Monday, August 8, 2011

Camping with the President of the United States

Well, not exactly.  But we DID spend Thursday and Friday nights at Catoctin National Park in Maryland, which DOES have Camp David hidden somewhere in it, AND the President REALLY WAS there celebrating his 50th birthday this weekend, so it’s kind of like we were on a big old campout with the leader of western civilization.

At the risk of sounding dorky, I’ll admit I was pretty excited when we got there and I saw the sign saying he was going to be in the park.  I also got pretty excited when we heard all the helicopters coming in.  I mean, if you’re going to be in the same park as Camp David, the president might as well be there, right?

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Letter that was posted at the camp entrance.

I would have taken a picture of the entrance to Camp David too, but it’s a secret.  (Couldn’t possibly be the gated side road to “Camp 3” that doesn’t appear on any of the maps and has big signs saying“Official Business and Deliveries Only” “Violators will be fined” “No Stopping” “No Standing” and “No Cameras”…could it?)

When we weren’t busy wondering what our First Family neighbors were up to, we had a great time eating camp food, exploring the forest, and hanging out with Bryan’s folks who were nice enough to meet up with us for the weekend.  I don’t know how I never manage to get enough pictures of the adults in the group, but here are some shots (mostly of the girls) from our latest camping adventure.



I found some really good toy magnifying glasses on clearance at Walmart for $1 that we gave the girls as a surprise.  They loved them, especially when they could find bugs to follow around.  I think they were best put to use by Robyn though, who treated us to this dialogue Friday morning:

“Hey, look!  A daddy spider!... Ahhh, there’s a caterpillar too…Hey, the spider’s coming over to see the caterpillar…Whoa!!!!  What?!!!!  Come see!  Come see!  The spider’s EATING the caterpillar!!! Now the spider’s dragging the caterpillar away!… <insert suddenly nonchalant shrug>  Guess spiders eat caterpillars.  Huh.”


Most of our meals we did hot over the fire (we kept a fire going almost continuously since the available wood was so wet it was hard to get started), but Friday during the day we did flatbread pepperoni and cream cheese sandwiches.  It was during this seemingly innocuous little lunch that we had our worst encounter with wildlife.

I was standing there, spreading cream cheese for Amber, and all of a sudden a yellow jacket attacked my arm.  I’ve been stung before, but this was awful: the darn thing wouldn’t let go!  It just kept stinging and stinging!  The end result?  For almost 48 hours my arm continued to swell up larger and larger, changing funny colors, and generally looking gross.  Which of course meant we had to take pictures.  :)


On a more pleasant note, we didn’t do any serious hiking on this trip, but we did follow a trail down to an old saw mill and goofed around some near a creek that ran through the camp ground.  Supposedly you can pick and eat morel mushrooms in the park but we didn’t manage to find any.  Oh well!

Daddy and the girls all ready to go exploring.

Looking at little fish in the creek.
Grandma standing guard near Katie, ready to reach in and rescue her each time she seemed ready to topple.

It really is a tragedy that there aren’t more good pictures of the girls playing with Grandma and Grandpa on this trip.  Having them around made the whole adventure extra special for the girls.  And not only were they willing to come play with us in the great outdoors, they also let us come and spend Saturday evening and Sunday with them afterwards which has to be roughly equivalent to letting at least 3…maybe 5…wild animals into your home.

We’re also glad that Bryan’s folks came, because they brought along their dutch oven.  It was our anniversary over the weekend and Friday night to celebrate we made up a cherry cobbler in the dutch oven and drank sparkling grape juice around the campfire.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate these six incredible years with Bryan than camping with our great kids and hanging out with the wonderful in-laws that came as a bonus to getting married.  Here’s to many many many more years as a family! 

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe that sting!?! Ouch!! Looks like a great trip though. I have the cutest nieces!