Monday, August 03, 2015

A Wet Weekend at Big Lake

My view upon waking and emerging from our tent
My next view 
A couple weeks ago, our family loaded up the truck for another camping adventure. This time we wanted to camp near water. Dave received a kayak as a gift a few years ago and had not put it in water for far too long. He decided that Big Lake would be a good spot to camp and kayak. The drive to Big Lake took us about four hours. The route wound through the mountains showcasing gorgeous views of our state. Although a few of our passengers deal with motion sickness, the ride was uneventful and everyone felt good when we arrived at our campground. We quickly put up our tent as it was getting late in the day. The kids and I had to set up the screen tent in the dark while Dave finished staking our sleeping tent. We ate a quick dinner shuttling supplies back and forth between the campsite and car. The area campgrounds have had a few bear encounters in the past month, so we were encouraged to leave any food in the vehicle!

The night was dry and we awoke to a gorgeous day. Breakfast was slow as the kiddos explored the area and Dave and I chatted. The kiddos would occasionally interrupt begging to go out on the water. They were so excited to go kayaking with their dad! With full bellies we finally carried the kayak across the street to the lake. I setup my spot on the pier as Dave loaded his gear. Aine was his first passenger, and they soon set off for a tour of the lake. The boys explored the shore, collecting crawfish claws, while their sister paddled. With a huge grin on her face, Aine returned and switched spots with one of the boys. Paddling and exploring continued while the pile of crawfish claws on the pier grew. Quickly the sky took on a stormy hue, and we headed back to camp.

Just after lunch, the skies opened up, and it rained. Initially the kiddos ran around in the rain, but we eventually decided to retire to the tent and read for a bit. Fortunately our new tent doesn't leak. A few of us napped while I read The Twenty-One Balloons to those too excited to sleep. The storm abated bringing cooler temperatures. We ate dinner and tried to light a fire. The wood was way too wet for a campfire, so we retired without any s'mores filling our bellies. The next morning was clear and the kiddos ran around again playing with our neighbor campsite. They collected sticks, played poker and had a rousing game of hide and seek. As we began to break camp the skies became dark yet again. Dave and I scrambled up and down the hill loading the car with our gear. Soon rain turned to hail and we were completely soaked. The kiddos piled into the car with a few tears due to cold. Dave pulled out an emergency blanket for them to try. He figured it would keep them busy and teach them how to use one if a true emergency occurred. We continued to pack our tent and other camping accoutrements. I glanced at Dave at one point. He seemed perturbed, so I asked what was wrong. He pointed to the sky and asked if I was kidding. We both started laughing so hard.  We made quite a picture standing in the pouring rain. Donned in raincoats and wet to the bone, we cleared up the last of our campsite and slammed the doors on the truck. Phew! It had been a wet yet fun weekend.