Monday, June 30, 2008

Camping at Chatfield

We recently went on our first camping trip as a family of 5. It was just a little trip; just one night. We camped at Chatfield State Park, close to home here in the Denver Metro area. I prefer camping in the mountains, since the plains are so flat and shadeless, but we're working up to going further away.
Practically the only shade in the whole campsite when we set up was the shade created by our tent. Next time I am so buying a dining fly.
Our campsite

We wanted to wait until it cooled off a bit before starting dinner, since it involved building a fire. 7pm was as long as the boys would wait. We built a fire (after borrowing some matches from a neighbor, since ours didn't work. We forgot that ours weren't strike-anywhere matches and didn't bring the box) and roasted some hot dogs. Thomas said, "I can't believe I'm learning to cook hot dogs!" Yeah, Thomas. You're learning to cook, if learning to cook means sort-of holding a stick over a fire that your mom put a hot dog on. :)

Henry was pretty good while we cooked, but got a little lonely during dinner, so he and I hung out while I ate my hot dog. Most of the evening he sat in his stroller.

After dinner we went for a walk. We walked over toward the amphitheater to see if there were any ranger talks that evening. There weren't, but James and Thomas enjoyed putting on a show for us.

After it got dark, we made s'mores. Thomas and James thought it was fun to roast marshmallows and thought s'mores were pretty good, even if they did keep calling them smears.
After awhile, the boys got restless and decided they wanted to go to bed (which really means that they wanted to play in the tent). It took awhile to get everyone to bed. Matt and I sat by the fire for awhile before going to bed around 11:45pm.
Unfortunately, I didn't fall asleep until about 3am, just 15 minutes or so before Henry woke up screaming. He usually sleeps through the night, but I think the cold woke him up (he was well bundled, but nonetheless). I fed him and let him snuggle with me to warm up and he went back to bed. By 6am, everyone was up. I'd had 2 hours of sleep. But, that's okay. Camping is still fun. Next time we will bring warmer pajamas and softer sleeping pads (maybe an air mattress or cots).
This is what we saw as we opened the tent door in the morning:

Thomas and James enjoyed counting the hot air balloons. At one point, there were seven of them in the air. After making pancakes for breakfast on our Coleman stove, we broke camp and headed home.

It was a lot of work, but still fun. Next time we will camp longer (one night campouts are more work than otherwise with all the set up and take down in one 24 hour period). The main point of this campout was to fine-tune our camping plan and be sure which equipment was best before heading further away. All in all it was a fun experience. James and Thomas are already asking when they can go again!

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1 comment:

Corinne said...

Awesome outing!!! I have become a fan of car camping, as much as I love backpacking - with kids it is SO much easier!!

The hot air balloons are awesome. It's weird how flat it was - and open! I don't think I've ever camped anywhere like that :)

Good for you all