There were no moose to be seen when Mr W, Sally the dog and I went camping this weekend. It was...OK. I picked a spot online, and made some assumptions that didn't really work to our favor. The site itself was OK, no shade, and I have decided I don't care for sites with no trees. It feels too exposed. The campgrounds were OK. Out of about 40 sites, maybe 7 were occupied. The campground wasn't walking distance from anything, and although we went out and did small hikes a couple of times, we sort of saw what there was to see and spent most of the time hanging out in and around the van.
I set up the new sunshade thing I bought that is made specifically for vanagons. While Mr W and I were setting it up, it got windy, and one of the poles bent and I swore a lot. A lot. It rained off and on and I was happy we weren't in a tent for it.
It's a different thing, camping with one kid and one dog. I did a lot with the kid as far as keeping him entertained, but when I wasn't, he played with his stuff, or on his game player, and ended up spending entirely too much time on the thing. Having the campervan makes it a logistical challenge to "get in the car and go somewhere" once we get to the campsite, because the car IS the camper. It'd be more fun for him if we went with other families with kids. I'm also thinking of bringing our bikes the next time as well.
I was so so-so on the site that I didn't take any pictures of it. Above is a picture of Mr W and Sal at a spot we stopped at on the way home so the dog could go in the river and get cleaned off a bit.
When I was unpacking the van, this Praying Mantis caught my eye. We watched it for about 10 minutes while it climbed from the ground up the side of the house. This is a European Mantid because of the white spot on the inside of each foreleg. I'd never seen a Praying Mantis in my yard, so that was different. We had a good talk about what it would be like to be able to climb like that, and were thankful we wouldn't be on the receiving end of those forelegs.
Here is a grimy, post-camping Mr W with a funny expression for scale.
After the weekend, an expression comes to mind: "live and learn". I was very excited to take the kid and the dog and the van camping. Turns out it was kind of boring for W, and I wish there were more trails and kids for him to play with. I wanted to make reservations so we'd have a confirmed spot, and I don't think that's necessary a lot of the time. Next time I might try to coordinate with another family, or have Mr W bring a friend.
Myself, I liked having time to read and knit, and am getting better at arranging and rearranging things so we can use the inside space of the van efficiently. Having Sally is like having a third person who occupies precious floor space (a.k.a. "the magic square") and having her either outside or up on the bed works well depending on what we're doing. However, I still like the van, and both Mr W and Sal are real troopers when it comes to camping.
Best thing about the trip? While it was in the mid-90's down in town, it was cold enough to wear jackets a lot of the time when we were camping. I'm looking forward to fall.