Sunday, June 2, 2013

Baptism by Camp Fire- J's Solo. Overnighter.

Well, J. inherited my backpack.

His school book bag wasn't able to cut it. 
After dumping his folders, a binder, and math book from his school book bag and then started putting in camping gear, we quickly realized he needed an upgrade to hold the necessary equipment for an overnight camp out.

So I had to gift him my awesome, barely used, back pack.

 As many of you know, it has been sitting on the hearth as inspiration while I walk on the treadmill.

Oh, and  I burned 3 M&Ms on it today, Readers. Hasn't been a spectacular past few day.
Don't worry about the vacant spot, I have a new pack.

Can you see it? I was so excited about it. It's smaller than my foot size. So now I don't have to carry that huge yellow purse! And I have set more realistic goals about hiking!

Yes, a beaner  attaches it to another purse. However, I've streamlined lately because that big 'ol dandelion of a purse was making it hard to locate my wallet in its dark abyss.

I  have appreciated the space but being  at the check out counter unloading everything I have inside,  trying to find what I need, was aggravating.

Tonight is a hard night of tapering off of prednisone.

 Six more months.

The real post for today came from J. one evening.

 After he'd returned from a campout.  He wrote most of it.

J's camp out made me laugh so hard,  I had to blog  it........


J  commandeered the "like new" North Face (i had called it a Kelty- that is my green pack from when I was a kid) back pack.
Ownership of a very expensive back pack, in which he didn't have to work ,save  and buy, made J. extremely ecstatic to use. He had looked forward to this camp out- or any outdoor camp out to occur in the near future involving a tent. A fire. Did I mention a tent?

Our church/ward entitles the camp excursion: Father/Son Camp Out and has it advertised  in the weekly programs.

In J's case, it was a Padre/Son Camp Out due to the fact his Dad is in another state.

In this day and age, the family tree has a lot of branches so maybe they need a new title for this annual campout involving, an adult, a kid, and camping out. Oh, and the adults have to be men. And the kids have to be boys. Tricky for us single moms. I guess I could have hid my blong hair under a hat. But we'd have had a time of it fitting into his tent.

Speaking of age...
Padre's age has an effect on his camping abilities. He doesn't "Camp" like he did when I was younger.

(i.e. he carried the four man tent 7 miles into Alaska Basin or into Paintbrush Canyon- I'll have more on this canyon excursion coming up!)
 packed up the suburban and planned on staying in it and if it rained, there would be room for J. to come and sleep.

The destination wasn't too far from home; Ririe Reservoir . Originally just a boat dock that connects to Black Tail Res. The city has made some improvements to the surrounding area. Upgrades so it would be possible to pitch a tent, have a picnic, and even play basketball on the hoop located on the west end of the "Camping" area.

The location of the net is on a slanted, paved road right near the boat dock. The only thing keeping the ball and you from rolling down a steep ravine, is a fence.  
The whole thing reminds me of a  screwy- ompous  depiction in a Dr. Seuss book.  The one where a character is atop a wobbly house, playing basketball on a similar slanted surface and  it's inevitable if he tries to shoot it, he'll have to go down several flights of Seuss stairs to retrieve his ball.
Thankfully there wasn't room to pack a basketball, so that  was good. 
 The, 'hop, skip, and jump from home seems short when the weather is good and you have access to a car.

(tent in orange bag toward top of picture)
However,  when you have a small, Jr. sized tent, that looked good when  tried out at  home, however ugly weather wasn't taken into accoun,t than it's a different story.

J. got a 'Baptism by Fire' camping "by himself" experience with his new tent.
Not that we hadn't tested it.

We had gone through some" preliminary runs" with the tent since  he received it back in April.  
The gray and yellow, two kid tent he was given for his B-day. was set up in the basement the minute he returned home from his Dad's.

(I took this picture in the dead of night and even in the comfort of our on home, he is sitting up trying to negotiate the uncomfortable position he had to lay. (diagonaly)
 This should have been our red flag... tears of laughter are happening at this moment.)

In the days leading up to the event he reveled in the "fun" of camping.  He hung his flash light from the top of the tent, brought in other birthday gifts bought at Army Surplus, watched: The Adventures of Tin Tin.- It was like a young Harrison Ford was living in the house.

