Saturday, May 3, 2008


We finally went camping! Joe and I have always camped. Separately. For as long as we have been married, we have been regaling each other with idyllic memories of camping from our youths. Sadly, we have been unable to add to this mosaic of memories together because of evil forces conspiring against us. Well, to put it mildly, children. Actually, we have camped together a few times. Once before we were married (separate tents, so, only half a memory) once when Cleve was a baby, and once when I was 9 months pregnant with Kyle. Three times. Each time served as a lesson why camping was not quite as we remembered it. Each a tale in it's own right. Ok, I will tack those stories onto the end of this post. But, to get back to the camping trip right NOW, we finally decided to venture out, to take this bold step, and camp again! No longer would Mother Nature hold us back! We are the Segallas, and we intend to explore and conquer the world in our ancient tent trailer!
So we went to Mojave Narrows, 10 minutes from home.
I could go on, and on with words, but why? Pictures are better.
We begin our trip with many smiles. Immediately, our campsite was interesting. On our left we had another cheerful LDS family. On our right we had a very large group of men. I'm sorry, did I say men? I meant women, who look like men.......if you get my drift..........the wind brought us many an interesting conversation.
These pictures are pre -sunburn.
Our first camp breakfast had to be pancakes, of course. Going on a camping trip without pancake mix is like going to, well, anywhere, without a camera! Sheesh!
And syrup, wonderful syrup, how we love thee. We didn't waste a single drop!

We were lucky enough to have Uncle John join us for part of our first day, but he is very rude. At the breakfast table, he tells secrets!
I spent most of the camping trip....wondering.....
Oh well. He was probably telling Kurt that our male neighbors were not male. Who knows? Now, any family with young children will tell you that no matter what you do as a family, no matter where you go, you better be in close proximity to a slide and a pair of swings! So, in keeping with that philosophy, we spent part of our trip at the playground.
Playgrounds are wonderful places for little boys to play.

On the way back from the park to the campsite, we all rode in air conditioned comfort in the truck while someone else panted in the heat.......

And, I have to take this moment to brag. Kurt rode that bike all the way to the park and back. That had to be, round trip, at least a mile! And for a four year old, that is amazing! We kept asking him if he was ok, if he wanted to ride with us, but, no siree bob! That boy grinned, and pedaled enthusiastically the whole way! And I complain if I don't get a parking space close to the store entrance! "And a little child shall shame you...."

Naturally, we had a fire both nights we were there. First we made our slaves dig the fire pit for us.

We roasted so many marshmallows that sadly, the carcinogens we got from burning them did in fact, give us cancer.
We told ghost stories, until Joe and I got too scared to tell them anymore. You see, Kurt horrifyingly became the ghost story.....

This morning, we had to come home. We had to. It was a necessity. The combination of the marshmallows, fire smoke, heat, and crazed napless children had made my poor hubby go crazy!

While there are some people in our family who are always happy no matter what........
........other family members did not take the news that it was time to go home so well.......
But there was one more thing to do after packing up, one final hour of fun.

And rest assured everyone,
these bullfrogs are alive, well, and living comfortably
in all their bullfrog glory in our front yard.
We are now naming them!
I am thinking Slimy, Very Slimy, and Wet Slimy,
what do you think?

It was a great camping trip!

Okay, now for the other camping stories.
On our first camping trip together, pre-eternity, we went to hole in the wall in the desert. It was a lot of fun, but very cold, and we had run out of fire wood! This is when we learned a very valuable trick. You can, in fact, burn cow pies! Wherever there are cows, there are piles of cow poop. And wherever there is cow poop, there are piles of dried up cow poop! They are grey, and light as air. And they burn great! They burn VERY VERY hot, and contrary to what you might think, they don't smell like anything when they burn! We had some neighboring campers who also ran out of fire wood, so they came to our campsite, and asked to borrow some. Alas, we said, we do not, but here is something else we found to burn...........
their campsite was dark all night. Too bad for them!

Our second camping trip was a study in contrasts. This camping trip could be remembered as a nightmare, (best not remembered) but interestingly, it is one of my favorite memories. With Kurt and Cleve, we set off for Lake Isabella in January. Don't ask me why we thought it would be warm enough in January, we don't know why. Anyway, the weather forecast said the low would be like, 40, so we put our faith in that sun icon on the computer screen, and set off. Our first night was freezing cold. The fact that we were the only tent in the entire campground should have tipped us off, but, again we remained deliberately oblivious. The next morning, the camp manager told us we were very brave to camp with a 6 month old baby in 13 degree weather!!! Holy cow. The next night we spent at the pinnacles. (seen in planet of the apes) We did not let the absence of a campground stop us! We snuggled our gigantic 27 man tent right up to one of those weird piles of tufa!It was true roughing it. No water, going to the bathroom in a hole we dug...and....we did not count on the wind. It was like sleeping IN a tornado. Not to mention the fact that Kurt had cyclic vomiting syndrom (meaning he puked like, twice a day for months) and he picked the night we were at that non-campground to unload all over everything in the tent! No water, remember? So we got no sleep at all for the second night in a row. The next day was destination Death Valley! We never made it. On our way, we decided to check out a cool looking dirt road. We saw a dirt road going off that dirt road, and before you know it, we were 20 miles off the main highway. Suddenly, a strange noise. Thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk.....can you guess? A flat tire!!!!!! Not only could we not hike 20 miles with a baby and a toddler, but we were in a valley so our cell phones didnt work. AAAAAAND....we did not have a jack in the car to change the tire!!!! But it turned out to be a cool spiritual experience, because we said a VERY earnest prayer, got in the car, and drove back that 20 miles at 5 miles an hour. Yes, it really did take 4 hours to drive 20 miles. But Heavenly Father saw us through, and when we got back, we just HAPPENED to run into a group of nice people who changed our tire with their jack! So after that, we gave up, and went home. And like I said, this trip could have been our worst vacation ever, but strangely, we don't remember it that way. We learned from that trip to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS listen to the still small voice that is telling you NOT to go down that road!!!!!!

Our third camping trip, I was nine months pregnant. 'nuff said.