Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A-Camping We Did Go

For the last 5 days, Herb and Ryan and I went camping and hiking in New Hampshire. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up camping, so the idea of sleeping in a tent and not having a shower for a few days was not especially daunting. But doing it with an 8-month-old baby changes the experience a bit!

First of all, you have to pack a lot more stuff. Last year when Herb and I did this trip, we managed in one car – stuffed to the gills, yes, but just one car. This year, we took two cars and they were both, well, not exactly stuffed to the gills, but let’s just say it’s a good thing we didn’t need to save room for another passenger. We needed a bigger tent for the three of us, plus we needed to bring the Pack & Play for Ryan to sleep (and hang out) in, his high chair so we could feed him (he’s very wiggly), the big frame pack so he could come hiking with us, plus the usual day-to-day needs: diapers, diaper rash cream, baby wipes, changing pad, formula and bottles, baby food (and spoons and bibs), crib sheets and blankets, baby first aid, toys, spit rags, and of course plenty of changes of clothes. And, being New England, those changes of clothes needed to include appropriate attire for temperatures anywhere from 40 to 100 degrees. (And we did, in fact, cover that whole range in those 5 days!)

Also, your entire schedule of activities needs to be somewhat different. To begin with, you need to figure out where to put the baby while you’re putting up the tent. Letting him play on a blanket on a clear spot on the site often leads to trouble:
Why stay on the blanket when there's so much dirt to explore (and eat)?

Hmmm, wonder what this leaf tastes like?

At least once the tent is up, you can put up the Pack & Play and have somewhere to put him for a nap.

It's a 7-man tent, which means it's just about the right size for two adults and a baby.

Although he is able to nap just about wherever he happens to be.

But don’t let that picture fool you. Ryan loved hiking in Daddy’s backpack! We took several family hikes, hiking from our campground up to the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram (and then riding the tram up to the peak!) and back, and then hiking the Flume Gorge.

We passed several pairs of rock climbers headed for this rock face, but we never did see anyone actually climbing it.

One of the many huge glacially-deposited boulders along the Flume Gorge.

The lovely Flume Gorge is a lush, cool paradise.

In between those trips, the menfolk did a hike of their own up to the AMC hut at Lonesome Lake. I saw them off as far as the trailhead then walked back to camp and got some R&R while they did some outdoorsy male bonding.

Bye-bye boys, have fun stormin' da castle!

Looks like Ryan wants to dip his toes in the lake!

Checking out the AMC Hut.

But I think the most fun of the whole vacation was in the evenings, when Daddy would build a fire, then light the Dutch chimney to get the coals ready for the hibachi, then he’d make steak, or burgers, or whatever treat we were having that night. Ryan was fascinated by the thick curls of smoke billowing from the Dutch chimney.
Ryan and Mummy both got a kick out of the Dutch chimney.

He loved having his own dinner by the fire.

Yes, that is a glass of wine next to me. “Roughing it” can mean not washing your hair or shaving your legs for a week, but it doesn’t mean you have to live like a savage!


In the end, I think it’s fair to say that we were all very happy campers this week!


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