Saturday morning was a day we had been looking forward to for weeks. We were packed and ready to embark on our first camping trip of the summer. I was to drive the crew of three kids and myself to Deception Pass, while the second Mama showed up later in the afternoon. After a silent and sleepy ride, we arrived to a "ship" upon which to sit and "fish." Bull kelp and massive driftwood logs set the scene for imaginary play that lasted for hours, while I handed out snacks and knit on the beach. As the time came to set up camp and wait by the fire for the second Mama to arrive, I noticed the timelessness of everything around me. Our plates that were purchased used had been eaten on during many a camp dinner. Our tablecloth of my mother's had been used for many a summer picnic. Our neighbor's camper, an item of extreme envy by me, was probably quite a bit older than me. Scenes of camp that can only be dated by the make and model of cars in the background.
Sunset beach play was the perfect way to end the day before literally crashing into our tents at dusk. A feeling of pure contentment settled over me as I listened to the sound of my babes breathing deeply on either side of me after an effortless bedtime routine. In the morning, my son and I awoke to abundant sunshine that lit up the berries all around us. A cup of wild salmon berries was proudly foraged by the youngest member of our group to add to yogurt and granola. While I snapped pictures I was noticing the jurassic green all around and it's calming effects. It is the intersection of my two favorite seasons.
After an afternoon of tide pooling and rock art making, I was beginning to feel like the hand-carved mermaid on my favorite totempole. I know from experience it's not often that families can escape the comforts of home with such ease. At this point in time, my kids slept in the car, their bickering was minimal and managable, no one got hurt, we didn't forget anything and our days were filled with sunshine that poured into our skin and photos. It was only one night. As I was getting in the car to drive my two sleepy babes home. I knew we had just accomplished something huge, something that families have been doing forever. I will leave you with the most comprehensive camping list ever and one important tip: Don't forget to pack your diving goggles, they are perfect for keeping the smoke out of your eyes.