A Camping Adventure

We took our girlies camping! Here is the story of our weekend at Punderson State Park.

Of course, if you go camping, you should arrive late and set up and make supper all in the dark. Just kidding. Don’t. But… we’re used to it by now. πŸ˜‰ Ben did a fantastic job loading the van, keeping everyone calm when we had to turn around for a few more items, and then setting up a brand-new (and this unfamiliar) tent in the dark. Cheers for headlamps. I carried baby and tried to help with one free hand. Raelynn happily bummed around, neither wandering off nor getting tangled underfoot. I was pretty proud of her that evening.

I’d had a pizza completely assembled and frozen. We slid it onto the grate over the fire, covered it with the cookie sheet, and had an easy supper… at 10:30.

Both girls slept so well… an answer to prayer, especially as Alaya had been croupy the night before. Temps were perfect, and we all stayed comfortably warm for a May night.

Raelynn: “I’m running around in my pj’s and Alaya’s running around in her pj’s!” (Correction: maybe only one of you is capable of running around?!)
Good man, good coffee, good morning!

Raelynn woke us at 6:30, which was far too early for her to be up… and the rest of us too. Oh well, then again… why waste a beautiful outdoor morning sleeping?! Alaya didn’t pay much attention to any of us and just kept sleeping. πŸ™‚ Smart baby.

Such an early rising doesn’t bode well for a 2-year-old, however, and she quickly commenced into melting down over everything. It was a case where we were hoping to drop her back into bed for a nap, ASAP. Nothing really happened asap, but eventually both girls settled for long naps (hats off to Ben for his efforts with the toddler) and then Ben went fishing while I stayed with the girls and read a book.

I loved “The Miracle of Miss Willie,” and quickly ordered my own copy.
I love how she tucked her little arms under her head. A professional little napper there.

Shortly after the girlies awoke, Ben returned with no fish, no bites. Raelynn was begging to go to the park (aka playground), while I was trying to waterproof the campsite against the oncoming storm. We packed everything into dry corners as best as we knew how, then drove down to the playground to catch a few moments on the swings before the storm struck.

Want a deserted playground? Go while thunder rumbles.
The onlooker

We played until the raindrops gave us a few minute’s warning, then popped everyone into the van just in time. And then, it poured. So, we headed out to get some ice cream. We drove down the road a little ways in search of Jeni’s and came to a cute, touristy little town with brick roads and over-priced goods. At least the ice cream was good. πŸ™‚

She spent the ride into town informing us multiple times that she was wanted pink ice cream. Ben spotted the coveted “pink” and promptly ordered hers first… lavender flavored ice cream, anyone? When later asked whether her pink ice cream was good, Raelynn was quick to correct, “No, it’s purple.” Thankfully she was content even with the obvious color shift.
I was wishing I had remembered at least the baby’s hat or the sunscreen, but no, both were safely at home. Here we were overlooking a river that ran through town.

In the meantime, the storms passed and we headed back to the campground to discover the moment of truth: would we have a dry place to sleep? Did anything survive that downpour?

Praise the Lord – there were only a few drips inside the tent. Camping could resume.

We no longer had time to cook our roast in the Dutch oven, so Ben sliced it up and grilled steaks instead. I dumped a fruit cobbler into the Dutch oven instead. It was still too hot to eat by the time the steak and potatoes were finished, so we popped the girls into the cart and took an evening bike ride down to the lake. We watched a muskrat swimming around until Alaya got too grouchy and her mommy got too antsy about her baby needing sleep. So we headed back.

And then it was all about eating our desert, cleaning up, giving Raelynn a shower (she was so proud to be getting a shower instead of a bath!), and getting to bed.

I’m still thinking murderous thoughts about the raccoon though. We were sitting by the fire having a bedtime prayer when we heard something over by the picnic table. We had apparently gotten careless about latching the lid on the food tote, and that audacious critter just came and helped himself to my loaf of homemade bread. Why, oh why, didn’t he take the bag of marshmallows instead?!

The second night went well and we slept until something like 8:30 (maybe Raelynn was more tired this time due to all the fun the day before?). From there on it was a typical morning of reading our Bibles, catching some grub, and packing up… which always takes longer than you hope.

Once in the van and on the road, both girls dropped off to sleep for the hour home.

The unpacking could wait. The showers felt great. Friends came for the evening and we  fed them leftover camping food.

Monday became Operation Camping Recovery. Tuesday has become Operation Camping Recovery Continued.

…to the which I should return.

But hey, the sun shines, the baby smiles, and the toddler sleeps on, so we’re off to a (mostly) good start.

Here’s already looking forward to the next camping adventure. πŸ™‚


  1. Marlese says:

    Sounds like a fun time 😊


    1. Laura says:

      It was! …even though there are always “those” moments. But overall it was a definite win πŸ™‚


  2. Tara Zook says:

    Looks like so much fun!!:) tenting adventures are the best!!πŸ˜‰


    1. Laura says:

      Yes, aren’t they?! πŸ™‚ So much work, but worth it!


  3. Rosey says:

    Yes! I love your camping stories!
    Keep up the good writing!


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