Hey, guess what it’s doing here in the Adirondacks. Go on, GUESS!
It’s raining. Pouring, actually. Has been for hours.
The good news is that the rain held off until late afternoon, today; we arrived yesterday afternoon and had just finished setting up when my dad and step-mom pulled up to settle into the campsite across from ours. Last night’s dinner was a low country boil prepared by Otto, because you can take the boy out of the south but you cannot put him in a camper without Andouille sausage. Or something. We had planned to eat outdoors, but it was already sort of damp and icky, so we discovered that our U-shaped dining area in the camper is juuuuust big enough to seat six people who really like each other. (It helps if two of them are basically only half-sized.)
After dinner we decided to go for a short walk, which turned into an unintentionally longer walk, and as it was getting dark and the children were cranky, I feared thing would end badly, but we found our way back and capped off the night with moon pies.
This morning we got up and made coffee and threw cereal at the children and all went for a hike. (This time we took a map. Hooray!) We figured out where we could come back and fish, and we returned tired and muddy and hungry. After lunch, my dad broke out his watercolors and he and the kids painted for a while as I did some work, my stepmom read, and Otto did the dishes.
Dad painted a picture of their campsite.
Monkey painted a picture of “a made up solar system!”
And Chickadee painted a picture of my dad painting his picture.
(I would be hard-pressed to tell you which one is my favorite. Chickadee did, however, capture every detail of the t-shirt her Grandpa was wearing, right down to the fancy ampersand in the text. I’m just saying.)
[Side note: Apparently artistic talent skips a generation. I still can barely draw a straight line, and both kids are already better artists than I’ll ever be. I’m pleased for them, and preemptively sad for their kids. Heh.]
By then it was early afternoon, and we packed up the fishing gear and headed back to the river. Monkey was entrusted with Dad’s fishing net, which he waved around until we threatened to take it away from him. Then he let it hang by his side, but started barking military orders at the rest of us as we worked out way down the bank. (Only my father complied. Monkey spent a lot of time giggling “ABOUT FACE!” and making him go in circles.)
The fishing was slow going, and just when morale was starting to flag (“I don’t think there are any fish here!”), Monkey caught a trout. It was beautiful, and also too small to keep. He was a little disappointed, but still excited that he’d caught something. (We took a picture. He looks very proud.)
Chickadee caught three rocks. Only two of them refused to give the hook back.
I fed several worms to the fish and reeled an empty hook back in. I suppose it’s because of my giving nature. And utter suckitude as a fisherwoman.
Dad caught another trout, also too small to keep.
And then the thunder started up.
It was not an inconsequential walk back to camp, and it was a steep one, at that, and I had visions of us trying to climb back up the hill in the rain and mud, but we made it back before the rain started. Then we battened down the hatches. Okay, we don’t have any hatches; we packed up loose things like camp chairs and shoes we’d been leaving in front of the camper, and we waited for the storm to hit.
So it’s been raining now for… four hours, maybe? And all six of us are hanging out in our little camper. We all played Cranium Whoonu and Apples to Apples while demolishing cheese and crackers and carrot sticks, and then we had a lovely dinner of veggie chili (say whatever you want about camping with a trailer not being “real camping;” I will happily give up my camping cred for the ease of throwing dinner in the crock pot at breakfast time, and having hot chili to eat when it’s cold and miserable outside). After dinner we scattered a bit; Chickadee and Dad have been working their way through Yahtzee and cards and who knows what else. The rest of us are reading, except for Monkey, who is experiencing a bit of stir craziness and had to be sedated with a dose of the Nintendo DS.
It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, too, so we may go hit a museum or something to get out. Or maybe we’ll get half a day of sun again so that we can hang around outdoors.
“You’re going to make a lot of memories in here,” remarked my dad, yesterday, after we’d given him the fifteen second tour of the camper (“This is the kitchen, and there’s the bunks back there and our bed up there”). We’ve only been here for a day and a half and already I’m grateful for this trip. Grateful for the gorgeous surroundings, for my parents’ ability and willingness to join us and make the adventure that much more interesting, for the stories we’ll tell later about the rain and the mud and how I played “Lucky” in Apples to Apples and the options offered up included turkeys, gorillas, and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Yes, a spirited debate about the relative luckiness of leaving a legacy that changed the world vs. being shot as part of it did ensue.) (Also, you should never leave the house without your lucky gorilla.)
But most of all, I’m so, so grateful that the camper doesn’t leak. And that we’re not sleeping in tents.