Posted on 30 Apr 2022 by Steve Markham
Adele and Lewis wanted to come camping with me last night, so we went to a short-leg favorite, Daketown State Forest. It was a beautiful afternoon when they got home from school, so they played with friends until long past a reasonable time to leave. We went anyway, don’t you worry, it just means dinner was eaten in the dark.
In addition to leaving late, we also had to stop by Walmart for the Knorr packet of Alfredo and some camp fuel, having used up the last of both on the Assateague trip. When we finally got to the trail, there were two huge, branchy trees laying across it. It took us several minutes to find a path around.
Then we got to the stream crossing and of course the water is higher now than in the Fall when we went last time, so it took us several more minutes to cross. A few minutes here and there usually doesn’t matter, but when the sun is setting every minute counts. I know how to make dinner in the dark. I also know how to set up a tent in the dark. But I did have a cute little boy right next to me the whole time. “I’m very brave in the daytime, but at night … well … I’m a little scared.”
I slept in my hammock. The trees right by the tent were about 12” too far apart, so I strung up on the other side of the site. I slept beautifully, as did the kids afaict until about 4:45am, when Lewis started coughing. I took my sleeping bag and jacket to the tent, to make sure they were warm enough. Eventually we found a comfortable way to squeeze three of us in there without crushing Adele, and they fell soundly asleep for another couple hours.
Eventually Lewis got hungry and told me to go make breakfast. They played together in the tent happily, so I did last night’s dishes first, then made hot cocoa and invited them to join me. We also had oatmeal (cooked in the pot and then dished up from there, which helped it come out perfect) and slightly scrambled eggs (mostly for me, though Lewis had a bite of whites).
After breakfast they went exploring while I packed up. I would occasionally glance up to see two buddies walking in the sunshine along the top of a fallen log, or throwing rocks in water, or exploring pancake island. After maybe an hour they came to get me (well, my camera).
Then we came back, finished packing, and I ferried our gear back across the stream the same way we came last night. Then the kids. Adele slipped a little and got one foot wet, but not soaked.
We took one break on the way out to delayer and have a snack.
The last time I went to Daketown with Lewis and Camille I think we were home for breakfast. This time we got home at 11am. What a swell time:)