Weekend Recap

We went camping this past weekend at Wallace State Park, about 5 miles south of Cameron, Missouri. Jerod, Sharon, Dominic, Melissa and I camped Friday night, and Ted and Alex joined us Saturday.

I met Jerod at our house at about 5:00 on Friday evening. We loaded up his truck with some of our stuff, and we waited for Sharon and Dominic to get home. Jerod wanted to make sure we got a campsite, so we left at 6:00. On our way, we met Sharon and Dominic, and Sharon wanted us to help her pack the truck, so we went back to our house. We finally got all of the gear packed, and Jerod and I went to Jim & Alice's to get some firewood that Jim got from work for us. Melissa was going to meet Sharon and our house, and follow her to the park.

Jerod and I got to the park at about 8:00, and it appeared to be full. There were a few walk-in sites available, but the walk was pretty far, considering all of the gear we had along with us. The handicap spot was available, but all of the other spots had to be rented (including the walk-ins) prior to them allowing us to take the handicap spot. Finally, we worked out a deal where we rented the last non-handicapped spot, and the handicapped spot. The camp custodian told us that since we were "two families", we had to rent two spots. This seemed awfully strange to us, as opposed to just having us pay a little extra for one spot. But, it allowed us to rent the handicapped spot, which was actually one of the better spots on the whole campground. Many of the spots were small, and it would have been hard to fit both Jerod and our tent on the spot. Our other rented spot sat empty the whole weekend. We wondered if we could sub-lease it :)

When I first saw Dominic at the campground, he had his backpack on, and he was excited. He was clearly glad to be camping. We set up our tents. It wasn't too complicated to set up our new 3-room tent, considering it was the first time I had done it, and it was getting dark. Dominic set up his tepee. We started a fire, had some supper (hot-dogs), chatted around the fire, and hit the sack around 11:30. At bedtime, Dominic said that he wanted to go home. I was kind of expecting that he would say that, but he recovered pretty well. He cried a little bit in the tent with Sharon, but she got him calmed down, and he ended up sleeping really well.

We got up at about 8:30 on Saturday. I slept well, although it was a little bit cold. Our air mattress had sprung an irreparable leak, so we slept on the feather tick, which was better than the ground, but still not as good as the air mattress. Jerod (pretty boy) took a shower Saturday morning. Dominic played at the sand playground Saturday morning, and met some friends, Amber and Hunter. Hunter was five years old. They were from the camp next to us. Dominic played with them for awhile. Jerod and I went to Cameron to get some charcoal, duct tape, super glue and a fishing license. I wanted to fish, but Jerod didn't, so he didn't buy a license. When we got back from town, we had some hamburgers, which were excellent! After awhile, we decided to head to the lake. Sharon and Dominic hiked down one trail, and Jerod and I hiked down another. We met down by the beach, which was small, but very nice for young children. Dominic was tentative about the water at first, because he couldn't see the bottom. But, he finally decided that the swimming looked like fun, and he jumped on in. After he swam for awhile, we went to the other side of the lake and fished.

