Our family camping trip got off to a late start due to a fairly brutal rainstorm. We did consider going for it, rain and all, but flood warnings and predictions of lightening finally appealed to our sense of reason and we waited until the worst had passed. I knew there would be mud, so I brilliantly packed galoshes and plenty of extra clothes and braced myself for the mess.
When we arrived we were actually surprised to see that most of the campsites were in good shape, nice and dry. Then we pulled into our site, lucky number 26. We reserved this site nearly a year ago and selected it for the gorgeous lake views. It was indeed a beautiful spot with easy access to the lake and there's nothing quite like gazing out of a tent towards the water's edge. However, it was also very low lying and the fire-pit and picnic table were a giant mud puddle. We pulled the picnic table to dry land and assumed that, since the storm was over, things would continue to dry out. Not so much, and once we realized that the mud puddle was spreading to our tent and being actively fed by a stream of runoff, we gave our site the affectionate title of 'a river runs through it' and embraced our life in the mud. Thank you rain boots!
Mud aside, Little Smith had so much fun. He is an amazing camper this year. He entertained himself poking at puddles and bugs, completely respected the dangers of the fire, ate seated in his camping chair with his plate balanced on his lap, and generally impressed me with what a big boy he has become.
As for the belly, camping at 31 (and a half!) weeks pregnant was actually easy and enjoyable. I should clarify that we were car camping, meaning our site was only a short walk from the car and we didn't do any extreme hiking. The biggest challenge was getting a comfortable sleeping situation, and it was a challenge.
We typically rely on very thin 1/4" back-packing sleeping pads. They roll up small, are light, and perfect for more ambitious camping trips... but this time I was looking for something a little more luxurious. After lots of air mattress begging on my end, James borrowed one from a friend. Luckily we also brought our regular pads along as well, just in case.
As it turns out, you need a little cap to hold all the air INside an air mattress... and that cap did not make it on our camping trip. James insisted he could solve the problem, no worries. After countless attempts to inflate this thing, many trips up and down a muddy slope from the tent to the car with a giant air mattress overhead (the pump plugged into our cigarette lighter), and an entire roll of duct tape... my love for the air mattress came to an abrupt end in the middle of the night when my head was swallowed up as it deflated. Little Smith was in a travel bed next to us and excited by the late night high jinks James appealed for one more shot to make the mattress work, but sometimes a girl has to take matters into her own hands and call it a night. We went with our old thin pads... he slept like a baby while I tossed and turned my extra thirty pounds from side to side all night long. In fairness, I'm not sleeping so well these days anyway so it really wasn't too different from the average night. I would however recommend a properly inflated air mattress to all other pregnant campers out there, if one is available!
In the end, the trip really was perfect; good food, crisp air, warm tea, a crystal lake, and mostly clear skies. I'm hoping we will sneak in another before the baby arrives, there's just no vacation quite like camping!
*same campground last year here.