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“I'm not dissing her, I thought it was gonna be a report about that trip. DON't hurt me Creekdancer!
(as if MarkO, she is not mean)”
“Ha ha ha !!!
“RV lady and her daughter came with us to Baxter, next weekend is RV hell for me...”
“Don't forget the generator and the satellite dish.”
“And the rake to get all the leaves and sticks and dirt out of the campsite! And the bug zapper.”
“After you get the twigs and leaves raked, lay down some of that indoor/outdoor carpet and, oh yeah, don't forget the bug zapper. We have people like that around here, all from Illinois or Minnesota.”
“Never Wisconsin, huh?
I was car camped among West Virginians with RV's and one of my neighbors whipped out a lawnmower and cut his "lawn" before settin' up the generator.”
“Rving is as different as kar kamping is to backpacking. It’s a completely different animal and it has it’s place. I love Rving. In fact I prefer to be in with the RVs when kar kamping. I find it much quieter than in the tenting sections.”
“That's how my parents "camp", in there 34' motor home. They call it “soft” camping; what I do, they call “real” camping.”
“My friend Jane asked me if I would go camping with her the week of July 4th at Lake Pemaquid. She said her husband Dick didn’t want to go this year and she had promised her daughter Sally that she would still take her. Problem is, she’s never camped by herself before, so she asked if I’d go along and help her. I said “sure!” Then I looked at the website…http://www.lakepemaquid.com/camp.html…I choked back my horror and said, “um, I’ll go for 3 nights” which is the minimum you can reserve for I guess. I had also asked her and another friend to join me on a short backpacking trip this past weekend, but only Jane could go. I should add that last year I invited the same people to a bunkhouse in Baxter, but they wouldn’t go because there were no showers, mirrors for make up, and only outhouses. I conveniently stowed that deep in the back of my mind.
The trip I had in Baxter was 1.5 miles in – perfect for the kids and I’d reserved both lean-tos so we’d be the only people there. Jane and I started talking about what to bring – I gave her my list and offered my gear so she wouldn’t have to buy things in case she didn’t like it. She didn’t want to use my stuff but didn’t want to buy a lot, which should have been my first red flag. Second red flag should have been that she kept saying “I’m going to do this!” LOL…
Due to hectic schedules on both our parts, we didn’t really connect about departure times until Thursday night. She called me to find out what to buy for groceries, and we agreed we’d call each other around 9am Friday morning – see how packing was coming along. She said she’d bought a backpack at Wal-Mart, on that had a telescoping handle so she wouldn’t have to lug anything.
Friday, June 23rd
Jane called me at 9am, all packed and ready to go. Wow! I wasn’t ready – the cat had peed on my good sleeping bag (did I hear you wanted a cat, Stovie??) so I was trying to figure out how to fit a not so compressable sleeping bag in my pack along with everything else. The kids were going to carry their stuff in the kid backpack we have.
So Jane and Sally came over to wait with us while I packed. Then I suggested that we all ride up in one vehicle, while in the back of my mind I worried about that – what if they hated it and wanted to go home early – I didn’t want to do that. She had also asked what the trail was like, and if was suitable to perhaps pull a cooler. I said I’d never done that, but since we’d be hiking in on an old tote road, it should be fine. She also commented that since it was only about a mile, she planned on making two trips. Anyway, she said she didn’t think that all of our stuff would fit in my vehicle. I went out to take a look at what she had, and words failed me. Not only was there no way we would fit in one vehicle, but we would be all day shuttling her stuff in. The cooler she planned on pulling was a freakin’ doublewide!
