Papa took BroBear and BooBoo to the camp store to pick out Audubon plush birds (they make bird calls appropriate to the species when you squeeze them). T-Bear had picked out one the day before, and I guess that meant all of us had to have one. It was decided (I’m not sure by whom) that the bird best suited to me was the Loon. No comment necessary. Really. The guys also picked up some local patches and a sticker which BroBear affixed to Popper.
After breakfast we cleaned up and broke camp. Papa and I working together (with his bum hand) managed to have us completely packed up and ready to pull out within about 2 hours. Not bad. During pack-up the kids pretty much ran around and played, and BroBear (again) helped out by watching Baby Man (he earned $10 for services rendered during the trip). BooBoo kept our heart rates elevated by racing a scooter down the hill at break-neck speeds.
Once home, it only took about 30 minutes for us to unload Popper, clean her up (including the fridge), and closer her up.
Lessons from Day Four:
- If you bruise easily (as I do), you will be covered in bruises after camping.
- If you have a weak lower back, you will need a back brace. Bending, stooping, lifting, etc. takes its toll pretty quickly.
- Have a permanent kitchen table set up near the stove with all your cooking stuff set out. Getting it in and out of the camper, especially if it’s stowed, is a pain. Same as above.
- Keep the pantry in the back of the truck in plastic bins, not stowed in the camper. Same as above.
- Dish soap can get weird when its cold.
- Don’t take a guitar camping (BroBear’s idea). It’s a pain to keep it protected from the elements, and find a permanent space to keep it protected in general.
- The little hook thingies on the roof of the camper are great for hanging the bathroom bag on. It only took me three days to figure that out, standing there thinking “I wonder what those hooks are for?” at the same time I’m holding the bathroom bag thinking “Where the hell can I put this thing so it’s accessible and out of the way?”
- No matter how much laundry you do in preparation for camping, there’s always much, much more to do when you get back. Even if you only allow minimal clothing for each family member. And Sol-U-Mel works great to get the smoke smell out of everyone’s clothing.
- Camping poops out dogs. This is a good thing, especially if you have a spastic ADHD dog like we do. (There’s a reason why Jenny’s nickname is Dory Dork-Fish Dog).
So, that was the Maiden Voyage of Popper. Everyone had a ball, and we're rarin’ to go again soon. You can check out Kit’s blog for a far more eloquent and lovely wrap-up of events. Be sure to check out the tent video…it’s priceless!