July 4, 2008: Test Camping

Dominica, Oreo and I got a little chance to sleep in this morning which is good as it was pretty late by the time that we managed to get to sleep last night.  We spent the morning and the beginning of the afternoon visiting with Dominica’s parents.  Her mother is flying to Houston early this afternoon, from Albany, so that she, Francesca and the kids can drive from Houston to Frankfort over the weekend.

Dominica at our Camp Site

We left Frankfort to head to dad’s house just after Dominica’s parents headed out to Albany.  It was probably just before three when we hit the road with the BMW loaded down with camping gear to test out this weekend.

We met dad at the Omega Grill for dinner around six but the grill was closed for the holiday so we went over to Denny’s instead where my cousin’s friend from high school (York) was working as the hostess.  The same friend that I once sat next to at a McDonald’s near Philly completely by coincidence.

After dinner we went back to dad’s house and got right to work setting up the camping equipment in the back yard.  This was the first time for either of us to really be putting up a tent so it was a bit of an experience but it went pretty smoothly.  No real hassles.  It took about twenty or twenty-five minutes to set it all up.

We had a lot of fun trying out all of the new gear like the ceiling fans and lighting systems.  The built in Coleman florescent lighting system in our tent is really impressive.  It works by remote control – which is great for finding your tent in the dark – and is a regular 15W bulb so it is really bright for such a small space.  You can work in the tent just like it was a house.

The tent is really well ventilated as well with the top and sides being almost completely wide open.  The only real disappointment is that the screened porch area does not have a “floor” so it can’t be used as a part of the main tent.  We were happy to discover that the tent has a handy electrical cord port to make powering the tent even easier since we have to have the CPAP in it.

Our next bits of camping gear will be “in tent” organizers to put our clothes and things on as well as an AC to DC “power system” so that the overhead light is powered via the AC rather than off of batteries.  That will make the packing smaller and lighter and cheaper too and let us use the light all that we want without feeling like we are wasting batteries.  We will likely also get a chargeable D battery system so that we can just charge batteries as they are needed in the tent rather than buying tons of expensive D batteries and throwing them away.  What a waste that can be.

We watched a little television with dad tonight before heading out to the yard to go to bed.  We didn’t want to be out there early at all because the yard is covered in Japanese beetles which are perfectly content to land on your head and to get all over the tent.  We got to see an episode of Eli Stone which dad has been telling us about for a while.  It is his favorite new show, I believe.

Around eleven, Dominica, Oreo and I went on out to the tent to try our first night of camping in our new tent.  This is Dominica’s first ever night sleeping in a tent and my first time since June, 1994 when Eric and I went camping in Pennsylvania.

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