Bringing Momma along with me and Bear Bait poses a unique set of concerns. She’s a self-described city girl and has certain minimal expectations on any outdoor excursion. Tent camping, early in the marriage when I was much more well-trained than I am these days, usually involved an astonishing array of portable conveniences. Wasn’t as much camping as it was temporary relocation of home. To go from the sparse extreme of minimalist backpacking to the cramming of creature comforts that is car camping is something of a shift.
But I have a plan.
I’m buying Bear Bait a new hammock, one with a mosquito netting. I’ll put Momma in the Clark jungle hammock and I’ll take the open-air hammock that Bear Bait usually sleeps in. That will keep both of them clean, dry, bug-free, and comfortable. No tents, no extension cords, no air mattresses, no fitted sheets. (She’s never slept in a hammock before, so that’ll be fun.) The last requirement for happy Momma camping is a flush toilet. That’s where I love the planning genius of my trail-brother, Kat.
We’re going to set up camp at an established (with toilets!) site mid-way through the float and leave a few folks who are uninterested in floating to just hang out there and play in the water. First morning we’ll drive down in two vehicles and set up camp. Wave goodbye to the folks holding down camp for us, then all load into one truck with the canoes on top and head upriver a ways. Spend the night. Drop the truck off the next morning. Float all day. Drive back to camp and spend the night. Stay most of the last day at camp, watching the boys fish, swim, and chunk rocks.
Don’t have to pack all the food and camp gear into the canoes, just lunch, some water, and us.
It is a toss-up who is more excited, me or Bear Bait. Just a couple of weeks to go. Oh, I hope the weather holds.