Given the amount of stuff she had, I gave up trying to pack the packs and just threw our stuff in the back of my truck. We left around 10ish. When we stopped to fill up, I asked if she would mind if we switched our reservation to a drive up car camping site. Here she said she had room in her cooler for the beer I just bought, and to my amazement, when she opened it up, the cooler was full of Capri suns and flavored water, with two frozen gallon jugs of water for ice. I thought she’d brought the cooler for food since I said we’d keep stuff cold in the stream. I just didn’t see how we’d get everything in there, and it was supposed to rain on top of that…
She agreed, so that meant a stop at Kmart so I could but yet another bathing suit for my grand girl and I as I didn’t bring suits for backpacking. So far Jane was liking my kind of camping. :)
I called the park and made the switch to a drive up site, then asked if Jane wanted to get some “real” food since we weren’t backpacking. By this time, her eyes were glazed over, so we jumped in the trucks and hit 95. A stop at yummy Dysart’s and I was starting to see that Jane had little patience and was quite negative. Or maybe she was just tired and overwhelmed. I explained that I used to like to be on the road at 7am so I had time to hike each day…but now with the kids (grandboy gets carsick sometimes) I want them to enjoy it, so we don’t hurry, but relax and break up the 4 hour ride, let them stretch their legs, etc.
Once off 95, and on our way to the park, I pulled into Shin Pond Village and asked Jane how much gas she had. She said she was fine with a half a tank. I had about half a tank as well, but I always fill up before going in to the park, so she did as well. The kids got ice cream, used the last “real” bathroom, and we were on our way.
Once at our site, we moved in to one lean-to (we had two, since we were 5 people) and the kids designated the other lean-to as their play area. I asked the rangers if there were bears this year, and he said yes. I never get to see them.
It wasn’t until we unpacked that I saw the extent of “stuff” that Jane had brought. I had told her that electronics were not allowed (for which I am eternally grateful) because I’m afraid to think what she would have brought. She still had to bring walkie talkies, though I didn’t know that until we were leaving. Sally had mentioned that her mom had brought soap for bathing in the stream, and I said we don’t do that. She asked how we washed and I said we could do that at camp. Jane had also said that she couldn’t find the “donuts” for the toilet seats, so she learned how to arrange paper on it.
It also became apparent at that time that our ideas of “camping” were vastly different – more than I knew. I had been under the impression that only the places we camp at were different, not the whole idea of camping. Me and the kids usually unpack and head right to the water where we swim, kayak, hike a little, rock hop, catch frogs, etc…the lean-to is just a base, not some place you hang out at.
First item on the agenda was to get rid of those nasty bugs! She sprayed her and her daughter liberally with 40% deet, then proceeded to sweep out the lean-tos – yes she had a broom. :) those nasty spiders, how dare they spin webs, LOL…
We lit mosquito coils and soon we were bug free.
Next, a tablecloth for the picnic table; a trash bag for trash and another for returnables each hung from trees. She got out notebooks and pens for each kid and settled herself in to read a novel. Before long I was antsy and said it was time to go to the water. We saw a family of Canadian geese; mom, dad and 6 little ones. They are cute to see, but they really have infested the area and their poop is HUGE. My kids started playing on the rocks and soon Sally joined us. Finally we all hopped across the stream and hiked in to see the lean-to Ana and I had stayed at when she was four.
We returned to the lean-to and had supper. Coming back from the outhouse I saw that everyone was by the road with flashlights. Jane said “dogs aren’t allowed her, right?” She said there was a light colored animal the size of a retriever and it went in to the woods next to our lean-to. I said that sounded like a coyote and didn’t make a big deal of it – though I’ve never heard of one being seen in the campgrounds.
Jane got out her pillows and we all jumped into our sleeping bags, told camping stories, and went to sleep. Sally said it made her feel better that we all stayed in the same lean-to.
to be continued...”
“It's really just like bringing your home with you. I know people who have satelite tv, video games, a/c, etc all in their RV. They go to a campground and shut themselves in their RV and watch TV. What the heck is the point of going somewhere outside to watch TV?! I can understand if it's raining or something, but then again, you miss the sound of the rain and the time you generally are forced to spend playing cards or hangman or something together.”
“I can't wait.......”
“I now, I can hear ya yawnin' all the way from Maryland...
“Maybe you should bring the "Good Doctor" along with you this weekend.”
“No, MarkO, they're never from Wisconsin. The lazy assed locals won't even go outside the house.”
“Hey, it's great to hear from YOU(Twigeater, not those buttheads!!).
At least somebody here is going camping now and again.
