We took the kids and the hippies to Folsom Lake for some Labor (or Labour depending on where you are reading this) Day camping. We arrived on Friday at around 1:30 or so. It was about a million degrees and the children were cranky from being cramped up in a vehicle while we tried to negotiate the twists and turns of the foothills.
Trying to put up the tent (aka “the Palace) in 100 degree weather is not the nicest job on the planet. We got a choice (ha, i’m so 80’s) camping spot that was close to the water. After quickly setting up camp we headed down to the water for a refreshing swim. Folsom Lake is like a reservoir, local people use the water so the level drops during the summer (Ranger Ego said the level drops 6 – 8 inches per day). You’ll find out why we called him Ranger Ego later.
The first step in going to the water is to get dressed FOR the water. With two cranky boys – I would have preferred wrestling rattlesnakes. We all want to go swimming, why can’t we work together as a family to accomplish this? I taught another lesson on families. Anyway, we finally got into our swimsuits and headed out across the terra firma; it felt as if we were walking across the Sahara. It’s hot, about 105F, the ground has been soaking up the sun (so it’s hot) and is golden in color (dead grass color actually) with prickly things. I have floatie’s, two boys and a dog. I am wearing flip flops. The boys are wearing flip flops. It’s 105 but it feels like 120. The only place that I’ve ever been more hot was in the Mojave Desert (the sand actually burned my feet).
We get to the lakeside and promptly sink 12 inches down into mud. Because the lake water is used regularly, the “shore” of the lake was actually the “middle” of the lake. You know the yucky mud and sledge that sits on the bottom of the lake? Well, it’s actually now the shore. And it smells like ass. Dirty, nasty, camping for 5 days with no showers ass.
However, it did NOT stop me or the boys from jumping right in. I did mention it was 105 right? We were feeling great by the time Michael and the hippies joined us.
Camping was everything we hoped it would be. I was still stressed on Friday and part of Saturday, but I was finally able to let all that stress leave my body and genuinely enjoyed myself. The heat died down over the weekend and we found ourselves comparing each day to the previous day. It can’t be 98, it feels less hot than yesterday.
We did have issues with bringing our dog Sasha. Could she please just stay in the campsite? Why is that so hard? Did she want to be tied up the entire time? You’d think that with the heat she’d by laying in the shade or something. Nope. She was off galavanting. She chewed through every rope we had until Michael finally found a computer lock cable, it was really short – but we had no choice. After Ranger Ego came over to inform us that if he caught her off leash again, we’d be fined $250 – we seriously had no choice. Finally, on Monday (the day we were leaving) – she figured out that she needed to stay in our campsite. Duh.
Did I mention that there were no showers? It’s probably a good thing, because the water levels would have sunk an additional 12 inches – there were a ton of “girlie girls” camping and the fact that there weren’t showers was “gross.” Um, you are camping! Deal! We bathed ourselves (partially) and the boys at the water spigot. Classy! I washed the important parts, my feet. We set up a plastic tub and bathed the boys completely, which made the adults completely jealous!
I ate enough s’mores to choke a horse. I ate some without marshmallow, I ate some with just chocolate, I ate some chocolate, some graham crackers. We contemplated starting a fire because it was desert hot out – but the need for s’mores outweighed the heat. I had expected drunken nights playing Uno, but by 10:00 we adults were wiped out. We were all quite well-behaved.
All of us, except the laughing hyena at the neighboring campsite. You know the type. She was excited to be camping! She’s waited all year! She drank enough coors lite to float a boat and laughed at EVERYTHING anyone said! Until 3:00 am! Then, she was promptly up at 6:00 am! Between her and the heat, I was a tad grumpy. She did sound like a hyena – you can ask anyone.
Lucky for her, the Ranger put a stop to the shenanigans and everyone slept peacefully throughout the night the rest of the weekend. We had a good time, we drank some beers and laughed. We ate way more than we should have (see s’mores story above) and we came home happy. What more could you ask for? If you said rechargeable tent fans, you’d be right. 🙂