Friday, August 8, 2014

Driveway Camping

Since long before our second daughter was born, we’d been planning on hitting the road for at least a 6 week trip in the trailer on August 15th, what would be her 6 week birthday. So when the idea came up for a camping trip with friends on the weekend before, we thought what the heck. They were looking for an opportunity to get their little girls out into nature and into a tent for the first time. We were just looking for any excuse to use our newly renovated trailer, knowing full well it wouldn’t exactly be “camping” for us.

In fact, as excited as we were to get traveling, we couldn’t exactly wait until then, and the Friday morning a week before that, we decided to take a drive out to the coast to explore, figuring we’d stop in at the rangers kiosk to inquire about when the first come first served sites usually filled up. What they told us was not encouraging, and I even drove the 35 minutes out to Bodega Bay the Weds before we planned to leave to try to secure a site. On top of quoting a policy that wouldn’t have allowed them to give me a site – even if I paid for it – without physically having the trailer there, there was nothing available. Of course, I was welcome to return the next morning after packing up my entire family and hitching up the trailer to inquire again on the off chance something had opened up.


For some reason, it seems to be much harder to find a campsite from home than it does while on the road. On the road, it all tends to just work out. There’s always one last space or another campground or National Forest road or free boondocking spot not too far, but for this weekend, trying to coordinate from home, we were shut out and gave our friends the bad news that they’d have to reschedule for another weekend without us.

But we’d gotten it in our minds that we were going camping and had been packing for almost a week, working on the trailer for over 6 months. From a practical standpoint, there just comes a tipping point, particularly packing with kids in mind, when things like diaper changing supplies, special pillows and blankets and a plush zoo of stuffed animals need to be moved, and once that happens, there’s no going back. So we didn’t. We just moved into the trailer. In the driveway.


For the rest of the weekend, we went about business as usual - running errands, taking Wynne to the park, bouncing the baby, walking around outside, making dinner - the only confusing moments being when we’d tell Wynne it was time to go inside; We’d promptly head toward the trailer while she was running for the house. “No, to the trailer,“ we’d tell her, and she’d look back, starting to understand, “My taila house?” The first night, she woke up at 1:15 am and, after welcoming an invitation to join me on the pullout bed where I was nestled inside a sleeping bag, Ann and Mae occupying the full bed in the back, proceeded to chat away happily for the next two hours. But, it’s a good bet the same would have happened in the other house, and we’ve always said, if we’re gonna be exhausted chasing a toddler and tending to a baby, we’d rather do it where we wanna be.