The Inaugural Camping Experience

We survived our first family camping trip.  And if you forget about the rain, the frightening gust of wind and collapsing tent, well then, you could even call it fun.

The kids definitely thought the trip was fun.  Dirt digging, crawdad hunting, hot dog eating, no bath taking fun.

We arrived at Wilson Lake with almost everything we needed for the weekend.  Except matches.  Thank goodness for friendly park rangers.

We then unloaded our gear and successfully put up our (massive, yet accommodating) eight-foot-tall-tent, and met up with Brent's cousin, Scott, and his son, Jack, for a trip around the lake on their boat.

While swimming in a cove, cloudy skies turned to rain.  Rain turned to wind.  We feared for our eight-foot-tall-tent.  We buzzed across the lake to see our campsite.  And a collapsed tent.  As the men climbed up to re-establish the tent, I could see towards the west huge swirls of dust blowing our direction.  Did I forget to mention that I was holding the boat in the water while four small children waited along the shore?

Now back to those swirls of dust.  That wind hit the water and what was happening before my eyes looked like something that should be happening in the middle of an ocean.  Not on a lake in the middle of Kansas.  That wind gust blew "spray" across the water and I watched the wind race toward us.

"Jack, hold onto Nell," I yelled as I braced the boat as if I could protect it from the nearby rocks.  The wind and spray lashed at us.  Tears and cries came from the four small children.  Two worried daddies raced down to the shore.

Well, that wasn't exactly something I had considered to be a part of our first camping experience.

Moving on.

Boat to the marina.  Set the tent up.  Again.  Cook burgers with Scott and Jack in the comfort of their cabin. 

Explore nearby ponds, caves and wildlife.


Watch the sun set on a beautiful, still evening on the lake.

 Patiently wait while Daddy starts a fire to cook Smores.

Get into the marshmallows while not-so-patiently waiting for Daddy to build a fire to cook Smores.

 Create a wonderful ending to a rough start of a camping trip.


About two hours later.  The wind came back.  Why am I not surprised?  Some really, really, really smart folks have built the largest wind farm in the state of Kansas just a couple miles south of Wilson Lake.  Guess they knew what they were doing.

The tent held up quite well.  I should know.  I listened to the wind beat against the tent all night long.  Waiting for the worst.  Around 4:00 am, the southwest support pole gave way.  Brent supported it with his feet while trying to sleep in Nell's pink sleeping bag.  (Hilarious.)  By 6:30 am, the entire southern half of the tent gave way, caving in on Brent, Tucker and Noah.

We got up.  Got dressed.  Fed the kids a hot dog and a bun for breakfast.  I'd like to meet the man who could have started a fire and cooked monkey bread and scrambled eggs for the kids in that wind.

One quick trip down to the water to hunt for sea shells, and the inaugural Goss Family Camping Experience came to an abrupt ending. 

Tired mommy + tired daddy = time to go home.

After a shower, a nap, and some time to reflect, I have decided there was just enough good to compensate for all the bad.  I'm not yet giving up on conquering nature and creating dirt digging, crawdad hunting, hot dog eating, no bath taking fun for my family.

Just as soon as we buy a camper...


Andrea Wilkins said…
Nothing says camping than having s’mores on an open campfire! It seems that you guys had quite an adventure, though that part about the sudden rains must’ve been scary at the time. Anyway, I hope you get to go out and do this every once in a while. I’m sure the kids would love that! Cheers!

Andrea Wilkins @ Getaway Outdoors

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