I had trouble with his fishing pole, as I usually do. Plus, I had no hooks. Jerod went back to the camp to get hooks, bobbers and jigs. I had night crawlers that I bought in Cameron, but I didn't have any plain hooks. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to put the nightcrawlers in the cooler, so they were not doing so well. Dominic casted his pole really well this time. He went over to the playground for awhile, and I continued to fish with Sharon's fishing pole. I like her new fishing pole better than my own spinning rod. I kept getting it tangled, until I figured out how to string the line through the "eye" hole at the base of the pole, so that it would reel up correctly. I put the bobber and a split shot on my pole. I kept getting nibbles, and my worms kept disappearing. I don't think that I was setting the hook very well. I also may have been putting too much worm on the hook. When I decided to put a small worm on the hook, I finally landed a few bluegill, or sun fish. I can't tell the difference between them, if there is a difference. Even though Sharon, Melissa and especially Dominic wanted me to keep them, I didn't feel like cleaning them, and I didn't have a stringer anyway. I put them back, much to Dominic's chagrin. Dominic fished some more, and was casting really well. He was very patient with casting, and waiting for a fish. I wish he would have caught one, but he didn't. Jerod fixed the drag on his pole so that it reeled in better. Finally, I decided to head back to camp. By this time, Melissa had come back from her sojourn into Kansas City, and her, Sharon and Dominic went back to the beach. I hiked back to the camp, where Ted and Alex had arrived. They were looking for Dominic, so they went down to the beach, but while they were hiking down, Dominic, Melissa and Sharon arrived back at the camp in Melissa's car. Finally, when Ted and Alex came back to camp on the trail, everyone was in camp together. Sharon and Melissa took showers, Dominic played with Alex and Ted, Jerod and I started to get supper ready. We had KC strip steaks, grilled potatoes, onions and carrots, hot dogs and baked potatoes. Unfortunately, I started raining while we were cooking, but we kept the grill going by placing aluminum foil over top of it while the food was cooking. Dominic put his roller skates on and skated for a few minutes. We went up to the bathroom area where a park ranger was giving a demonstration on some animals. She had a stuffed bobcat, a live spider, a live frog and some other furs. I didn't see much of the presentation, and Dominic didn't seem too interested. I raced Dominic and Alex back to camp. They continued to play some more, and I finally got to take a shower, which felt darn good! It kept raining off and on, but it never became a downpour. We set up to play trivial pursuit after Melissa left for the airport. Sharon and I teamed up against Ted and Jerod. After we played for a little while, and the boys tired of playing with the fire, Ted and Sharon took them to the tents to put them to bed. Neither Sharon nor Ted returned, so Jerod and I finished the game. I won! Melissa returned toward the end of our game, and even she went to bed before we got done playing.

I did not sleep well Saturday night. I had "intestinal difficulties" that required my presence in the facilities for a few hours in the night. After I had laid down, my stomach started hurting so bad that I thought it was going to burst open. I was afraid I was going to die like Elvis on the toilet seat.

We got up Sunday, and immediately began to tear down camp. Sunday is never much fun at the campground. By then, everyone is ready to get home. I watched Dominic play for awhile at the sand playground. He said that he didn't want to go home, but he didn't put up too much of a fight when we actually left. Dominic and Alex were getting on each others nerves, and it was comical to watch them arguing. We finally got all packed up and on the road, probably at about 10:00.

We had an incident a few miles south of the campground when Jerod's bag flew off the back of his truck, and a car hit it on the road, ripping a hole into it. Ted picked it up and put it in his trunk, and I haven't talked to Jerod yet to find out if there was a lot of damage. I sang a made-up pinnocchio song for Dominic on the way to Kearney. We met at McDonald's in Kearney, where we planned to kill some time, waiting for Alice and Jim to get back from church. But, when we arrived, Dominic did not want to go into McDonald's. Then, after I spoke harshly to him for throwing a little bit of a tantrum, he wanted to ride with mommy. So, he rode from McDonald's in Kearney to Alice & Jim's house in the car with Melissa and Sharon. When we got to Alice and Jim's, I put the tarp over the truck, because it had started raining again. Then, we discovered that Sharon did not have a key to the house! Dominic was having fun running around in the rain with his backpack on. I asked him if he wanted to go to the lake, and he was in favor of that idea. In fact, he wanted to go fishing. I tried to discourage him by saying that we didn't have any worms, but he reminded me that we could use fake worms. So, I thought, what the heck? Let's grab his pole and head to the lake. We fished for about an hour in an increasingly thick rain. Once again, Dominic was doing really good with his casting. He wasn't casting too far out, but he wasn't getting all tangled up either. And, best of all, he wasn't getting frustrated. Finally, Alice returned from church in the car, and we went inside to dry off.

I think that it was a successful camping trip. Despite saying he wanted to go home a few times, overall Dominic enjoyed himself. It was good to see Ted. I would like to take Dominic camping by myself sometime. He said he would go with me by myself, but I have a feeling it could get ugly at bedtime.

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