On Sunday, my husband and I took the kids "pud camping" at Gooniebeaker Lake. We call this "pud camping" because my eldest son does not consider camping at a designated camping spot "real camping". To him, you must hike miles away from civilization and survive with what you can carry. To me this is quite creepy but I may be attempting it with my family in the near future... I will keep you posted.
Anyway, we went "pud camping". The whole family piled into our Suburban and pulled behind a short trailer carrying my kayak and an old, dilapidated canoe, which we found some years ago on the side of the road. When we arrived at Lake Gooniebeaker, I barrelled out of the car. With child like enthusiasm, I tore out in my kayak onto the lake leaving my children behind to set up camp. I had put pig tails in my hair that morning. Whenever I wear pigtails, I lose about 30 years and gain the mentality of a child. After exploring the entire lake, my curiosity satisfied, I returned to find our campsite set up. I diligently watched for the "Gooniebeaker Guardian Lady". She has taken it upon herself to be a defender of Gooniebeaker birds every where. One can be innocently out enjoying the afternoon and the Goonierbeaker Guardian Lady will appear out of no where. In my imagination, she arises out of the swamp. She teaches children to help protect her beloved water fowl. Rumor has it, she may have axed a community owned boat because she didn't want fisherman getting too close to their nesting grounds. This rumor is highly controversial and most likely untrue. At any rate, the Gooniebeaker Guardian Lady did not show up. Possibly because she is a figment of the blog authors imagination. I tried to confirm her existence, however the highly imaginative woman (this blogs author that is) refused to be interviewed for a comment.
My husband mostly enjoyed sitting in his folding chair, feet up, reading a magazine. He did go on some walks with me, manned the fire pit, and did some other special things. My favorite memory, though, is when he read us Patrick McManus stories at night around the campfire. My eldest son, "The Archer", hiked up a near by mountain and came face to face with a bull elk. He also fished with his Dad and brother. My Daughter, "The Closet Boss", spent the majority of her time reading. In between my adventures, she was found each time in a statue like position, book in hand. She is re-reading (or quite possibly re-re-reading) the "left behind series". My Son, "Art Dog", maintained his normal care free state. He romped around in the swampy bog, raced with his brother, borrowed the kayak a few times and spent a little time fishing. Most of the time he could be seen with a far away, happy go lucky expression soaked and muddy. My daughter, Moonbeam, made it her desperate goal to frolic in and eat dirt. She fussed and fussed and squirmed to get down until I could stand it no more. I had to let her play in it (just a little) despite my utter disgust. The children didn't like this one bit and lectured me thoroughly, though none of them wanted to fight her to keep her off the ground.
My son, Catman, enjoyed many adventures. We took the old, dilapidated canoe out to a hidden waterfall at the back side of the lake. We explored an uprooted tree that made a cave like root structure. He told me "I will remember this experience even when I'm 80". On another excursion with Art Dog paddling along in my Kayak, we also visited a beaver house and serenaded them with a Pillar song. We picked fluffy, seeding cat tails and he got fluff every where! We also visited a spooky, floating, weedy bog island and stood on it. At one of our stops, I told him he could push us off in the canoe. This pleased him immensely. He informed me that doing this task was a great "life experience". It amazes me that giving my 6 year old a responsibility as simple as pushing off a canoe could bring him such joy. On our paddling excursion I called the boys "men" and narrated the trip as if we were Lewis and Clark type explorers. He spent nearly the entire camping experience wet, muddy, filthy and having the time of his life.
All in all, it was a great outing for us all. We were all sad to see it come to an end so fast. There is talk about a "real camping trip" to which I entertain quite mixed emotions and quite possibly a little fear. My biggest trouble on this trip was the desire to scarf down multiple campfire hot dogs and umteen s'mores.