Monday, November 8, 2010


There is a briskness in the air that signifies that Fall has arrived.  The trees are full of autumn colors and the most important thing is that grass does not need to be cut any longer...can I get an AMEN!  I guess it is because of the crispness outside that my mind has wondered this weekend to memories of our first and only camping trip.  So I thought I'd share a little bit of that memory with you all today.
We all were so very excited...we had our new 8 sleeper tent, hot dog skewers, smore makings and lots and lots of SNACKS.  Snacks are necessity around the Richardson household.  In fact I just found a shirt that I bought for Andrew that says "Hello, my name is...I'm here for the snacks".  I think I hear the question at least five times a day "mom, can I have a snack now?". 

Sorry I digress......Anyways, we were ready for our first camping trip.  It was late September 2008 and it had been a long hot dry summer. We pulled up to the state park and we were greeted with a friendly sign that read "FIRE BAN...NO CAMP FIRES ALLOWED!".  Talk about a huge punch in the gut.....what a hot dogs, no smores...what kind of camping trip would this be?
We pressed on and picked out our rustic camp site and unloaded the car.  Jesse immediately jumped on the tent and I was left to round up the Red's who were.....restless!  Finally the tent was set up and we decided to take a hike.  Only problem was Andrew did not want to take a hike.  He wanted to do this:
 and this is what he did most of the camping trip.
We managed to talk him into the hike by telling him that there were all kinds of bugs that he could find...and that was all it took.  With Bug catchers in hand off we went down hiking trails.  I think Gus was the most excited...
 After our long hike (who are we kidding it lasted all of 30 minutes) we decided to take advantage of the small park that was strategically placed near our camp site.  Maybe the people who built this camp site new how hard it is to keep children occupied while camping....whatever the thought process was it was pure genius in my book! 
 The Red's loved every minute of swing time, but mom and dad grew weary and restless and decided to let Gus have a turn down the slide just for entertainment purposes....
No we are not cruel to the dog....he ran up the play set himself...scouts honor!  We just kind of helped him down the slide....he didn't seem to mind and he ran faster than I have ever seen the little wiener run before!  I think he kind of felt like a grey hound for a brief moment. 

Jesse planned ahead a little and brought our propane tank just in case so we cooked our hot dogs on a skillet instead of a fire.....and attempted to roast our marshmallows over the same flame with no success. 
It was dark and with nothing to do we decided to call it a night.  We packed up all the food and  put it all inside our tent.  It was mostly our snacks and we thought it was the best solution.  We didn't have to worry about bears...just the little small animals like raccoons and skunks.

In the middle of the night Gus starts stirring in the tent and woke Jesse and I both.  We then hear the sound of crunching leaves all around our tent.  Jesse grabs his flash light and gently unzips the windows.  He shines the light and gently zips up the tent window again.  He turns and whispers in a stern voice "DO NOT MAKE ANY NOISE".  He goes on to tell me that we are surrounded...yes SURROUNDED by SKUNKS!!!!  
There were too many to count and we started giggling a little.  Gus is squirming and whining so I grabbed him before he could start the barking process and get us all sprayed.  We decided to zip up every hole we could find just in case the skunks got spooked and spray. 
I literally had Gus hugged to my chest to keep him still with my hand around his mouth.  He was ready to ATTACK!!!  We were doubled over with the pain of not being able to laugh.  You know the you are in church and you get tickled but you know no matter what you cannot laugh out loud.  We had tears pouring down our face  with the pain of holding the laughter back.  We just knew we were going to get sprayed! 
All of a sudden we heard another noise....something was scratching at our tent....the skunks were trying to invade us.  The food we had wrapped up and put inside our tent was now causing them to tear the tent apart.  I guess after many failed attempts they decided to leave.  The next morning when we got up, Jesse and I noticed all the paw prints that were on our tent.  We hit our knees right there and THANKED GOD we didn't get sprayed!!!!
When the Red's woke up we told them about all the skunks and this is what Eli told us he would do to them:
We have not managed to build the courage to camp again....

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