Sunday, July 20, 2003


We took the kids camping on Friday through Saturday up in the lower Catskills. I had no chance to pack until Friday morning. So, I woke up at 6:00 with Ian and quickly ran around and threw things in bags for an hour. I did okay considering. Only forgot the cellphone and a sweatshirt for Ian.

Steve and I love camping. Both us had done some camping as kids, but it has been a long time since we've been out there.

One of the reasons I love camping is the packing and organizing. So much opportunity to be anal. A mess kit for example is so nice and neat. Everything folds together. Zip lock baggies weren't around last time I went camping, but they are excellent for storing sugar bags and tea bags. Bags in bags make me happy.

I also like the pairing down of life's essentials. How few things can you take and still be comfortable? I like the idea that I can drop everything and take off. Just in case the CIA comes knocking on my door, I can diappear into the night and live off the land. This fantasy is a little more muddy now that I have kids but nevermind.

Here's my conversation with Chris about the trip:

LauraM1111: i just tried to call you. busy. busy.
cmck930: Hi, Wa Wa.

LauraM1111: we went camping.
cmck930: Hey, that's right! How did it go? Where did you go? When did you return?

LauraM1111: went up to the catskills. drove by your paper. Friday morning to Saturday evening. It went great. Kids loved it. come with us next time.
cmck930: Mr. Ian liked it? Big boy. Where in the Catskills were you? (Where did you drive by my paper?) How did your tent withstand the rain on Friday?

LauraM1111: Ian liked it, too. Especially big family tent and snuggling with mommy, daddy, and bro. There was also a playground at the campground, so when he got tired of watching us set up the camp, Steve pushed him on the swings. We were in the lower catskills, past liberty. Drove up on 17 passing Goshen, etc... Even let the kids run around a bookstore in Middletown on the way back. Rained a bit on Friday afternoon. Nothing at night. Tent did fine. But it was very, very cold. 50 degrees. Hadn't packed enough warm stuff.
cmck930: Wow: 50 degrees. Durn cold up in the mountains. What'd you do Saturday? Tromp around in the woods? Were many other people at your campgrounds?

LauraM1111: yup. Did lots of tromping. And checking the area out for the future. As always, the other people in the campground were bikers and old people. Hardly any tents. Lots of semi-permanent RVs complete with porches, rock gardens, and x-mas lights.
cmck930: Sweet. Take pictures of these Arbus characters?

LauraM1111: no, but come with us next time. Our tent was right next to a brook.
cmck930: Aha! Just found on the internet the correct spelling of the Fermanagh townland where the McKenn*s lived before Enniskillen. Breagho. Funny name.
Sure I'll come with you next time.
LauraM1111: cool. got to shower for church, but we'll see you later.

Here's what I told Marybel about the trip:

We just got back from taking the kids on their first camping trip. We went up to the Catskills, half way to Binghamton. Actually it was very near Liberty. Wasn't that where Craig lived? The kids did great, especially Jonah. He loves manly activity. We let him poke the fire with a stick and he kept saying "I have to do my work here. Got to do the work." Cuddily Ian was just happy to sleep in a big family tent. The only mistake was that we weren't prepared for it to go down to 50 degrees at night and we hadn't packed enough blankets. The kids were okay, but Steve and I froze. We'll probably go again soon, so I'm making lists now of what we'll need next time.

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