This gear fueled his excitement for the summer, the outdoors and especially the upcoming camp out
The long days of school were offset by the approaching "fun" that was to be had.
I couldn't help but feel glad for him, too!
Going camping as a kid is an adventure. The hardships, like weather,and only a thin pad to sleep on, are mere ant hills! I offered some advice that Padre had taught me on hiking trips:

"Don't let the sleeping bag or any of your gear touch the edge of the tent or it will get wet."

"Be sure to take your shoes off outside the tent so you keep it clean and make sure to have the tarp underneath it so that rocks don't poke a hole in it and you stay dry."

Oh! To be YOUNG!!!

However, unlike many, we didn't trial run all the scenarios he could face on the upcoming trip.

For instance, we didn't factor in  a bigger sleeping bag, and back pack. at the last minute. This volume increase of space  effected how comfortable he was in his

"Jr. ,Two Kid" tent.
Speaking of  "space"...
We'd been watching a series of videos made by Nasa that chronicled all the years from the time the idea was to travel into space and the U.S. landing on the moon.

Jaden also had watched and was mesmerized with the movie, Apollo 13.
We had witnessed the necessity of thinking ahead, going through possible scenarios, and devising solutions. 
Nasa, took years and performed thousands of scenarios that a space shuttle, and its' astronautsn could encounter. We saw the looks on their faces when something happened that seemed almost obvious, but didn't plan on it. Like J.  they were in a rush to get to the moon before the Russians. So mistakes were made. Even some lives were lost in testing the shuttle before it left the ground.

 In comparison, J. had only put his tent through a couple test runs.

One time he did pitch it OUT side the house. To avoid fumes building up, the sealant for the seams needed to be applied outside so he put it up on the tramp. This way he could roll it over and kneel on it without it ripping. I was there directing him as he applied the water proofing chemical and this is when I started to notice a few hitches.

For example, the fly.
It was small.
The "fly" was only a few inches bigger than the screen on  top of his tent. Which, out in the actual outdoors of Idaho turns into the equivalent of a hanky for blowing your nose, or to use over your head while you walked home.

Referring to the manual directions, I noticed that it said: "play" on it and it is at this point I started to worry. But I shrugged it off knowing his friends would be there with their tent if any foul weather came up. And Padre would at least be in the Sub. Either way, he'd get to "camp".

Like Nasa, we too were so excited to just get him out there camping!

Thanks to the outing, J.  established "Jr." means "little".

As in pint size.

The size of kids that still order  Happy Meals from McDonald's.

Which would be around the ages of his younger cousins who are age four and under.
However, I still need to regress and tell you about the day of the camp out.
The adrenaline to camp became so high, he wanted to get a" head start" on 'camping and exposing himself to the tic filled sage brush by driving up early with his friend and their family.
Traveling separately than Padre, who can take a very long time preparing for suchevents as a camp out, ensured he would not have to put his tent up in the dark.
Once we'd packed his extra set of clothes, poncho, whittling knife, and a head lamp  (which worked as a flashlight), rolled his mattress, tarp, and tent, then tied it to his pack he was quickly wobbling  under the weight of his pack up the stairs and out the door.  
Before he left, he stopped beneath the door way, looked back at me, and said:
 "I'm going camping!"

I watched him walk past the first house and then noticed he'd broken into a strong and dangerous gate toward best friend's house.  Like a kid at Heise, or your nearest swimming spot,  I had to holler like a
life guard:"Don't Run!"

I really feared he would fall under the topsy turvy, heavy pack.
Did I mention his winter coat was in there, too?
 Padre was parked and camping in the suburban about 50 yards away. But for J's experience, he might as well have been 50 miles away.

Thanks to technology, J. could call him in the night. The night proceeded to bring in the rain cloud Padre had seen some time earlier lying in the south. J confided to me what his night was really like right before bed at the end of the day.

"Mom, I slept an hour."

Me: How come you didn't call grandpa and go get in the sub?

J: "Well, he locks all the doors and I was afraid he wouldn't answer and I don't have key to the car!"

Me: Couldn't you have called him?

J: Well, I did at 9 pm and he was still up.

Me: Was it raining and blowing at 9?

J: no. I just called him to see if he was in his sleeping bag. And I called you and told you good night...

Me: hmmmm. Then the fun started, eh?

Jaden was telling this story to me as I was straightening the kitchen and when I opened the door to the fridge he drummed his fingers on the butter shelf to show me how it sounded on his tent. I was convinced that the sound could affect sleep quality. Add the wind factor and you get a kid determined to buy his own two MAN tent.

He had a real good start on saving the money until he cracked a baseball outback and broke a window.

Man, being a kid is full of joy.

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