Well, I did it again. I took my boys on a campout without Chuck. Last year we ventured north 30 minutes. This time, we went as far as 80 minutes. Whoa. Like last year, my friend Shannon joined us. Thank goodness because I don't know how to build a fire. (Sure, I could guess but it would definitely be ugly and only take with small probability.)
This time we opted for Fort Frederick State Park. There's not too much hiking and the scenery isn't too dramatic, so I thought it perfect for a one-nighter. Plus, it's close. I checked the boys out of school a bit early (surprising them!) and we headed up. We were the only ones there until Shannon arrived and only one other RV'er showed up later. Lovely.
Upon arrival, we walked to the fort and checked it out. As it wasn't summer, nor a weekend, there were no "period actors" milling about. But that's okay. We went back to camp and hopped on bikes for a quick ride on the C&O Canal towpath. So yes, even though I cannot build a fire, I did learn how to use the bike rack. Baby steps, people! (We're hoping for a November trip to Shenandoah during which I will be instructed in fire building.)
Once Shannon and kin arrived, we just hung out at camp, eating and laughing and letting the kids do whatever they want because we were basically the sole inhabitants of the place. Oh, and thank goodness for Shannon's firebuilding skills because it got cold! We were fine sleeping, but man, it was in the 40s (I think). Brrr! That night, we slept okay, but Ollie woke me up at 5:15. I was not happy. At all. We got up and ate and went on another bike ride and called it good!
In the end, I'm glad I went. Yes, it's hard, but not because I was alone. It's hard because of the boys. I work hard to pull it all together, and what do they want to do? Sit in the tent. Sigh. I'll probably forget this and try again next year. (Oh man, those Jewish holidays are early next year! Blah. I like them much better when they're in October.)
Inside the fort.
Riding on the towpath.
The mom with her spawn.
P.S. If you're wondering how Chuck did, let me tell you: It was the best night of his life. (Well, maybe I exaggerate.) He got Chipotle for dinner, watched some baseball while texting a friend, went to friend's house to watch game together, late-night Pokemon hunting with friend, and then an alarm-free wake up. Perfect! (For him at least.) My night alone would have looked like: Thai food, pedicures with friends, Breaking Bad, alarm-free wake up, run. But I guess I'll have to remember that when it's Fathers and Sons Campout next spring.