4th of July Camping Photo Progression: Sun to Rain to McDonald’s (Part 2)
I woke up a few hours later from a loud sound. It was the sound of rain – lots of it. I lay there quietly for a minute, listening to the rain pound on the tent, watching it land and bead up and roll down the outside. Then it got harder. And harder. That’s when I woke up Michael. The rain pounded even harder and I was afraid it would start hailing. Only then did I wonder how long it had been raining and how much our tent could take.
Michael had to go to the bathroom, so he asked me for the raincoat to walk to the outhouse. Surprise! The raincoats were in the car. He made a mad dash to the car to get it and continued on. He came back soaked, but had the Blackberry (which we had also left in the car). Now we knew it was 5:30am.
This was when we discovered that it was raining INSIDE our tent, and had been for a while. Keep in mind that this is a brand new tent, never before even set up. The rain was coming in on two opposite walls, and had soaked all of Truett’s clothes and all of our shoes and coats. The bottoms of our sleeping bags were wet also.
We made a mad dash for the tarps which were inside the car and got them up on top of the tent:
That slowed down the water coming into the tent somewhat. My turn for the bathroom. I put on the poncho, ran to the car, and drove to the outhouse! Did I mention the rain was pelting down like someone was throwing Morton’s water softener salt pellets at you?!
When I got back, the kids were awake and freezing. There was no way for us to start a fire and cook breakfast, because our fire pit was a giant pool of water. The firewood? Water logged. We had no way of warming up the kids, and the rain wasn’t letting up. When could we feed the kids?
At that moment, with cold, wet, starving children, we made an executive decision. McDonald’s was a 10 minute drive away from the campground in the town of North Pole. We had no choice but to pile everyone in the car (in their pajamas) and drive to McDonald’s to get breakfast. We cranked the car heater and dried out our shoes, safely nestled inside the certainly waterproof car.
We arrived in North Pole, only to find that McDonald’s didn’t have the breakfast menu up yet. It was pretty early, but too early for breakfast? A quick drive site seeing around the town used up the time until we could order our coffees and McMuffins. The kids, exhausted, were finally able to go to sleep in the car in their warm carseats.
We drove back to the drive thru, and when I realized how ridiculous our camping trip had become, I took this picture out of our front window:
My poor husband in his pajamas and very tired/cranky in the drive thru:
We got our steamy breakfast and decided to drive around North Pole until the rain let up enough to go back to camp and pack up the tent. On our drive, we saw a mother moose with 2 babies (the brown dot on left is the mother, the two babies on the road are harder to see because of the rain):
I gave my husband a narrated tour around my childhood home town, identifying all the buildings that had not been there when I was a kid. Reluctantly, we finally drove back to the camp when the rain slowed to a drizzle. We were drenched by the time we had taken down the tent and packed up the car.
After that, everyone was glad to be home, and we’re looking forward to our next campout. Of course, we’ll be doing our homework first, learning the basics of outdoor survival (ahem, how to start a warm campfire!). I hope we have better results to report next time!
We may be camping out with our friends, the Chasteens, next time. I joked to my husband that I was glad we got to look like morons only in front of each other and not in front of them. He said, “Of course they’re better campers than us! They both have outdoor survival training. They don’t even NEED a tent. They just say to the kids- ‘Come on, we’re going to burrow into the ground!’”