Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Camping by Susan R. Hughes

Last fall, I spotted a six-person tent on sale for half price and had a brilliant idea: this summer, I would take my family camping – something I haven’t done since I was a teenager (a looong time ago).

In my enthusiasm, I neglected to consider that the five of us would also need sleeping bags and mattresses, as well as a shelter, cookware, dinnerware, a stove, etc. Fortunately, my parents never get rid of anything, and in their basement they still have most of the gear from our annual camping trips when I was a kid. Even their 40-year-old Coleman stove still works just fine. What a feeling of nostalgia to revive the avocado green plastic plates and bowls we used in the 1970s and 80s.

We planned a one-night excursion to Fitzroy Harbour Provincial Park on the Ottawa River, only about 45 minutes from home, where we could rough it in the outdoors and still have all the amenities I can’t live without (flush toilets, showers).

Turns out camping is a lot more work than I remember. Pitching the tent, rolling out the bedding, cooking, cleaning up, etc. And I used to be able to sleep a lot better in a tent. It doesn't help when the night owls at the next site stay up chatting and laughing until well after midnight. Luckily a rainstorm drove them into their tents in the wee hours. 

Another thing I learned – don’t leave your good leather purse by the door of a tent overnight during a rainstorm. Or maybe just don’t take your good leather purse camping in the first place.

And as for the tent going back into the bag it came in – never going to happen.

The important thing is that the kids had a blast. We roasted hot dogs and made s’mores. They insisted on taking a dip in the cold river and had to be dragged out, teeth chattering, at dusk. They got lost searching the campground for Sasquatch (I had a minor heart attack, but they were unfazed when we found them). We saw a deer in the woods and a pair of turtles in the creek (but no Sasquatch). 

Who knows, maybe next year we’ll venture farther and stay a couple of nights. The simple adventures are often the most fun and create the warmest memories.

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Susan R. Hughes writes contemporary and historical romance novels. Want to keep up with news from Sweet Romance Reads authors? Sign up for the SRR newsletter today. Like chatting about Sweet Romance? Join the authors of Sweet Romance Reads in our cyber Café!


  1. That sounds like fun. My son and his family like to camp.

  2. I remember camping fondly. Alas, Mr. Curtis does not.

  3. Good for you, Susan. Sounds like you made lots of great memories with the fam!