Katie here. What? You thought mama likes camping in the rain? I guess she’s not opposed, as long as it’s a nice gentle rain that stops by morning and then the sun comes up and dries everything out before we have to pack it into the car. That kind of rain.
But of course that’s not what happened.
I’m getting ahead of myself though, let me start at the beginning. Last Monday we drove all the way over to Leelanau State Park; it’s way up at the tip of the little finger of Michigan, just north of Northport, one of mama’s favorite towns.
We went there so that we could visit a bunch of people, some of whom had never met me! The first person we hung out with was Karen, a friend of mama’s from years ago. They used to work together in the Upper Peninsula in the 80s. We had dinner at her house and mama and I ran up and down the 46 stairs to the beach a bunch of times while mama took pictures of the sunset that night.
Mama has figured out that I’m not exactly telling the truth when I say I don’t do stairs. I ran down those 46 stairs no problem each time. And the first time back I forgot, and ran up halfway before I asked to be picked up! Bummer! Mama’s on to me now!
That night her friend came up and camped with us at our site. It was fun to have her hanging out with mama, though I have to admit I went to bed as soon as we got back to camp while mama and her friend drank wine and talked.
The next day mama and I went into town and visited Dog Ears Books in Northport. I didn’t get to meet the resident dog Sarah, because she wasn’t in that day, but I got to meet Sarah’s person Pamela, and I got to wander all over the store with my mama as she picked out a few books.
We visited the marina too. I enjoy walking out on the docks and looking at all the beautiful boats. I imagine what it would be like out on the big lake on a sunny afternoon.
It would be perfect as long as my mama remembered to bring the treats. Which she forgot a lot on our walks during this camping trip. Just saying.
Back at our campsite mama noticed a big beautiful cloud out over the lake. This park doesn’t have a beach, just a lot of bushes that grow in the water. So mama hiked out through those bushes and into the water to get a picture of the beautiful cloud and some sailboats.
She figured her feet would get wet, but that was OK. When she finally came back to camp I had to say “I told you so mama!” because of course she got more wet than she expected. Mama never pays attention when she’s trying to get a good picture. Silly silly mama.
She changed her shoes and her shorts and spent the rest of the day moving the wet things around the campsite, following the shifting sun. When we went to bed they were still pretty damp.
That night the whole campground was full! Most every single site had one or more tents in it. We had lots of crazy screaming little kids on one side of us and a whole big group of teenagers on the other side. It was a lot more noisy than before. But I was tired from all our exploring so I went right to sleep.
Mama had hoped she could try some star photography, so she set her alarm for 1:00 a.m. so she could go out and check the sky. Of course she got me up then too, to go do my jobs. She thought that by doing that I might let her sleep later than 6 a.m. It’s always good to have hope.
So at 1:00 we were outside, mama checking the sky, me checking for pee-mail. She said the sky wasn’t good for star shooting; to the west it was totally dark and there were clouds and stars just above us. Out over Lake Michigan it looked dark…like fog. Or something.
We walked about three campsites down the road so I could pee, and then mama felt weird being out there alone so late, and she tugged me back to our site. I didn’t want to go back into the tent but she insisted. And as she turned around inside to zip the door shut she noticed that the young tree on the other side of the road suddenly bent over in strong wind! That seemed odd because it hadn’t been windy when we were out there. And it wasn’t windy where our tent was only a few feet away.
So she watched. The tree whipped around, over and over, the waves began to crash, but the wind was louder than the waves. Mom was worried. Then the rain hit.
It came down in sheets, hard against the tent. Mama hoped the weight of us inside would hold the tent down. She worried about what she might have left outside. Like her shoes. And the tent bag. And who knows what else. I slept through the whole thing.
It rained hard from 1:10 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. Mama stayed awake through most of it worrying. But at 6:00 it seemed to stop, and she had to go to the bathroom (I guess listening to all that water will do it to some people!) so she woke me up and we crept outside. Things seemed to be OK. Her shoes were soaked, but other than that we were good. So we headed to the toilet. We were halfway there when the rains came back. Mama debated what to do. Go back to the tent? Or keep going? She decided what the heck…we were going to get wet either way, so we kept going. By the time we got to the toilet it was just pouring. We got soaked!
Back at our site she gave up trying to keep anything inside dry, we just dove back into the tent. I was a mess. Mama was a mess. She dried me off with our last dry towel. Turns out I thought that was fun, almost like a game, so I made mama laugh even though she was dripping wet too. We went back to sleep. Well. I went back to sleep. Mama lay there worrying about how she was going to pack up the campsite in this pouring rain. She had to be out by 11:00 a.m.
Then guess what? The rain stopped at 8 a.m.! Really! It just stopped! Mama had already decided that she was going to pack up at 8, regardless. So she got up and got moving fast. I got put in my crate just to keep me from tracking more mud into the tent. I was not happy.
I am never happy when she packs up our tent. It’s my tent and I want to stay longer! Even if everything is soaked! It’s not fair that she put my in my crate in the car where I couldn’t see anything. But she says it’s just faster without me running around after her barking and getting under her feet.
I guess she’s right, because she got everything packed in an hour. We stopped on our way out to toss the garbage in the bin. It was about 9:10 when she popped out of the car to toss the garbage. The rain began again in earnest at 9:11. I swear, we were soooo lucky to get it all packed up in that one hour.
Through the rain we drove south around Traverse Bay, and then north along the other side. We were going to visit Gerry up near Eastport. I met Gerry a couple of years ago, along with her dogs the Cowboy and Miss Sadie. She lives near the water too and has a lot of stairs up to her house.
Once again I had no trouble going down the steps but I made my mama carry me up every.single.time. After all, I am a princess.
Once inside her house I noticed immediately that there was a sofa! And I spent most of the evening napping on it, or Gerry’s chair. And mama and I got to sleep in a real bed! Gerry was very nice to offer us her spare room, especially since everything we had was wet!
I had a great time at Gerry’s house. We went for walks through the woods and we visited her neighbor and I got to nap while they were talking. I napped a lot on this trip. I think that’s one of the best parts about camping, all the naps.
The next day we went for one more walk and then it was time to head home. I don’t know about mama, but I was exhausted!
We stopped at my favorite park in Greyling, and a couple of rest stops, but most of the way home I was asleep. Don’t tell mama, she thinks I’m vigilant all the time.
It took mama two days to get everything totally dried out once we were home. I’m already asking her when we’re going again, but she says she’s tired. She slept a lot yesterday. Even more than me! I suppose I should let her rest for at least a couple more days before I bug her about our next adventure. Maybe we could stay in a hotel. I have to admit I did like sleeping on the bed that last night. We’ll see. I can always count on my mama to come up with something fun.
She says she has lots of pretty photos to show you and she’ll do that sometime if I ever finish this blog which she says has gotten way too long. Obviously she forgets I’m the princess of the house.
My mama. Secretly I think she likes camping a lot too.
Even when it rains.