the water could have runoff from cesspools, dead animals, or other filth and disease in it. Also, two people were swept away by flood waters over the weekend.


Ah, well. What we didn't know, didn't hurt us.

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