We planned a weekend at Cane Creek Canyon but Matt's flight was cancelled coming from Detroit Thursday, so it threw off our weekend. I was not sure what kind of mood he would be in when he finally got home Friday, but he was excited to go ahead, so we got in from the airport about noon, packed and loaded the van and were on the way to the canyon by 2. The Lacefield's had gotten our e-mail on Monday asking to camp this weekend and in turn asked us to keep an eye on the hikers Saturday because they had to be away for the day. This just meant instead of backpacking down to our usual site in the canyon, we simply drove to the small point just up the little hill from the parking area and unloaded and drove back down to park. We have not car camped since we got Poppy, I had forgotten how much fun it can be.

We set up camp in no time at all, it seems to go faster every time. I don't think it's that we are so much better at it, I think I just bring progressively less stuff. Matt and I shared a 3-man and Ben and Chandler took the other 3-man, Jake opted to sleep in the hammock again. We have bigger tents, but they are in the attic so we just grabbed our usual backpacking gear. The only exception to what we would have packed in was the addition of a double sized air mattress for us, which meant Ben and Chan got doubled-up camping pads and were very comfy, too.

A new addition to our gear is something I really never thought I would like so much. Back about 3-4 months ago, Woot had 'Dreamies' on sale at $2.99 for a 2-pack. We don't have TV, so I have not seen any infomercials about them, and if you are in the same boat, they are basically a king sized sheet folded in half and sewn across the bottom and about halfway up one side with a slot for a pillow. I bought 6 total, thinking they may come in handy for camping in Poppy and if we did not use them, they would be good to donate to a homeless shelter or had the material to use for something else. We took them to use as sleeping bag liners, they are a satin material and roll down very small and weigh less than half a pound each. We ended up sleeping on top of our bags and under just the dreamies, and it was 60 overnight. We were amazed how warm they kept us! I will be buying more when they show up again, I don't think the material will last many camping seasons, it's too silky.

For food, we brought hot dogs and s'mores for dinner and ate oatmeal and honey for breakfast and had English muffins with tuna for lunch and loads of protein bars, jerky and trail mix for snacks. We brought 2 gallons of water and Jim had set us up with a 5 gallon jug at the campsite. He also laid in a good supply of firewood and left us an axe. I can't begin to say how nice these people are, Jim and Faye. We are always blown away with how above and beyond they manage to go to ensure you have a good time enjoying their hard work and stewardship. I was thrilled to be able to 'pay back' in any way at all and honored they would entrust watching over the preserve to us, even for a day.

After we set up, we headed out to the point to watch the sun set. That did not go as planned because as the sun lowered, more mosquitoes came to sample the goods! We headed back to camp, deciding to get the fire going while there was still some light in the sky. Matt is very old-school fire building. He does the little pyramid of shavings and fans it and adds more tiny pieces of wood and gets that going and so on until he's burning logs. We camp with a friend who just soaks the wood in lighter fluid and has insta-fire, I am more in between. I am all about using fire starters when it's just me and the kids, I make a teepee with a few logs, wedge a fire starter in there under some kindling and stand back, heaping on smaller stuff now and then to get it good and hot so we can have coals later. It takes 3-4 minutes.

We had our hot dogs, mine was very ashy, and then toasted marshmallows. Matt caved and made a s'more for the first time I can remember. What I want is a chocolate and marshmallow mix, no cracker. We talked about putting chocolate covered almonds in the marshmallows and toasting it that way.

My new trail mix!
Granola, blueberry, cranberry, spice drops, MnM's, candy corn, chocolate pieces, Nerds and banana chips

Malcolm suffers a minor injury and becomes very skeptical


Ben and Chan have taken over most of setting up camp for themselves.


Jake sets up the hammock, all I have to do these days is get my own sleeping quarters arranged and get the kitchen set up.


Matt, Ben, Nim and Malcolm all enjoy the view from the waterfall

The Overlook. I can't wait to see this in another month!


Chan, singing a very long and complicated song about a trucker.

 


They packed indepenently of one another. And I have about 30 different hats, they both picked the same pattern.

 

On Saturday morning, I got up early and went to watch the sun rise over the pond. In the night, another camper had joined us and she was very nice, her dog was well-behaved, too. She kept to herself after saying hello and they went off hiking and then packed up to leave about 2. After the sun was up a ways, I walked the short loop around to the waterfall and back up to the camp and we started our day. I made breakfast with the backpacking stove and we got organized for the day. We all sat down at the house for about an hour not doing much, helping get a couple people situated and on the trail. Then I drove Jake to Evan's house, which was an ordeal. It all worked out and we ended up parking at the road and walking to his house and he drove us back out to the van. Their driveway is terrifying.

With Jake situated, Chandler and I headed back to relieve Matt and Ben and they headed out to hike a while. We got a few more people oriented, but there was not much traffic all day. Chan and I read and talked and read some more. We played with the cats and wandered around and looked at their gardens and climbed up the spiral staircase and looked out the windows in the tower. But mostly, we sat and looked out at the fields and trees and did nothing much at all. Matt and Ben got back after a couple hours and we tried flying kites and then went back to the campsite and had lunch and went back to the house and sat in the shade and just hung out. Around 5, the last 2 hikers came out of the canyon, so we packed up and headed home. We wanted to stay another night but needed to get some things done on the house today. It was a good compromise for the weekend, plenty of relaxing and not being on computers or feeling like we needed to do this or that and then back home, lots of energy to get a few things off our list.


Michelle's driveway looking back out toward the road. This isn't even the worst of it. Eep!


I wore a skirt and long johns all day. : )

Back at camp, it took less than an hour to pack and load everything! I think we may have camping down to a science...at this rate, I am much more willing to head out for an overnight instead of insisting we stay 2 days. That will open up much more camping opportunities for us. I hope many of them will be at Cane Creek Canyon!