This weekend we did our first trial run of the camping experience. There were a lot of things that worked and a lot of things that just did not work. As these things go, of course we got a late start to the day. A Lacrosse game with our granddaughter as goalie took presidence in the morning, then there was the packing and a couple of last minute errands but we finally got under weigh shortly after noon and started the drive to Burlingame State Park in southern Rhode Island.
We didn't get very far when we came to a complete stop as the traffic backed up. After creeping down route 95 for what seemed an eternity we passed an accident on the other side of the road..Rhode Islanders do love to stop and look at accidents..rubbernecking it's called. Once the traffic started moving again we made good time to the campground entrance and checked in at the ranger station. With little trouble we found the correct site and began to set up. First came a flurry of jockeying the car to get it in just the right position. Once settled we positioned the ground cloth (several times) and positioned the tent on top..moved the car a couple of more times along with the tent and cloth and finally settled on what we determined to be home for the night. There was some grunting and repositioning of tent stakes and unfolding of poles and clipping clips but in the end the tent was standing and attached securely to the car.
Next came the air mattress. We have purchased a queen sized, 22 inch tall mattress with a built in pump. I have a small inverter that I can plug into the 12V outlet in the back of the car and in about 4 minutes time we had a fully inflated mattress, added some sheets and got the sleeping bags all laid out. The cooler and the stove were resting nicely on the picnic table when the realization came that I not only forgot the propane for the stove but my CPAP as well. This is why we do trial runs. Thanks to my daughter, we got the propane as she stopped by the house and brought it down when she brought down the grand kids. Just as we finished setting up out little camp our friends Rayna and Al showed up and set up camp at the site beside right beside our site, number 81. Shortly after they had their site all set up and we did a bit of exploring. Our daughter arrived with kids and propane. Life has a way of working out. We had great fun with a 'Wubble Bubble' a kind of a mix between a ball and a bubble. Carol had purchased this for Grace, our granddaughter and I predicted that it would only last about seven minutes. Although we were entertained by the Wubble Bubble for over a half an hour, most of that time was trying to inflate it. . .it actually lasted about 7 minutes once it was being tossed around...and not even a satisfying 'pop' when it died. We then cooked up burgers, hot dogs and way too much other stuff including potatoes and beans and lots of chips and dip and soda and on and on. Megan and Ben left in the early evening and we all sat around the campfire. Grace was the first to turn in and the old folks chatted on for quite a while..I got wrapped up in the car which was irritating me with lights that stayed on because the lift gate was open...something we have to live with I have been told. Carol and I turned in and the mattress had gotten a bit soft and by morning it was like trying to lie on the back of a leaping dolphin... the manufacturer said the may be some stretching the first couple of times and combine that with a drop in temperature.. well, we lost some pressure..I don't think it actually leaked, and I am glad that Tom Brady wasn't around or he would have gotten blamed. I was up early and hiked around the park for a while and did a sketch of the morning light. I put on a pot of coffee at about 5:45 and the camp stove had the pot brewed in about 5 minutes.. I am liking this Hyperflame technology. (see earlier post about camp stove).
As people started showing themselves, bagels, muffins, eggs, pancakes and all manor of breakfast foods began to make their way to the table. Grace loves her pancakes, and the eggs and sausage are always a hit with me.. even grilled some special bread and several bagels. We were off to a good start. Later in the morning Grace changed into her swim suit and we headed to the beach on Watchaug Pond. Gracie swam while the old folks stayed dry. After the beach, back to camp where we packed everything up, as rain was predicted, and were back on the road headed home by three in the afternoon. Like I said in the beginning, we learned some things... some we will repeat, some not. Here are some pix from the day. Click on any picture for a larger view.