I'm headed for a good thrashing in Vermont, come Friday, with some of my favorite buttheads.......'bout time!!
last edited: 6/27/06 11:27:37 AM”
“Saturday, June 24th
I don’t think Jane has smiled yet…
We got up and had breakfast, started getting ready for a ranger program being held at 10am. Me and the kids saw animal tracks on the road, but they were too small to be a coyote.
The ranger came by and I asked about the animal they saw – he said it was a blonde fox and asked if it had something in it’s mouth when we saw it. I didn’t get to see it, so I didn’t know, but he said it dove in to the goose family and snagged one of the babies.
We headed down to the picnic area where an intern was waiting for the kids to gather. Austin said that little brown girl they’d met the night before was there. The intern was talking with Jane – he said he was from Pennsylvania, going to school down there. They discussed their mutual hatred of mosquitos, since they don’t have them in PA. (they don’t??) He said he was heading down to Cumberland county in a couple of days and that he was looking forward to it – a hot shower, catch up on tv, see people, LOL…after all, there’s no electricity or ANYthing in Baxter Park. I’m thinking he’s in the wrong line of work…
It wasn’t long before I was annoyed by the intern’s constant misinformation and lack of knowledge about anything in nature, that I decided to stay behind. However Austin – who talks an absolute blue streak about everything and anything (and knew more about the outdoors than the intern guy did) kept on trucking behind the intern. So here we were in the woods listening to the guy say that he hadn’t gotten to animals yet in his studies. Jane thought I was being too hard on him, since he was just an intern. Maybe I was, but I think most people choose that line of work because they’ve had a previous interest in nature and the outdoors.
Anyhoo, back to camp and lunch. We were going to picnic by the water, but Jane had to cook her food, so we did too.
Hanging out at camp again, Jane reading a novel, girls reading some magazine and writing in their notebooks, Austin playing with the all burned up wood, me sitting wondering how long we had to sit around. Jane looked at me and said that she’d be freaking out by now. I guess Austin being all black was a bad thing. He was enjoying himself and he wasn’t hurting anyone…
There had already been mucho negativity and whining, and unfortunately it spread. I was feeling pretty negative and whiny myself.
When we started down for the water again, I discovered I had two water shoes for Ana, but they were the same shoe from two different pairs. She didn’t want to wear her sneakers, but wanted to borrow a pair of Sally’s – Sally had two pairs. Sally planned on walking down to the water in one pair, and wearing the other when she got there – and she didn’t want Ana to wear her shoes. (crocs and water shoes) Ana was crying, so I told Jane we’d meet her down there. She wasn’t sure where to go (like there’s choices) so she waited. I said again that we’d meet her down there, so they left. I told Ana I didn’t want her to wear Sally’s water shoes, and finally got Ana to put on her sneakers and we headed to the water.
At the water, Jane asked Sally if Ana could wear her water shoes, and Sally said yes. Jane praised her for making the right decision and told her that God would be proud of her. Ack!
The kids found some big bloodsuckers in the water and we all looked at them. Then we all were getting in the water, and Jane went out to her knees and said she was numb from the knees down. She got out and laid on her towel and sunbathed. Me and all three kids went over by the rocks to catch frogs and tadpoles. Sally asked why we were catching frogs. Finally she touched a tadpole. A snake slithered across the water, which was really cool, but scared Sally. We watched it slither up on to a little island and make its way to what must’ve been it’s hole. We saw a cool “flock” of butterflies sitting on the islands. In her zeal to catch a frog, Ana ran right through a mess of goose poop, which horrified Sally since Ana had her water shoes on. I told Sally I’d buy her a new pair.
Jane had was bleeding in two places from bug bites and said, “that’s it! I’m going back to camp!” So we all packed up and headed back to camp.
On my way down to the shore I had seen the rangers working on what looked like a model of some mountains, so we stopped in to check it out. Keith had been after BSP for five years to make a model of the area, so finally he took it upon himself to build it. It sounds like quite a process, and we were fascinated by it.
On the way back, we came across the blonde fox – how beautiful! He/she was a nice blonde color with some dark markings and lay in the road scratching and watching us. Ana ran to camp to get Jane and Sally, and Jane took lots of pictures.
