Just got back from a camping trip to Roaring River in Missouri with Blaine's parents, Aunt, and Grandmother. We spent three days tent camping and hiking and most importantly getting up early in the morning to catch fishes.
I think when you become part of a new family, you naturally become something of a historical reasearcher or maybe part of an archeological dig. You want to learn how they do things and why they do them a certain way, and a camping trip is a very telling opportunity to gain insight. For example, when we were packing for this weekend I had to ask Blaine lots of questions.
"Are we going to be pretty campers? Or grungy campers? I don't mind being grungy as long as everyone else is, but I can't not bring a curling iron if everyone else is going to be pretty.
And what will we do during the day? Why do we have to fish so early in the morning? Do we play in the river or do we hike and stuff? Are we even allowed to play in the river? Doesn't that scare the fishes away?"
You're away from home, at least semi-roughing it--it shows a lot about what you value. What do you take with you? What can you live without? How do you cook and what do you eat? What do you do all day when you're disconnected from the phone/internet/rest of the world?
And then you realize that even though there are differences...
going out to breakfast...hobo dinners...camping in an organized campsite instead of out in the middle of nowhere....there are also many similarities....the quiet time after it's dark when everyone is sitting just watching the fire...the smell of woodsmoke...s'mores...going to sleep listening the the bugs chirp outside of your tent....and those kind of images are what you remember later. I think that's what I was trying to get when I was taking pictures this weekend--not really a chronological "On day one we did this, on day two we did this" kind of thing. I really wanted to be able to look back and see all the smells and sights and sounds and textures and even tastes that you get when you go camping. Anyway....whatever may happen later, always begin with a clean dog.
After sitting under the awning of the trailer for awhile, Moe and I decided to go on a puddle walk (i.e. a walk in the rain where you sort of dress for the weather, but really don't get too bothered if you get a little wet).
Since I started dating Blaine I've heard about times that they went to the "axe handle factory" where you pay $5 and get to take as much wood as you want from the defective axe handles that they would otherwise throw away. We made a trip to the axe handle factory to get wood for our fires.
We had hobo dinners to eat one night. A hobo dinner is where you put meat and vegetables all in a foil packet and cook it over thr grill. There's a science to making them to come out just right--dinner fit for the king of hobos.
I learned the answer to my "why do we have to fish so early?" question. We went early to stake out a place on the bank to fish from and defend it. Just before the bell rings at seven in the morning, people line up all along the river to reserve good fishing spots. And with good reason. After about the first half an hour the fish get bored and full and start ignoring us crazy humans and our lures.