Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Adventures in the Desert

Last weekend we embarked on our first camping trip with Penny. We went to one of our favorite places, the Buckhorn Wash, in the San Rafael Swell. I might have felt nervous about camping with a 10.5 month-old, but I really wasn't. Maybe it's because we already knew that Penny's a good traveler and can handle 4 hours in the car (and longer!). What I struggled with was remembering everything we needed, due to this baby brain thing I have going on, which is worse on some days than others. But we had lots to eat and a comfy place to sleep. My sisters and boyfriends Dave and Paddy came too, so it was a family affair. And we have pictures!

We usually prefer to rough it, as far away as from other people as possible. But since we got down to the Swell so late, we decided to opt for the campground at the Wash. It was surprisingly empty! We were within walking distance to the San Rafael River, and driving (or biking) distance to the pictographs.

In the backpack with daddy.

We love it out here!

Skipping stones in the San Rafael River.

Sunset! Gorgeous!

Two issues that came up were 1) Penny would not let anyone hold her other than me. I'm not sure why, but she would freak out and cry and cling to me desperately whenever anyone offered to hold her. I don't know if she felt unsafe, exposed out there in the wilderness? Maybe she was worried a large bird of prey was going to carry her off? (*Eagle Cry*) She seemed a lot more comfortable in the safe enclosure of the tent. But as the sun warmed up the tent during the day, it wasn't an option to hang out in there.

In some ways, I was flattered that she considered me to be her ultimate protector, her absolute favorite, her number one girl. But I also felt a little hindered. Trips to the bathroom were...interesting and complicated. There was a lot of sneaking away. As long as I was out of her line of sight, she was ok with Britt. But as soon as I came within view, she had to be with me. I guess this means we will just have to take more trips to southern Utah, so she'll become accustomed to being out in the open.

Sippy cup? Check. Blankie? Check. Dolly? Check. Spatula? Check. Life is good. A rare moment when she was sitting by herself and not permanently affixed to me.

Waking up happy in the tent.

The second issue was screaming like a banshee in the middle of the night. On the first night, she fell asleep quickly, in hog heaven, because she was sleeping in her favorite place, between the two of us. But later, she woke up and was absolutely screaming, which caused temporary hearing loss for us and the neighboring tents. I tried to give her the binky, but she would not be pacified. I guess she awakened in the dark, and didn't know where she was? Fortunately, I was able to quiet her by some quick nursing, before the entire campground woke up.

The second night was considerably better. She was so worn out from the day's adventures (and from staring at the campfire) that she passed out before we were even settled in the tent. And although she cried out again, it was very brief. But to be fair, she screams like that at home, too.


sharnee said...

Wow, that's so beautiful!!! Lucky Penny! I'm glad to hear she was (pretty) well behaved and I have to agree that camp fires are pretty mesmerising! It must've looked like magic to her!

Momcat said...

I love Buckhorn Wash! Have you seen the dinosaur footprint? Looks like your weather was perfect! Your 3 tents look so cute all huddled together.

It's so astounding the number of things you have to assemble and carry with you to go anywhere with a baby- even for a very short period of time.

Before we became parents, I used to see parents coming into the church nursery with enough stuff to weigh down a well favored Sherpa - sometimes even the kiddie's own porta crib (heavier and more unhandy predecessor to the Pak n'Play) I used to think "Is it worth it to spend an hour in church sans kid?" Silly me. The answer , of course,is a resounding YOU BETCHA!!!