Monday, August 12, 2013


The first time A and I went camping together was four years ago for wedding. They rented an awesome group site on Mt. Lemmon and a great time was had by all. 
Our first camping trip, June 2009

Every year as it gets to be sweltering in the desert, we long to head up the mountain and camp. But camping alone isn't good enough, we want lots of company.  Every summer, we want to go back to THAT camp ground. They book up early, so you have to plan ahead which we just aren't good at doing.  This year, however, I did it!

This year's camping trip story actually starts a week earlier.  There wasn't anything going on at work, so I took 2 1/2 weeks of vacation (I really should have taken a longer maternity leave...). A few days in we went down to Madera Canyon to find the perfect spot for a 1-year-old photo shoot later in the week. We found a great little amphitheater and bridge and took some test shots of E and headed back home. 
She's so adorable, I can hardly stand it!
On the way back I sat in the back of our SUV with E to keep her entertained, but as we got back to Tucson she fell asleep. We got off the interstate, but were still on a road that had a fairly high speed limit that people usually ignore. All of a sudden, A says something that gets my attention (neither of us remember what) and slams on the breaks. I look up just in time to see the back of a gravel truck (a FULL-size gravel truck, mind you) slam into the front of our Honda. I immediately look to E, she rocks back and forth a little while we get pushed into the median, but stays asleep. 

By the time we realize what has happened, the semi-truck has driven away and we can't see the plates. There is also a cop car stopped in the right hand lane (the reason the truck changed lanes, although he changed one more than was necessary), but the cop drives away, too, evidently unaware of what happened in his blind spot. I look behind us (A can't since we no longer have a side mirror) and see that we are in the middle of a break in traffic, but cars are starting to come around the corner.  She carefully maneuvers down the rocky median and into the right hand lane.  The car still seems to be drivable, but we want to find somewhere to pull over, and there isn't an emergency shoulder here. I'm on the phone with police dispatch when we find somewhere to turn off, as we turn, we see the truck turning the other way and give them as many details as possible, but still can't see the license.

We pull over and do a quick inventory of the damage. The mirror is gone, and the door is scratched and dented, as is the front fender. The drivers side front tire shows a lot of damage from hitting the curb and rocks, but is still holding air. We are deciding what to do next (replace the tire, put on the spare, just go home) when dispatch calls me back.  Evidently they are looking for us instead of the truck, so we just stay put. 

The cop that comes was actually the one who was in the road.  They saw us on the median, but not that the truck hit us. We answer a bunch of questions and dispatch is able to find a company name on the truck, but no one answers the phone.  They give us the address (which turns out to be a residential address) and send us on our not-so-merry-way. 

This is part of the camping trip story because now we are left with one vehicle while the SUV gets repaired.  Our second vehicle is a MazdaSpeed3. This complicates things since we were going to be hard pressed to fit everything (mainly, the dog) in the SUV. Luckily my parents come to the rescue and offer to bring him up and back down for us. 

Its finally time for the big trip!  We only leave an hour later than we planned.  When we get up there, it is spinkling lightly, but the forecast has more rain, so we decided to quickly set up our tent.  It is a tent my aunt gave my parents, and none of us have ever used it and there are no instructions. Eventually we get it upright, although it seems like something is just not quite right.  We start setting up our air mattress and realize it is leaking. We hang a tarp over the leaking area and cross our fingers.

By then more people have arrived, and the camping trip really gets started. We had potluck meals planned for most of the lunches and dinners.  The campsite had a ramada with picnic tables and grills and a big fire pit. There was lots of good food, lazy mornings, nice hikes, and s'mores!  E did fantastic!  She slept better than she does at home and loved being outside all day.  

E tries to help her friend put on his jacket during their time in "Baby Jail"

A was sick of me rolling my eyes for pictures.

E and I roast marshmallows

A and E sleeping

mmmm.... tacos!

We're swinging in my hammock

nap time with her bunny-friend on the slowly deflating air mattress

In the forest with her forest book!

We decided up have baby races.  Parents of the year.

There was a deer with BIG ears!

Our last morning...
The last morning we wake up to lots of puddles.  Its been raining most of the night and we realized just how not-water-tight the tent is. Our bed is wet, our clothes are wet, the dog is wet. It is still drizzling and the rain doesn't show any signs of stopping. We meet with everyone in the ramada and formulate a game plan. My mom comes back up to entertain the babies while we tear down our damp camp.  We pack everything up and head back home to the heat.