Free Personal Narratives: Camping - With Children!

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Camping - With Children!

Last year I went camping for the first time, and I had my children with me. Don't get me wrong; my husband was there, too. He had camped before he got married. The scale of excitement was just higher for my children and me. I read books that described the camping experience, and I couldn't wait. Camping sounded earthy to me. There was an element of living like the pioneers; without all the hardships. Using an outhouse is hardship enough, for me.

We were going to the camping grounds in the redwoods near Mendocino. The camping site was the Paul M. Dimmick wayside camp, which is near the Navarro river. The ulterior goal for my husband and his friend was to be close to Albion. It is the secret spot for abalone diving. I didn't know the amount of gear you needed, until I saw the back of the truck. There were iceboxes filled with food, camping stoves, lanterns, gallons of drinking water, tents, air mattresses and sleeping bags. There were also diving suits, weights to help the person stay underwater longer and booties to help protect your feet. That was a lot of stuff for a four day trip, I thought. The day dawned bright and beautiful. The gas tank was full and off we went.

At the fifty mile mark of the trip, we made two bathroom stops, and one fast food stop. Don't believe your child if she tells you, "I'm starving and if I don't eat I'm going to die." Soon after that, we had to make an emergency stop at the side of the road. I never ate burgers again after what I saw. The roads were winding and I had to bite the insides of my mouth to keep myself from asking, "Are we there yet?" We got to our campsite in the afternoon. That was when momentous action took place.

I saw my husband and a friend lay down tarp sheets before setting the tents up. The answer I got to my obvious question was so that moisture doesn't seep in through the floor. The tents were set up so quickly that I could hardly believe it. I envisioned the dreaded struggle with poles and pegs, and the ultimate collapse of the tent on the person setting it up.

The children, in the meantime, were awestruck by the redwoods. They couldn't believe how large the trunks were.

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