My Part-Timer (oldest child) received some difficult news last Wednesday. I was with her via text messaging when she received this news. It was devastating for both of us. We all want the best for our kids, and when they have negative experiences, we feel it right along with them. My first response was to tell her how sorry I was and to invite her home for the weekend. I told her I would cook all her favorite foods and let her throw things and cry.
Her: No. I want to go hide under a rock.
My next offer, "You want me to come hide with you?"
Her: Sure! You want to go camping with me? LOL
It took about two seconds to realize she was speaking in literal terms when she mentioned that rock. Apparently she had made reservations at a camp site weeks before. Her intentions were to go whether she received good news or bad news. In my mind, when she mentioned hiding, I imagined locking yourself in the dark and not coming out until you felt better.
So not what she meant.
This realization did not change my maternal instinct. The instinct that was telling me my kid should not be alone and she needed me.
So, "Sure. If you want to go camping, we'll go camping."
The things that happened after this comment are sort of a blur right now. She was excited. She started telling me about the supplies she had. Asking me about the supplies I had. Listing things we would need to acquire. If I had any doubts at all, they vanished that evening when we touched base and she revealed she had cried more once she got home from her day because I was coming, then because of her bad news.
This really means a lot to me, Mom!
I cleared my schedule. I went and bought a pair of hiking boots and a compass. I dug out the sleeping bag and packed warm clothes. I grabbed my camera bag, rented a car, and jumped on the road at 7:30 Friday morning.
There is a ton of blurry in there. There were also little comments here and there from my Part-Timer. Little tidbits of information that caused me to raise an eyebrow on more than one occasion. Things such as...
- It's going to be really cold so pack a lot of layers.
- We'll have limited provisions: beans, beef jerky, and snack bars.
- There is a one mile hike into the campsite.
- There is an 'organic' toilet.
- Showers are available in the park, bring flip-flops.
While these things made me raise an eyebrow and ask questions, they didn't stop here. Once I had driven five hours and finally laid my hands on her, she let loose with more information.
- We'll be using a lot of new gear I haven't tried out before.
- I've never camped at this remote site before.
- The one mile hike to camp will be with packs carrying our gear.
- We'll have to make two trips to include firewood and water.
- It's another two hour drive to the park.
- It will be getting dark when we arrive.
We had a few stops to make in town before we could leave. I was on her like crazy. Watching the clock. Estimating sunset. Trying to calculate the time to get there and to make the necessary trips to get set up.
It was crazy!
We drove like crazy. We arrived at 5:15 pm. The ranger station was already closed. The shot I posted the other night was just as we pulled into the park.
I committed to posting every day this month and it was challenging at this location. I spent a lot of time walking around with my phone to get a signal. I then spent a lot of time baby-talking to my phone. You know, encouraging it to work. So, to this point, I've kept my word. I wasn't able to cross-post to BlogHer, but I did try. Just not enough coverage to make that happen. Phone calls were almost impossible. I was able to talk to the Man in Charge once when we got settled, and then I was able to leave him one voice mail. Sending a text message was just as challenging. One night sitting by the fire, I was able to text with my Full-Timer, but when I moved to the other side of the fire, no luck.
This was an action packed trip.
It will take a few posts to cover all that happened.
As much as I would love to sit here and write an epic tale, I have to give my dogs a bath. They stink. It's warm today, but the wind is blowing about 30 mph. I really should be doing some bee chores, but this wind is making it impossible. The bad news, it will be really cold starting tomorrow. We are getting our first freeze tomorrow night. This is why the dogs have to get there baths today!
They are snoring right now.
Sleeping right behind me.
Oblivious to the fact that I am about to ruin their day.