Back at camp we made fairies and the kids whined. I have never heard my kids whine quite so much, then I realized that I was being as negative as Jane.
The kids did sparklers and silly string again (oh joy) Jane did jiffy pop on the campfire (she’d never done that before) and they made s’mores.
We hit the sack, and Jane didn’t sleep much.
one more day to come!”
“I'm diggin' this story!
Ha ha !!
Didn't you have any hooch?”
“Sunday, June 25th
Today we were not going to waste the day! We packed up the trucks, moved them to the parking lot, and snagged a canoe. It wasn’t until we had zig zagged up Lower South Branch Pond that Jane said she’d never been in a canoe before. She was paddling like she was in a race to dig for China and I’m back there just lolly gaggin along…we darn near turned in circles a bunch of times, LOL…the kids had paddles as well which just added to the fun…
Down by the canoe landing I noticed a deer drinking and bathing in the water. She got up on shore and ambled along eating leaves…it was a beautiful sight, and everyone stopped paddling so I could maneuver us in for some good pictures.
We piled out of the canoe and went for a short hike to the falls and pools on the Howe Brook trail. First we had to detour to the stream for some rock hopping fun. (we had done that the night before as well, but turned back as Jane and Sally were just sitting on the rocks looking at us like we were alien beings, and we wanted to be polite and not leave them there) While Jane was sitting waiting for us to get done our fun, she got pitch on her shorts, which I guess is a really bad thing for all the carrying on she did.
Once at the falls and pools my kids commenced to playing in the water and we crossed to the other side for lunch. We hung out there for a while then started back. Austin had three field guides on him, and he had plans to use them. So he stopped whenever he saw something he wanted to identify. I got the idea that this was not a good thing as we’d go off with a book and come back to find Jane picking up our stuff…then Sally disagreed with Austin about a mushroom and neither would let it go. Jane told Sally to let it go, cause some people just always need to be right. I had to chuckle at that one, since Austin is only 5 and he had the same identification of the mushroom that I did.
Back at the canoe, Jane snapped at Sally to “hurry up and get this sunscreen on so we can get out of here!” LOL…then the whine thing about who is sitting where with Jane right in the middle of it. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but when my kids argue, I let ‘em have at it – they figure it out on their own. I don’t usually intervene until they start belting each other.
I really wanted to go through the inlet to Upper South Branch Pond, so we did. Our paddling by this point was so off that we hit shore a couple of times. :) I just cracked up laughing most of the time, but I’m not sure “everyone” saw the humor in it.
The water at the inlet was low, so I got out to drag us through. Jane had to get out as well…I worried that she’d twist an ankle as her sandals were leather and had heels. She caught up with us and we paddled into the Upper Pond. It just wasn’t working out, so we turned around, walked the canoe through the outlet, and zig zag paddled back across the lake. I wanted to crack up every time one of my kids said “we’re not even headed toward the dock!” LOL…but thought better of it, since Sally was now crying full throttle now because “I AM in the middle!” even though she was leaning on the side of the canoe. She’s also wet and not one bit happy about that.
Finally we get there, Jane grabs all the gear and puts it away, they are changed by the time we’ve gone to the bathroom and put the canoe on the rack. For the first time, I see Jane smile.
We drive off into the sunset, Sally throws up along the way (her mother suspects it’s from too much fresh air) we stop and eat in Patten, then go our separate ways.
I ask Ana what magazine they were looking at, and she said it was Disney. Wow! I hate the Disney channel and the Disney magazine is right up there with it. Anyone seen that trash mag?”
“Oh yeah, fresh air always makes me throw up.
What's Disney Mag, a vehicle for predatory marketing to children?
last edited: 6/27/06 1:27:55 PM”
“SERIOUSLY her mom thought it was from too much fresh air?! lol!! Poor Twigeater. And now you have to go do their thing. I bet you have a better time doing their thing than they do.
I always let the kids try and fix their own problems too. How the heck else are they going to learn to work things out?
Thanks for the chuckles this afternoon.”
“Poor Twigeater. I look forward to a trip report for this coming weekend.”
