Monday, June 22, 2009

Camping Is Fun

We went camping at Breeze, a resort about ten miles south of Itasca State Park. I had stayed there a couple of times many years ago. It used to be run by a guy who would come around and check you in while riding a golf cart with his hound dog and a bottle of Jim Beam. Things are different now. The place is a lot nicer, as you can probably guess from the link above.

We rolled in about 5:30 on Friday. As I unloaded the gear and coolers from the back of Donna's Jeep, I saw Macy start running, frantically waving her arms and screaming. Apparently she looked down and noticed a big spider on her leg. No, it wasn't Shelob. It turned out to be a grandaddy longlegs. Now, Macy has inherited her father's philosophy when it comes to spiders. That philosophy can be summed up thusly: spiders on things that aren't me: fine. Spiders on me: that dog won't hunt, monsignor.

After a little "there, there" mixed with a little "come on, it's just a spider" (hey, it wasn't on me), Macy realized that daddy longlegs are harmless and that she isn't afraid of them. Heck, she picks them up all the time. After that I was treated to that rarest of sights: a child crying like the devil is chasing her while she laughs uncontrollably.

We had been camping for 36 seconds.

The weather had threatened rain since we left Fargo, but it looked like we had caught a break when the sun came out following the spider attack. This was fortunate since we were breaking in a new tent. Of course, as soon as the base was firmly staked in the ground, the heavens opened up and and rain pelted down in fat, hard droplets. It's like I pissed off Poseidon, Indra, Baal and Aquaman all at the same time. I expected to get mauled by seahorses any second. Lots of flailing and cursing and inserting-this-into-that later, I looked like this:

However, the tent was now fully armed and operational. Some swabbing of the decks and our new bug hotel was ready for business. The whole of the plot was a bit angled, so we slid down the hill at night. Good times.

We were spending the weekend with Donna's sister Jodi, her husband Chris and their three kids. We spent the rest of the weekend swimming, eating, playing volleyball and not getting rained on.

I took the kids out on a bug hunt Saturday night and we found some cool stuff:

Sunday morning we borrowed one of the resort's canoes and hit the lake, chasing some loons and enjoying the water.

This was a trial run for a camping trip we're taking to the same resort at the end of July. All in all it was a great experience (spider attacks and vengeful water gods notwithstanding), and I kind of wish we had a couple more days out there. Sitting around a campfire with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other, the scent of deet in the air; there's nothing like it.

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