Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

--Victoria Marie

Monday, September 16, 2013

Colorado Rockies: Here We Come!

Snowball fights in July at Rocky Mountain National Park
During our long cross-country drive to Rocky Mountain National Park from New Jersey, after many a camp side sunset, we kept the children’s interests peaked by discussing around the campfire the Rocky Mountains.

“These mountains are taller than any other mountain you children have been on,” my husband told them.

Their eyes widened in awe.

“There won’t be any tall trees on the top,” I informed them.

“Mom,” our 5th grade boy scout informed me, “all mountains have trees.”

He’s a tree-hugger, like me.  “This time,” I told the children, “we will be hiking in the tundra.”

“A tundra,” the children repeated.

“What’s a tundra?”  One of the twins asked.

“We’ll be hiking above the trees,” my husband said by way of explanation.

“Not only that,” I said, “but we could be playing in the snow.”

“Mom.”  It was my 7th grade daughter’s turn to correct me.  “It doesn’t snow in July in North America.”

“No,” I agreed.  “But it’s colder up in the tundra, and snowfields could be tucked here and there on the mountaintop.”

The chatter increased.

“I forgot my boots.”

“I don’t have my snow pants.”

“We don’t have gloves.”

“I didn’t bring my sled.”

I raised my hand to stop the flow of chatter.  My husband was laughing.

“Sledding, son,” I said looking at him.  “On mountain tops?”  I looked at the girls.  “We’ll just have to make snowmen or have snowball fights in sneakers and shorts.  That’s all.”

            The excitement rose to a fevered pitch as we moved inside the tent and attempted to prepare for bed.  Nobody slept with the children firing questions at me and my husband all night long.

Luckily the next day the Rockies loomed up ahead along the roadway into Estes Park and our campground.  We were there. 

            Many times, camping with the family entails much driving.  Keep the children excited about their destination by feeding them small bits of interesting information while around the campfire or at dinner.  We didn’t tell the children about the snow until we were almost at Rocky Mountain National Park. 

            My prayers are with those navigating the floods in Colorado.