“So you found a new bestest camping partner, huh?? ;-D”
“yeah, after seeing "our" kind of camping, she said she was worried me and the kids would not have a good time next weekend. I told her it would be "fine"
I'm just worried I won't have enuff money!
My daycare woman tells me that "the kids will love it, there's so much for them to do there!" LOL...I guess it's the difference being having to be entertained and being able to entertain yourself.”
“Chasing frogs with a five year old, nice!”
“It is MarkO - kids are so much fun to take anywhere, so fascinated by everything. But you know that! :)
Once in May when I was looking for fiddleheads I came across a deer skeleton. Austin and I went back to check it out (Ana was at a friends) and then we went down by the river and dug clay from the banks.
He said that was the "bestest adventure."
“Thanks for the grins, twigeater. Some people just don't know what fun is. My guess is that this will be the last camping trip you take with them.”
“yeah, this coming weekend is the last one...I weasled my way out of another trip...there are just too few summer weekends to waste.”
“Hmmmmmm, summer in Maine!!
My little kid ain't so little anymore.
Twigeater, you met my baby two years ago.
He is now 6'3" 200# and almost 16.”
“Holy cow MarkO, they grow up so fast!”
“OMG.....I would of sent them packing LOL!”
“Yeah, they sure do grow up!
He was a shorty like you for so long.
“I'm not short, you're just TALL! :)
Hay Stovie! did you get a cat yet? Have I got a deal for you! :)”
“OMG! Sounds like a camping trip from hell! I'm soo sorry we couldn't come to help you out with camping....MB and I ALWAYS have great time with you. Throw the kids in there and that really could be a lot of fun! I love your grandkids, they are so adventurous, 'specially Austin. He's a riot to hang with.
I feel for you on your RV camping trip....I hope your friends comes out of it alive... ;) Can't wait to hear of your adventures....or misadventures.”
“Wow! Great story!”
“I'm sure Jane would have done fine if there were more furniture and fewer bugs.
last edited: 6/28/06 6:30:12 PM”
“Hi skeetah! I just e-mailed monkeyboy a new winter cabin camping location - looks nice! We need to plan our annual Androscummy float trip...
Austin is quite a character - I don't think the kid ever stops talking!
Right ped - Jane did keep saying how she wished she'd brought her chair! When I said I was bringing my kayaks this weekend, she was puzzled...but we are "camping" on a Lake...
“Looks like a nice place, thanks for the link MarkO!”
“Yup, I got it, just haven't had a chance yet. My truck, which I just paid off is acting up.... phooey..... And we are packing for a weekend at my folks. Dad's birthday party, last one in Maine, so it's a block party. Yeehaw!!!!!
Looking forward to adventures though. We need a weekend just doing the Tom Sawyer thing, with of course, liqid refreshment.”
“what a nightmare! I had no idea what I was really getting into - much worse than I expected. Why would anyone pay money to go spend the weekend in the 'hood?
Ana's first comment summed it up - "this is just like Disney!" except Disney is much cleaner - the place was absolutely filthy.
After driving by it twice, Jane showed us our site - Austin thought someone was in it - but no, it really was that small. The fire ring was full of trash, the picnic table was rotted, our site was muddy, and worst of all, our neighbors were literally right in our faces.
Later I'll tell more about the "gum wall," hay rides, people, dances, pool, people, jacuzzis, camp store, people, arcade, snack bar, minature golf, people, skating place, sauna, showers, flush toilets, people, playgrounds, water toys, trash, dog poop, and most of all, PEOPLE! I came to my sister's last night cause I could feel a migraine coming on.
I'm off to the lake for lobster and kayaking, hope everyone enjoys their 4th!
last edited: 7/04/06 9:23:01 AM”
You have mail at your work address.”
“Hi Stovey! :)
cool - I'll get it tomorrow!”
“hahahaha... finally had time to read this. Kudos to you for making it through, Twigster!”
nice picture, Stovey, LOL...”
“Sounds like that facility you went to needs new management.”
“Maybe I need to make another trip to Baxter to help get those numbers up. ;-)
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