Monday, August 27, 2007

Camping with Luke, the Coes and Kentucky Joe

Last Friday, my friend Eric and I took up our boys to Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park for a night of camping. Actually we took his two boys (Danya - 5 and Tima - 3) and Luke. Jack and Drew stayed with Robin.

We left early afternoon with our van packed with a tent, sleeping bags, fishing pools, camp stove, etc. We hoped to get a spot at the Aspenglen campsite. Even though we got their in early afternoon, the three best ones close to the river were taken. We had two choices in the tent only section. One was close to the main entrance so we choose the 2nd one. As we started to put up our tent, we met our neighbors... Texas Pete and Kentucky Joe. Not their real names mind you but they were two older men camping alone. One was from Texas and the other from Kentucky. Hence their monikers. One was camping to our right and the other across the gravel drive.

I didn't mind friendly but both Eric and I were a little cautious about interesting looking older men especially ones inviting our boys to stop by their campfire that night. No thanks.

We did a little mild hike, made a campfire, roasted hotdogs and made 'smores. Luke calls marshmallows, smarshmallows. Makes sense 'smores should consist of smarshmellows. The boys went to bed about sunset. Eric and I read and talked by the fire. I heard Luke making up a story to tell Danya and Tima. it was a story about a turtle and frog that went camping. They were friends. Lightening hit turtle and frog's tent and they went into the rain car. The rain ended and they went out and put back up their tent.

The night was long and cold. There were many trips of little boys needing to pee. But what made the night really long was Kentucky Joe playing his radio all night. Both Eric and I thought of walking over to ask him to turn it down. Maybe we should have. but both of us sized-up that Kentucky Joe seemed like a guy who slept with a pistol under his pillow so we decided to try to tough it out.

Early in the am, I was concerned that Luke in his 'play sleeping bag' was freezing so I invited him into mine. I got no sleep now. Not only was it too tight, I kept imagining him needing to pee one more time. My best sleep was when Kentucky Joe left at around 4 am for who knows where and I coxed Luke back into his own bag.

In morning we rebuilt a fire, Eric made oatmeal and we went for a final hike. Danya threw-up on the drive back down the mountain but Eric got the hot-dog bun bag to him in time.

All in all we survived our first father-son camping trip.

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