Of Rain and Tents

We went camping for the first time this summer yesterday. I know. It's sad. Already the middle of July. 

It was also the first time we've purchased a state parks pass for Minnesota in the five summers we've lived here. We've been camping...just not in Minnesota state parks (we were going to last summer, but the government shut down, and so did the parks).

Before we left on Friday, I looked at the weather app on my ipad. It said there was, at most on Friday, a 40% chance of precipitation. For like an hour or two. The rest of the day was forecasted with only a 10% chance.

Needless to say, it rained from the point we started making our campfire for supper through a large chunk of the night (maybe I need a different weather app). The fire, which had just gotten started with a nice blaze, was quickly dowsed with the rain. We ended up having our breakfast for supper, and then our supper for breakfast this morning (nothing like beer brats and grilled sweet corn to start your day!). 

Removing the tarp that we laid down under the tent helped remove the water that was seeping through the floor, and placing that tarp over the tent helped take care of the few leaks that were going on. Did I mention that I grabbed our old tent that fit the four of us when the boys were little and we could stuff them in the side vestibules meant for luggage? Yeah, there was that, too. 

Somewhere in my family's history--and I don't know how or where this started--we apparently came under a curse that meant it would rain every time we went camping. Every time. And some of them were big, full-on storms. Now Beth and I, up till now, had done fairly well at avoiding this curse. We've had a few small rain showers, but very seldom have we had to deal with much rain.

So, I'm hoping that this event isn't a sign of things to come. Because we enjoy camping. And we enjoy rain. Just not together. 

Actually, it was a nice, pleasant rain. If we had packed extra clothes (or rain gear!), it would have been a great time for a rain hike. 

Still, we enjoyed it (or at least I did. The boys had their moments of whining ["this hike is too far!"] and Beth did something to her neck that made today miserable for her, but otherwise I think we had fun). We enjoyed a lot of swimming (maybe too much: a few of us have a little red around the eyes--that's never an easy place to apply sunscreen). After some coaxing, we enjoyed a nice hike.

And there were raspberries along the trail to our hike-in campsite and all around it (those aren't them in the picture--I do know what raspberries look like). Fresh raspberries are my wonderful. 

We spent the rain time in the tent, and even that was kind of fun. We worked on the boys' addition skills by teaching them to play cribbage. Not that they actually know how to play it yet, but they were each enjoying playing with one of us. For the first 75 points, at least. Then it got to be a little long for them. 

So we also spent time reading from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Over all, I think we were able to salvage the experience. Which is important. Sometimes the most memorable experiences come from those times when things don't go as planned, but you get to spend quality time together as a family because of those circumstances.

Plus, exposure to nature is always a plus. Even if it's rain.

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