Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A-Campin' We Will Go

What a time we have had! Thursday evening, my parents arrived from Missouri to spend the weekend camping with us in the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. We had been planning on taking this camping trip for several weeks and I had planned a weekend menu, been baking and freezing for it and doing lots of mental prep work towards our trek into the Wilderness together! Friday morning was one busy morning. We got off to a late start because the kids slept in. (go figure!) I began checking off the food list as I added items to the cooler and food basket. Then I turned to cooking pots and utensils, the fire starter, clothing, jackets just in case, bedding, bottles and sippy cups, diapers and wipes, paper towels and dish clothes-oops! Don't forget the dish soap! Finally my part was taken care of. Meanwhile, Mike was working on getting firewood loaded, camp chairs, roasting sticks, lantern, and the pop-up ready to roll. Lots involved. After we made sure that the new kitten, Chloe was all set in her new surroundings and had plenty of food and water, we pulled out of the driveway and we were off!
In Sevierville we stopped and enjoyed lunch at Moe's Southwest Grill. LOVE their food! Big delicious burritoes-complete with grilled tofu! I usually get a burrito STUFFED to the gills with Black and Pinto Beans, rice, tofu, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, olives, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Delish. The meal also comes with a side of corn chips and there is a whole salsa bar to choose from. So, after stuffing ourselves we continued on our way. Destination: Cades Cove. We arrived around 3:30 and began setting up camp. We found that a pop-up camper goes together quicker than a full sized tent! My parents tented in our tent and Hannah had fun helping them figure out all the pieces.
After camp was set up, we took a lovely drive around the Cades Cove loop and saw a lot of wildlife and scenery along the way. Plenty of deer-even an antlered buck! The Rododendron trees were in full bloom and were so pretty! It was just gorgeous. Got back, Mike built a nice campfire and then we began putting the kids to bed. Hannah pretty well went right to sleep as I sang her some hymns real softly. Nathan, on the other hand was rarin' to go. He thought that whole camper was a big playground and the bed was the biggest bouncy pad he'd ever seen. He was literally standing on his head (peaking through his legs at me), running across the bed and falling on his tummy (he thought that was the best thing he'd done in a long time) and laughing his head off! Oh boy. Mike tried, I tried. Finally, I gave up. I brought him out by the campfire and he cuddled up against me. After some time he finally fell asleep. I'd say it was around 11 p.m. Got him bedded down and prepared to get some shut eye ourselves. I went over to cover Hannah up and suddenly, she starts to throw up! Out of the clear blue. In her sleep. So now there is throw up all over her bed and in her hair and It's pitch black outside. Mike held a flash light while I began to clean up the mess and tried not to puke myself. Hannah was pretty much burning up with fever at that point. We put a cool cloth on her head in attempt to cool her down. Mike dug around in the diaper bag for the Motrin, but to no avail. Somehow, it had gotten taken out of the diaper bag at some point and it hadn't been returned. I always have a bottle in there-just in case. Man! Well, she went back to sleep for a few hours and then BAM. She was throwing up again. On the other end of the bed this time. So now both ends of her bed had been christened and I was beginning to fall short on clean bedding! Good thing I brought some extra! The camper was really smelling pretty bad by this time. I could barely stand it. Then Mike informs me that there is a bear prowling around the camp. He could hear him snuffing and grunting and growling. I'm like, Oh great. So now we're going to get eaten by a bear. We've got some real bear bait smells drifting from this camper right about now! I am telling you what-I was pretty glad when the sun began to rise and it began to get light outside!!
Mike and I went out and rebuilt the fire and huddled close to soak in the warmth. I think we had gotten a total of a 1/2 hr.'s worth of sleep the whole night. Hannah woke up a little while later and looked pretty bad. Her eyes were sort of glazed over fevery looking and all she wanted to do was to be held. By mommy. No one else. So, I held her. Poor little dear. She was really miserable. By then, I was starting to feel really sick to my stomach. I felt extremely queasy. (and NO it wasn't morning sickness! LOL!)
Nathan slept til 9. After he woke up and Hannah wasn't doing any better and was burning with fever and just wanting to get in the bathtub, and I was feeling awful... we decided to pack it up and head home. So we did just that-unfortunately. All that work and such a sad and quick ending! As we got the last of it loaded up, my parents arrived back from there early morning hike. They had seen 3 bears and had gotten some awesome footage! They were sad to see us go, but understood the dilemma. Meanwhile, I headed to the bathrooms and was ill. The road home was winding and very nauseating. I was ill once on the way home. Pretty bad. Hannah slept part of the way home and was very quiet. I spent the rest of the day in bed on my side, doubeled over with nausea and sickness. My head felt nasty, my stomach felt worse and I couldn't get out of bed without throwing up. Poor Mike! He had to take care of us all while not feeling the best himself! He was SUCH a trooper. Can't say that I'm not blessed with an incredibly caring hubby! My nightfall I was even throwing up charcoal. Mike went to the store for some Pedialite for Hannah since she had been fevered and wasn't drinking much. He picked me up some Pepto Bismal to try. I took a dose and immediately my stomach stopped churning and I was able to rest peacefully. Hannah's fever broke for the most part and she slept in our bed between us all night-she just wanted her mommy and daddy with her-poor girl! She and I were much better by Sunday morning and I began all the laundry that the trip had caused! Lots of nasty bedding.... ugh. My parents came back from the camping trip-had a wonderful time hiking to see waterfalls and old church houses and homesteads and enjoyed it all. So glad they didn't get sick too!
As for me.... I think we'll be holding back on the camping for a few more years maybe. Perhaps til the kids are a bit older..... ;) (just wait-next summer there will be another post about another camping expedition! LOL!)

Setting up camp
Nathan begin "bake-ed" (as hannah calls being naked)Hannah helping my parents set up the tentSet up and ready for campin!

Rododendron trees along Cades Cove loop

Aren't they beautiful?!night-time sick-ee

happy camper ;)

1 comment:

  1. OH MAN! Sounds just horrible. :( I bet you guys would have had a great time if it weren't for the sicknesses. Don't give up quite yet! But ya, it sure is a lot of work packing, setting up, tearing down, cleaning up afterward. Phew! Glad you found time to document the story. :)