Somehow, we made it through.
We went camping this past weekend. This is particularly significant for a few reasons.
First, this was our first camping experience ever with Sgt Pepper. For the most part, he handled it like a champ. We had 2 minor incidents.
1) We did kind of wear him out a bit on Saturday when we took a walk in a little park. OK, by "kind of" I mean "completely." Poor kid was so pooped that we had to carry him back to the car. And once we got back to our campsite, he made sure he was touching some part of the water dish at all times (since Hubby had just put ice in there, it was nice and cold), practically cuddling the damn thing. It was cute, but we clearly expected a bit too much from him in the heat.
2) There was an intense thunder storm Saturday night. This was the first big storm we'd been through with Pepper and it had to happen while we were sleeping in a tent? Of course it did. Little man had super crazy eyes and wouldn't (or couldn't) stay still. We did our best to comfort him, but that thunder was insane. He was terrified. (Miss Maxine, of course, barely noticed anything was going on and slept through the majority of the insanity.)
Second, this was our first camping trip of the year. I always look forward to camping as a little family, and this year was no exception. Aside from the storm and packing up a bunch of wet camping equipment, it was a lovely trip. I'm already excited to plan for the next one!
Third, the storm itself. For anyone who has not heard, a young girl (10 or 11) died at Devil's Lake State Park this weekend. Reports vary a bit, but the gist of it is that a part of a tree fell on her tent during the storm and they were unable to free her. A quick Google News search will bring you up to speed, and Weather.com is even sharing the story.
The family was camping at site 435 in the Ice Age campground; we were at site 338. You can see that these sites are pretty far away from one another (via this map of the campground), but I heard the sirens of the emergency vehicles. I didn't know where they were or what was going on. In fact, we didn't find out about it until late Sunday after we'd been home for several hours.
The thought of "it could have been us" is one that is lingering in our minds. In fact, before the storm even hit, Hubby had mentioned something about how he was terrible for checking for "widow-makers" (branches that could fall during a storm) when deciding where to set up camp. I kind of laughed it off, but damn. In this case, they're saying the tree looked secure, so I guess it really was just a freak accident. Still, my heart goes out to the family. It should have been a fun trip with lots of happy memories. It should have ended with the whole family driving back home, lamenting the end of the weekend and the horrendous traffic. It should have gone so much differently.
So, assuming you've made it through all that unpleasantness, it might be nice to know that we had a nice weekend, though we were VERY glad to be back home. I'm not sure camping is Pepper's favorite activity, but at least we know what to expect for next time. We made an awesome dutch oven pizza (with Rocky's pizza sauce... YUM!), took in some beautiful sights, spent a lot of time relaxing and talking, and just enjoyed being there together. Yay!