We went camping this weekend.  I hope my kids will remember their camping experiences fondly.  The gentlemen slept in the tent with me, while the ladies fought over the guest bed in my folks’ pop-up tent camper.

When I was a kid, we used to go camping a couple times a year with family friends.  Unfortunately Mom and Dad’s friends did not have their own kids until I was in high school.  I hope my brother and I were not a factor in this decision.  Our favorite camping spot was a lake a couple hours into Wyoming.  I remember camping on an island and watching fireworks on July 4, 198?.  My aunt and uncle joined us at the lake once when I was about 13.  They actually had kids, their youngest at the time was probably not one yet, they had a three-year old and another around 10.  The oldest cousin was a couple years younger than me, but lived with her mom most of the time.  She didn’t visit her dad nearly often enough, but we always made the most of it when she was around.  I don’t really remember anything specific about that time, just that it was fun to have someone new to play with.  Do you remember that Jules?

The Wildflower family doesn’t do things the easy way.  If you are picturing us pulling up to the island in a motorboat, you are sorely mistaken.  We had an inflatable rubber raft and a few paddles.  No waterskiing for us.  I remember quite a bit of river rafting.  This would not be serious white water style rafting, but the river did have some interesting spots.  I also remember my folks rowing across a huge lake because they left the pickup at the wrong end of the lake.  Oops.  My crazy uncle kept rowing the opposite direction as the other rowers.  I don’t believe they kicked him off the raft, but I know they wanted to.

We camped in a tent.  I remember sleeping in the tent that belonged to our then kidless friends with my brother once.  It was in the mountains somewhere and really cold, as in it snowed that night.  The wind also blew, and blew our tent over.  I have vague memories of thinking a bear was after us, but then going back to sleep (or possibly into a temperature induced coma) when nobody ate me.  When we woke up the tent was under an inch of snow.  Two preteen sized bumps in the snow were the only signs a tent was ever there.