A River Runs Through It

Friday started sunny and humid. Eric and the kids were due late in the afternoon, and we had plenty of work to do. We got camp set up and headed out to buy groceries. By noon, clouds were beginning to gather and the humidity was high. Eric and the kids arrived about 3:00. We got their gear stowed and took the van out to the parking lot just in time for the rain to start. Perfect timing!

We didn’t think much of the rain for a few hours. When the ground under the fly started to get soggy we realized that although we’d chosen what looked like the best site, it wasn’t as good as it could have been. We had a little ridge going through the middle of both tents, but overall we were on a downhill slope, and the rain was going under the tents and through what was, effectively, our living room. It was the start of my latest learning curve, and the first lesson was Do Not Be Lulled Into A False Sense of Security.

Saturday morning was sunny, for which we were grateful. The ground was saturated, and we were glad to have a shot at drying things out. For the first time since I started camping, we had earth worms in the ‘living room.’ You can see from the picture why we thought we were camping practically on the river bank. The kids shucked their shoes and went off to find others of their kind, coming back to eat and stomp through the mud under the fly.

Late in the afternoon, the rain started again. The quagmire deepened and my morale plummeted. Dad and Alex collaborated on a civil engineering project and dug a trench to drain water away from the tents, which worked somewhat but might have been more effective if it had been done sooner.




Dinner was cooked in the rain, and as soon as the food came off the fire, the big coffee pots went on to heat shower water. It stopped raining while we were eating.

Dad assigned the order of showers based on the ‘snit scale’. I got second and promptly passed it on to whoever was behind me. I just couldn’t handle the thought of getting clean and stepping back out into the mud. Instead, I toughed out the evening and washed my feet just before I went to bed. I almost cried when I crawled into bed and heard rain on the canvas.

At least the kids had a grand time.

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