Our first camping trip with Sydney was a ton of fun! We went to Taylorsville Lake State Park. It was about an hour or so drive. The drive was beautiful. I told Ryan that it was intoxicatingly gorgeous! Ryan’s thought was, “Your parents would love this drive on their motorcycle!” He was right! It was a drive you just want to soak in.
Sydney and me with our the tent the day we left.
Sydney taking a picture of our campsite.
We arrived at the campsite around 5 pm & got to work setting up the tent. We reserved our site online & were very thankful that we did. By the time we arrived, all the sites were taken! Plus, we ended up picking the best site! It had some shade and some sun. Perfect. We set our tent up & then Sydney and I headed to the playground that was a short walk away. Sydney was in heaven! She ended up making some friends that weekend. They played together so well!
On our walk up to the playground, Sydney and I spotted a raccoon at the campsite next to us. We quickly shouted to Ryan to let him know. Luckily, the raccoon left him alone. He finished setting up the site and joined us at the playground.
After playing for a while & then going back to cook and eat our yummy hamburgers, Ryan and Sydney went for a walk. We learned after their walk that “walk” meant “playground”. She was sneaky! Anyway, while they were “walking”, I took some quiet time at the campsite. My alone time quickly changed…I had a visitor…the raccoon. I was prepared, though! I had my big stick & started hitting the ground and telling him to go away. Well, let’s just say he wasn’t very scared. He ran about two feet into the woods, turned around, and stood up on his back legs. He looked me over, decided I wasn’t a threat, and took off for our tent. Beside our tent we had our garbage bags (old Walmart sacks). He scored them & ran into the woods as I was yelling, “No! Not our garbage bags!” Ha! It could have been worse, obviously! After a quick survey, he realized that there was no food in the bags and ran off. Ryan later retrieved the bags. It was funny & had me laughing almost as soon as it happened!
The next day, we were a little nervous. The rain chances kept going up for the day. Since this was the first time to camp in our new tent, we weren’t sure how it would hold up. Plus, we only had enough time to weatherproof the rain-fly. As we went through the day, it got prettier and prettier! Whew! We escaped rain!! It was the perfect day. We hiked a little, played at the playground a little, read a little, napped a little, cooked yummy food for lunch and dinner, got showers, and headed to bed. What a fun & relaxing day!
A few hours after falling asleep we woke up to some loud thunder and bright lightning! I think this it the loudest and strongest storm I’ve ever seen…and we were in a tent! I literally laid there and prayed, “God, please keep us safe and dry. Keep us safe and dry. Safe and dry. Pleeeeaaaassseee, keep us safe and dry.” About the thousandth time I prayed that, I heard a loud crack (lightning). My prayer quickly changed to, “OK, forget the dry, please keep us safe. Please keep us safe. Ah, who am I kidding? You’re GOD! Please keep us safe AND dry. Keep us safe and dry.” As scared as I was, can you believe that my daughter was still asleep?! The one that wakes me up every night was STILL asleep! That changed by the end of the storm, but she did sleep through 3/4 of the storm. When she woke up, she cried out for me. I quickly scooped her up & put her up on my chest. I held her for a long time & she never moved a muscle. I thought she must have gone back to sleep. However, when I leaned up to grab the flashlight to inspect the tent, she moved. I asked her if she was OK and she shook her head VERY fast saying no. I assured her that everything was ok & that it was all over. She slowly started believing me. At this point, Ryan and I started inspecting the inside of the tent to see just how bad & wet everything was. There was not one drop of rain in the tent! Whahoo!! I really wanted to get up and do a hallelujah dance! I was so excited!
After realizing that we were dry & the rain had stopped, I headed out to the bathhouse. On my way back, I looked up at the sky and saw every star immaginable! It was absolutely beautiful. The storm was still visible off in the distance. When lightning would strike, it would light up the whole sky. I’ve never seen anything like it. I walked back to the tent with the biggest smile on my face & thanking God for being so much more than I could ever understand.
Sydney all tuckered out after a fun weekend of camping.
The next morning, we started packing up. We were thankful for every moment of our trip…even the rain. Although I was scared at the time, I now know, that I will have greater confidence when we get caught in another storm. I think I might even enjoy it.
“Thank you, God, for my wonderful little family. Thank you for giving us this time together. Thank you for every experience & every memory we created. It is one of the happiest times I’ve ever had.”