Our last full day of camping was a rainy one, the kind where you just know you won’t be seeing the sun and nothing ever quite gets dry. After two absolutely glorious and warm sunny days, though, we were able to except the exceptional dreariness and found ways to entertain ourselves.
Our little ones turned into puddle ducks pretty quick. Knowing the weather held the potential to turn on us as I packed for the long weekend, I made sure to include wellies, E.’s raincoat and rain pants, and M.’s Tuffo Muddy Buddy suit (all found for a song on Amazon, by the way, and fantastic investments). Thank goodness I had packed them, otherwise I would have had two fairly miserable children. That said, I don’t even own a raincoat, and if there is one thing I learned from our trip it’s that I need one, and stat.
One of the things we enjoy most about camping in the area we do is the other worldliness of it. Part of that comes from the fact that after driving through all that wilderness you very suddenly happen upon a farm. In the middle of nowhere. After twenty miles of dirt road the spires of huge windmills appear and an old farm, complete with several outbuildings and a lovely, if slightly shabby, farmhouse. It’s called Pittston Farm.
We usually don’t stop at Pittston until our last day of camping, indulging in breakfast cooked by someone else and the free hot showers (heaven), but as the menfolk didn’t feel like cooking breakfast in the rain, we went a day early. The kids were enchanted and intrigued by the living and taxidermied animals, including a live puppy and a black bear which the children insisted was alive, though appearing otherwise.
The scenery surrounding the farm is lovely and always lush. In years previous we’ve walked up to a distant barn to see cows and pigs, but with the overwhelming dampness of the day, we kept close to the farmhouse and the nearby museum that holds a plethora of old farm gear.
After spending part of the day hanging around the farm, we drove around a bit, made our way back to camp, and everyone but myself and M. went off to kayak on Canada Falls Lake and check out the dead moose again.
While the other children were gone, M. and I spent some quiet time in the camper, reading, playing with little bugs he was given by Poppi and Mammy (my father-in-law and his wife) and a Dollar Tree lizard. It was quite entertaining to watch the drama between the three creatures unfold.
Once everyone returned to camp, by some magic a fire was started, despite the damp, and the kids each found sticks, which led to far more entertainment than I could have imagined. They poked at the fire, were encouraged to not polk at each other. They road the sticks like witches’ brooms and horses. They fought each other with swords and lightsabers. I was quickly reminded of why the stick is one of the oldest and most diverse toys in the history of play.
J. is well practiced in the ways of fishing, my father-in-law being an avid fisher. My husband, though enjoys fishing, rarely finds the time, and so E. and M.’s skills in casting a line were fairly deficient, at least until this weekend. Between the steady instruction of their Poppi and Daddy, and much, much practice, both found themselves able to cast quite well, especially M., who was desperate to match the much admired J. in his skill. Once M. really got the hang of casting, many fish, a couple real and many imagined (or J.), were caught and generously given (mostly to me).
The following morning we left bright at early, after, of course, E. and I got hot showers at Pittston Farm. We took the day to make our way home, driving through the Moosehead Lake region, an area I have never been to before. While we left for our trip a week ago and have been home for a few days, there is still a freshness to the family, a lingering joy. Yes, we’re tired. Yes, we’ve had moments of being a bit out of sorts as we’ve adjusted to old schedules, but underneath all that is a core of strength in family and soulfulness that we just don’t always have.
As if I needed one more reminder of the power of bringing our family together in nature.
Due to the ridiculous number of days we were gone and the crazy number of pictures I took, I’m dividing the recounting of this trip into a few posts. This is the fourth and final installment. Here are parts I, II, and III. Thank you for reading along!