The plan was for us to have a quick camping trip up in the mountains, about an hour away. Nothing big, nothing crazy, but something where Emmie could sleep in a tent and roast marshmallows (something she is constantly talking about). Her newly-discovered love of hiking from our trip only reinforced our desire to do this and our thought that this would be a good idea.
Emmie was SO proud to help put up the tent and was super excited to lay out all the sleeping bags inside. She played in there happily for quite some time, rearranging the pillows and snuggling with all the blankets.
At some point on the drive up, too far from home to do anything about it, Peter made me realize that I had forgotten to replace my pain patches after taking my shower this morning (the way the transdermal patches work is that I cannot shower with them on or I could accidentally OD from the hot water releasing too much medicine at once. So I can shower every 2-3 days when we change out the patches, but if I forget to put them back on, I start to get withdrawal symptoms in about 6+ hours on average. I can survive without it, but it’s not a ton of fun).
Thankfully, we had already talked with my parents about them possibly coming up to meet us in the mountains for s’mores. With this pain patch development, that quickly went from a possibility, to a please-I-really-hope-you-can-come-and-also-bring-meds. We had enough reception passing through a town that we could get the message to my parents and they confirmed that they would come up with meds (and more chocolate for s’mores!).
We had a lot of time before they would come, so we set up camp, unloaded and played. Possibly due to my lack of pain meds, or for some other reason, I was really tired and ended up taking a 2+hour long nap in the tent. It was really lovely. In the meantime, Peter and Emmie took a hike up to one of the nearby lakes. From what I heard, they had a great time and Emmie loved hiking as much as the last time (yay!). No pictures of that, since the official photographer of Things That Happen (me) was sleeping.
After they got back, we had an early dinner of fire-roasted hot dogs, followed by the absolutely critical Roasting of the Marshmallows. This was definitely the highlight of Emmie’s life. She has been talking about roasting marshmallows and eating s’mores almost daily since our awesome photo shoot last month.
While we were roasting the marshmallows, who should drive up but Gigi and Bapa! And we even had a bonus guest… Matt! He was dogsitting Jasper for us when my parents kidnapped him and brought him up to the mountains too.
I need to pause here for a critical piece of information: Just moments after that picture of Emmie roasting marshmallows was taken, clouds descended over us and it began to drizzle and the temperature dropped a good 10-20 degrees. Moments after my parents arrived, that drizzle became more insistent. As all of us stood around the fire, cooking hot dogs or sweets, the insistent drizzle turned to rain. In short order, everything was wet, cold and looking fairly miserable.
We decided that we didn’t HAVE to be miserable, since we had checked off all the things we technically wanted to do on the trip (roast marshmallows, set up the tent, have hot dogs, roast marshmallows, take a hike, be outdoors, roast marshmallows, eat s’mores and roast marshmallows). Technically, I even got to sleep outdoors in the tent with my nap! The only thing Emmie had mentioned wanting to do was to be able to be in her sleeping bag and look up at the stars, but since she had only mentioned it once, and since the weather wasn’t cooperating anyway, that one didn’t look likely to happen if we stayed or if we left. Surprisingly, at first Emmie was the only one upset by the idea of leaving, since she was already shivering. However, 20 minutes later, when things were even wetter and even colder, despite wearing almost all the clothes we had brought, she came around to the idea of us leaving.
Peter decided to stay on and either pack up camp if it stayed cold and wet, or else stay the night and get in an early morning trail run tomorrow if things cleared up and it was only cold (it was in the low 50s when things were clear and sunny, so it was going to be cold regardless once the sun set).
Emmie, my parents, Matt and I headed back down the mountain. The rain stopped only a few minutes after we left, which of course gave me momentary pause as to our hasty abandonment of our wilderness stay (was I really that pansy now?). But another moment’s reflection reminded me that staying would have meant not only a cold me (I I foolishly did not bring a warm hat and while I still do have some hair, I don’t have a ton and I am MUCH colder now without it), but also a cold and bored Emmie, which would have been much more challenging to deal with. There were still far too many hours until bedtime, with far too little to do for her at the campsite for it to have been much fun. And that’s not even factoring in the cold during the night, or in the morning when it would have been me and Emmie on our own for breakfast while Peter did his trail run. I am NOT a camp cook in the best of times and I could only imagine how uncomfortable and unhappy I would have been trying to do all that on my own with a whiny preschooler “helping” me.
We were rewarded for our cowardice with one of the most spectacular rainbows I’ve ever seen. Apparently we got to see a “supernumerary rainbow” and a double rainbow all together. Basically, the main rainbow had almost like extra colors on the bottom of it, and then there was a faint double rainbow above it. (Bonus cool points: the campground we “stayed” at was called Rainbow Lakes, so this was perfectly fitting!)
This picture here was one of the most stunning sights I’ve seen in a long while. The photo does no justice to what it looked like in person, with the mountains feeling much clearer and more prominent in real life. It was one of those moments when I just felt SO lucky to live where we do.