Ever done it? I know–for some families, it’s just not for them. But for others–like my parents and brother growing up and my own now–there are lots of fond memories that revolve around this pastime.
Like the family slide my Mom has of me and my brother standing next to my Granny and Grandpa by the pop-up camper we had. They decided to join us for camping that weekend and cut it short–something to do with my brother and I peeing through our sleeping bags that first night. Apparently the smell of what we did was bad enough to drive them out. I don’t remember this one, but I’ve heard the story and seen the picture that proves it happened.
Then there was the time we camped at a campground in northern Michigan about an hour south of Mackinaw City (Grayling/Gaylord area, if you’re familiar with it). I don’t know if my Dad knew about it at the time, but there was a military base of some kind fairly close to the campground. So all night long we heard the rat-tat-tat and boom-boom of small-arms-fire and cannons going off. That trip got cut short, too.
Might have been the same trip, but I also remember a dog a few campers down barking all…night…..long. My Dad was not a happy camper.
What about pudgy pies? You know what I’m talking about….cast iron pie-makers where you butter the outside of two pieces of bread, put your ingredients for the pie on one side, close it up and set it in the coals of your campfire? We were camping in the upper peninsula of Michigan when I was a teenager. We went out and picked a whole mess of wild blueberries one morning. When we came back, we found some sugar and made wild blueberry pudgy pies for lunch. That’s all we had for lunch that day, and it was one of the best lunches I’ve ever had.
My most vivid memory of campground camping has to be when our dog fell out of the camper bed–literally. The pop-up we had at the time had bungee cords that kept the canvas attached to the outside of the bed frames. The bungee cords had lost some of their spring and had become loose in places. At the time we had an English Springer Spaniel that slept with Mom and Dad. One morning, as I was beginning to stir, I heard a commotion on the other side of the camper. I glanced over just in time to see our dog roll over my Dad…and right out of the camper. I don’t think I ever saw my Dad move as fast as he did then. It didn’t take him long to work through that sleepy haze of being forced awake by something urgent as he proceeded to stumble out of the bed, out the camper and around to where she was–dazed and confused, but alright. He carried her back into the camper and we fussed over her as any good dog owner would. Needless to say, we didn’t get back to sleep.
Join up with me again and I’ll tell you about something unforgettable that happened to me out in the middle of a forest in northern Michigan….