Saturday, April 11, 2009

Crampton Gap Camping

Alex got a new tent from his granddad and I must have told him that we would go camping because he reminded me. Then he balked at camping in the back yard, so I figured it was about time to take him on a real camp out. I've become pretty familiar with the Appalachian Trail over the last few months and knew there was a camping area not to far from Gathland State Park where I could park the car over night. I packed my pack with a little food, two sleeping bags, Alex's new tent and all the various odds and ends that I'd need for a one nighter. I also packed a book bag for Alex to carry a few of his essentials.

We got to camp with about one hour of daylight left. So we got right to work setting up the tent.

Alex was quite proud of his tent.

Once the tent was set up, we decided that it would be nice to have a fire, so we were off to gather wood and ended up with a lot more than we needed, but that is OK, I'm sure the next camper will appreciate it. I built the fire, calling on all my fire building skills from my Boy Scout days. I was a pretty good fire builder back in the day.

I must have retained my old skills well as one match later, we had a lit fire.

Alex and I prepared camp for bed before it got too dark and spent some time around the fire eating snacks and telling stories. I already forgot what Alex told me about, but I told him about the witch that lived in those woods, keeping it cool so I didn't really scare him.

I had just put more wood on the fire when Alex declared that he was tired. So, he went to bed while I stayed to tend to the fire until it was out to my satisfaction.

About four o'clock in the morning the rain started. I had my pack hanging on a tree, covered, but I thought it would be best to have it near the tent in case it was still raining when we packed up, which it was. After Alex woke up, sometime in the seven o'clock hour, we hung out in the tent for a while, waiting for the rain to stop, but it never did, so we packed up as much gear as we could inside the tent and went out into the elements. I didn't pull the camera out in the rain, so I missed some great pictures.

Despite the rain, the camp out was a success and Alex enjoyed it. In fact, he really didn't seem to mind the rain at all. I guess if we would have had to stay in it all day, it would have been a different story. I'm sure this won't be our last camping adventure in the rain.

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