October in the mountains is gorgeous. Our car ride was lovely. Upon arrival at the campsite, our friends greeted us and we had snacks. The kids frolicked in the tall grasses around the campsite, playing in the dirt and sand and exploring the trails.
As always, I was concerned about getting dinner into the boys on time, to avoid meltdowns, so I stayed in camp to cook dinner, while the rest of the crew went for a hike. They were gone a while, but that was good, because it took me that long to get dinner cooked over the fire. Clouds were brewing, and the forecast had said, “possible chance for rain.” Where we live, this means, 10 minutes of rain, and then sunshine…usually.
About 10 bites into our brats, the rain started. We got our rain coats. A few minutes later, we were soaked and cold, because it had turned to hail. We huddled inside our friend’s tent vestibule, with bags of chips in our hands. The hail kept coming, and now it was coming at us sideways, into the screened-in vestibule. Our pants were soaked and our coats were no longer keeping us warm. After about 30 minutes of this, we gave in and put the kids in our friend’s big car. Eventually, we broke down further and turned on the heat and the DVD player. The adults hung out under the tailgate, eating, chatting, staring at the weather in disbelief, laughing at the situation.
As the darkness set in, we began thinking about just calling it a night. But, what I didn’t tell you is that we had been leery about camping at all on this weekend forecast for “possible rain.” Our tent had proved before that it wasn’t 100% waterproof any longer. We were concerned. And rightfully so, because my husband went to check the tent, and discovered puddles inside, wet pillows, sleeping bags, clothes…
We were camping at over 10,000 feet — it wasn’t going to be a hot and balmy night, no matter the weather, and now with the cold and hail and wet sleeping equipment, we were not hopeful. We seriously considered packing up and going home, wouldn’t you?
So, I started moving things around in the car, preparing to pack the car, and as I moved around to the different doors of the car, I noticed something and my heart sank — we had an extremely FLAT TIRE. Did I tell you that we were at least 30 minutes up a dirt road?
No problem, we had 4 adults, who all knew how to change a tire, but it was pouring and dark. Should we lie down on the wet, muddy ground and change a tire or wait it out? What to do, what to do…….
We ended up trying to sleep in the car. The kids fell asleep easily in their car seats, and I didn’t do too badly, since my legs are a bit shorter than my husbands. But, a few hours into the night, everyone was uncomfortable. My husband took our littlest one and braved the tent. We all made it through the night, and expected the sun to be shining in the morning — that’s what it does around here…usually.
It was still raining hard in the morning. We had no dry clothes left.
The tire was changed, in the mud.
The car was packed, in the rain.
Breakfast was pretty much non-existent, due to lack of fire and lack of motivation. We had graham crackers in the car, and stopped at a diner a couple HOURS into our drive home.
Just before we high tailed it out of there, well not really, because we were driving on a doughnut and on a dirt road, we packed up the tent.
We collapsed it, balled it up, and tossed it on top of the car, whereupon Niagara Falls came down on both of us!
That was the last camping trip of the season.
$800 later, I had 4 brand new tires… = Most expensive camping trip ever!