· Paynes · summer

Camping in the Rain (in July)

It appears that we are the cause.  The cause of rain that is.  I thought this gift belonged to the NHMS soccer teams because everytime they have a game, it rains.  But apparently, we too are a cause.  Everytime the Bracketts plan a camping trip, it rains.

Back in May I decided that we needed to extend our stay-cation just a bit and camping was an affordable and fun (and work-filled) way to do this.  So, I relied on the trusty National Recreation Reservation Service (i.e. my mom) and booked us a site at Oconee Point on Lake Hartwell.  We invited some friends to join us and the Hollands were game.  Well, Scott and the girls were.  Noelle was pretty sure she’d prefer the Comfort Suites.

I grew up on Hartwell and Russell lakes because my parents are Corps of Engineers and used to take us boating, camping, fishing, all that good outdoorsy stuff I want my children to experience.  Plus, Joshua’s an Eagle Scout so I feel like we should spend more time in the woods using those skills.

Boy is camping different when you have to be the one in charge instead of just the one enjoying yourself.

We packed the van (and I do mean packed, we’re going to have to invest in one of the pods for the roof) and left the house in a downpour.  It’ll be gone by the time we get an hour north we told ourselves.

Whatever, it was following us.  It rained the whole way to the campground and didn’t stop until we were sitting in the car wondering how we were going to unload to get to the tent that was on the bottom and then set it up in the rain.

We finally got camp set up and were eating our dinner of sandwiches when the Hollands arrived around 10 p.m.  Scott had no trouble pitching their tent in the dark and we sat around by lantern light and blessed the rain now, since it had cooled down the temps and made sleeping bearable.

The next morning the kiddos were up bright and early (think prior to 7 a.m.).  We spent the day swimming the lake, walking the campground, fishing for brim, grilling all sorts of yummy burgers and steak and deer backstrap (thanks, Scott!), and riding on the boat with Corey and Alaina.

My brother gets the uncle gold star this week.  He and Alaina came up from Hot-lanta and brought my parents’ old pontoon that Corey has converted to his fishing boat.  They also brought Butter, their water-savvy Golden Retriever, and Jasper, my mom’s only-Golden-in-the-world-who-can’t-swim.
We had a good time with the puppies (Scott and Noelle had also brought their basset, Sadie).  They chased balls in the water, jumped off the boat, and searched the island beach for prey.  Jasper even swam a little in an effort to catch some geese.  Corey helped him out by putting the noodle under him.  Hilarious!

We weathered a brief shower under the picnic shelter and then headed out on the lake.

On Saturday night we sat around the campfire trading stories about family and alternately yelling at the girls to go to sleep.  Sunday morning came early again and Corey is now my favorite sibling because he had the coffee ready when we got up at dawn again.

The Hollands had to head out about mid-day, so we spent Sunday afternoon on the boat riding the new toy Corey and Alaina headed off to Anderson to get and letting Granddaddy bond with Amelia.

Sunday night was quiet once it was just us and everyone had gone.  We went to bed early and woke in the middle of the night to….the sound of rain.

Which meant that when we packed up on Monday morning everything was wet and muddy.  Typical.

But a good time, nonetheless!

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