Weekend before last the girls and I spent a few days in the woods with no electricity, no cell phone reception, and no showers. Also, about 300 Brownies and their moms. I bitched and moaned about going (not in front of my own campers), even though I figured once I was there I'd have fun. It was the getting there that made me crabby; it was far enough away to be Far Away, and I had to put a stack of backlogged badges and patches on their vests before we could go. And, there was a big all-caps, totally bolded-font warning in the handout that said: ANYONE WITH ALCOHOL AT CAMP WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. So, you know, I pouted and thought about bringing cough syrup with codeine, because, come on, all that time with all those kids and no breaks? Mama needs a little cocktail at the end of the day so she doesn't get all cranky lioness-y and start taking swipes at the kids' heads. Just sayin. In the end I decided it would be kinda bad to be the mom who got sent home for having a flask of tequila at Brownie camp, even if it was the good stuff and even if I didn't share with the kids.
We stopped by SG's house on the way out of town Friday night for some supper and chocolate bars and snacks for our trip. We drove and drove — Highway 17, Highway 1 — and then took a five mile unpaved road that was so bumpy things were flying all over the inside of the van and the girls yelled from the back seat, We can't hear our moooovie!
We arrived after dark, but in time to make our situpons and find our troop and get the car to the right campsite. We slept in what I call platform tents: little wooden decks with canvas tents on them. I got the cots made up and pushed together so I could sleep next to both the girls, which meant not only scrunched into a sleeping bag with my timid Willow, but also on the two metal bars of the cots. It was awesome, especially the part where I had to pee all night, but was too cold and too tangled up to get up and trek to the bathrooms down the hill.
In the morning, we woke up to this view:
It was a really, really pretty place to spend the weekend. There was a dining area where everyone met for meals, and they even asked ahead about food issues and had gluten free stuff for me and about six little girls with celiac/wheat allergies. They had gluten and dairy free chocolate cupcakes for us, and fruit sorbet. I will totally sign up for extra slots to work at cookie sales next year — I was truly grateful.
We hiked over a hill from our campsite, and down into a fern covered forest so we could walk through the wishing tree and look for fairies. You make your wish as you walk through the tree trunk, and if you walk back through it the other way, your wish comes undone.
I think both the girls wished for a puppy. I did, too. Until we move out of this house, though, we are SOL.
There was a bitty little creek, so we hiked down and looked for four leaf clovers and fairies.
We went to a session on how to build a fire, but instead of using real firestuff to do it, we used shredded coconut, pretzel sticks (and, dude, they had gluten free ones), candy corn, and Tootsie Rolls.
At night, we sat around the campfire, stamping our feet to keep warm, and toasting marshmallows. The girls sang, and while some kids went for more traditional songs, my girls were with the bunch singing Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. With hand motions.
I was ready to head back home on Sunday, mostly because we hadn't really been warm since we got there.
But also because it's just not right to go so long without a shower. Even when you're camping.