This past weekend we went on out first camping trip of the season. I was so excited and planned the life out of this trip for weeks and weeks. I love doing that because it makes the excitement of the trip last longer for me. We went with another family that has two kids, one of whom is the same age as our son. They are super fun and I was so happy that they were joining us for this trip.
The night before, everything was packed up. Food was prepped and in the cooler. Tent and blankets and air mattresses were stowed. Our bikes were on the rack. The place we decided to camp has a two day minimum for weekends so this was also a milestone as we had only ever camped for one night at a time. The campground, Vogel State Park, is very popular so you have to make a reservation as well. We got up bright and early to get on the road by 9 am. Got to the campground by 10:30ish and there were so many primo spots! I was thrilled. My first choice spot, which was actually two adjacent sites (we reserved two) was open! Yippee! I drove back to the office to secure our spots but when I told the woman my name, she had no record of the reservation. No worries, I had the confirmation email in my phone. I read aloud the number. She then informed me that the reservation I had made was for last weekend. Oh, and they were totally sold out for this weekend. My jaw dropped. In all my years of travel and planning, I had never made such a rookie mistake. Well, she must be wrong. I check the email confirmation but unfortunately, she was right. I walked outside and just stood there, without a clue about what to do. My husband was back at the campsite saving it from potential invaders. My two year old was in the backseat of the car resting from an hour and a half of telling us non-stop that he wanted to go camping. And I had no idea where else to camp in this area. Ugh.
Surprisingly, the woman from the office came outside and told me that she actually had one spot open, but it was not in the same area. I was not sure if it was a good idea, but in my panic, I signed up. Which meant I got to may for my third campsite in a period of two weekends. I picked up my husband and told him the news. He was not as mad as I feared and we continued on to our new camping area, which was much less primitive than we wanted (it was not tent only and allowed pop-up campers). We actually found a pretty decent spot on the end of a row of mostly tents and set everything up. Time to make the best of things! We had a nice afternoon. Set up camp. Hiked in the woods. Around 4 pm we started a fire for dinner. I was so excited to take pictures of the meals I was going to make so that I could write about them for my blog. Bruce got a nice fire going and then it started to rain. Actually, it started to pour. The fire went out. We spent the next few hours eating guacamole and chips in the tent. And then the rain stopped.
The fire got started again and dinner was again underway. We then noticed that the campsite next to us, which had previously been occupied by two fit guys with their bikes, was really crowded. Turns out that it was home base for a triathlon training group of 30 or so people. And they were loud, enthusiastic and came / went very frequently. Our nice, quiet campsite was really loud all of a sudden. But no worries, athletes go to bed early so at least we would get a good night’s sleep, right?
Well, early to bed means early to rise. At 7 am on Saturday morning, the triathletes were up. They wanted to make a fire but apparently, their logs were too large. So, they started chopping up the wood. And not one piece. They chopped wood for a good 15 minutes. That was certainly enough time to wake all of us up. And chopping wood is not exactly the same wake-up call as chirping birds. UGH!
Thankfully, things picked up after that. We had a nice breakfast and went for a fun bike ride. We had a picnic down by the lake which was really relaxing and fun. And then our friends arrived and we had a really fun evening, even though I had disappointed them by not exactly securing the amazing site which I had promised to do. They were not mad though, thankfully, and we made some lemonade out of the lemons.
The campground was really nice. I need to go back and stay in my dream site just to cross that off the list and get the experience that I had planned for weeks. I did learn a lesson though. My two year old, who did not plan a thing and could care less if we next to a boisterous group of triathletes, had a ball. He got to sleep in the tent, go for walks and eat hot dogs cooked on the big fire. So there is something to be said for not being such a planner that you get disappointed when the plans change.