Friday, September 23, 2011

First Camping Trip

Bailey and I go exploring a lot together but I did not think much about bringing him along camping until it was brought up with a friend I met at a dog park. I, myself had not been camping in the past couple of years and did not frequently go even when I did not have a dog. But, Bailey having met such a great friend (Callie) at the dog park, we knew camping together would be fun. Bailey also went with his other BFF Catch, the aussie. Catch brought along his older sister, Summer, and between three of us and four dogs, it was a blast.

We went to a place locally here in CA, only about 2 hours from the SF area. Right by a lake. The temperature everyday was perfect. high 80s with a nice breeze. Not very humid at all. The difference in temperature in the water vs out of the water was hard to believe. We also couldn;t have timed it any more perfect, the campground was dead! I mean, we had the whole section to ourselves (since all the kiddos are back in school, the only folks we saw there were day use people, and they werent permitted in our area)... sO! we had the showers and bathrooms all to ourselves, and the dogs had the entire place to run and explore. The rangers were super nice too. The bugs although plenty, were mostly harmless, and just more annoying. For the 4 days and three nights we were there, the days consisted of eating, swimming, then more eating, then swimming, and then more eating. :) It was such a nice relaxing time! Bailey was a tropper but he did try to eat leftovers out of the nearby grills and got a bit of a tummy ache the last day we were there but he has since recovered.

Other than eating, which we know all the dogs loved (BBQ salmon, steaks and chicken), swimming was too exiting. Bailey LOVES swimming. He loves to retrieve in the water. So does Callie. Catch is more observant but will go out and fetch sometimes too. Summer, however, does not fetch, but she took some swimming classes and by the time we left, she had passed her swimming test. It was too cute.

Bailey, with his shorter legs, is a slower swimmer than his longer legged friends, but boy would you see his little legs propelling trying to beat those other dogs! And when any of them got to the ball before him, he would actually GRUNT and the sight of getting beat. Poor guy. One time, he even fetched a floating leaf back because he did not want to come back empty handed.

Other than swimming, another highlight of camping was teaching Catch how fun it is to roll in the dirt. Bailey loves doing this at the beach (see header above!), and well, he has learned that dirt is even more fun! Catch's mom didn't quite approve of this new habit, but it was vacation! We all , for hte most part, let the dogs do whatever they wanted!

Here are some pictures and some stories behind them:

Bailey here is eyeing the ball out in the water, getting ready to retrieve it!

Bailey in a lifevest (because his mom was a worry wart, but we eventually figured out he was a strong and good swimmer so took it off). We put the surfboard we received in the Kelly and Gibson's secret santa event last year to great use. Thanks Lilu! It was a huge hit. Everyone loved the surfboard!

Here's Summer beginning her swimming lessons. Just getting her legs wet for now. She eventually learns how to swim and went out willingly on her own! We were so proud!

Here is Bailey and Callie relaxing by the campfire. I think tihs was night two. They were so pooped, bailey even slept in the camping chair and started snoring.... :)

the view from our campsite. All the day use folks on the other side left Sunday night, and we had the site all to ourselves!

All four dogs taking a dip on the first day. Little did they know they'd spend hours each day for the next 3 days in this lovely cool water. :)

Bailey tethered to the Baker's tent (Catch and Summer & fam) becuase he could not stop helping himself to yums that were leftover from neighboring campsites..

fun times in the water. In this shot, Bailey must've managed to outswim and snatch that ball!

look at how proud Bailey is! Callie is just looking for the next ball to be thrown, and Catch looks like he is thinking about rolling in the dirt and is trying to get back to shore ASAP!

the sunset. a.k.a. bug time. but we enjoyed some beauty before the lanterns were turned on and the bugs arrived. for the most part, we cooked before sunset to avoid the bugs in our food, and we did campfires, of course, after sunset so the smoke would keep most of them away. worked like a charm!

we roasted marshmallows for smores and enjoyed being pyromaniacs. Well, I certainly enjoyed the fire. Found some sticks and tended the fire and even performed some light shows (waving a hot stick with a orange tip in the air in circles really fast). it was a hit. Also, we enjoyed stargazing and found the big dipper!  

Bailey and I by the fire

Bailey giving Callie some kisses before I decided to take a snip and he of course stopped so there would be no evidence on camera

sleeping in his camping chair. (note: I will be purchasing a larger chair for my long dog)

Bailey and Callie trying to ruin Amy's first smores experience. Amy has been camping for many many many years and had never had a smore! She manged to fend off the hungry furkids and enjoyed her smore.

Well! We had a blast and by the morning of the 4th day, the dogs were completely worn out. Bailey slept in the car the entire way back and a bath was immediately due. The tub was lime green, and of course sandy, but bailey was too tired to resist. Home at last though, what a fun vacation. We can't wait till next year.

But, before we leave this post, Bailey wanted to share his top 10 memories from camping:

1. Being able to go with his best doggie friends and fun humans
2. being able to swim everyday for endless hours; being able to enter the water anytime during the day
3. rolling in the dirt and not immediately being hauled out for a bath
4. delicious new foods like banana pancakes in the morning
5. being able to be off leash and having a  potty area the size of a football field
6. sleeping in every morning and staying up late each night
7. showing off my fetching skills and life jacket and fun toys
8. fishing out munchies from neighboring campgrounds
9. riding in the front seat of mommies car to and from camping; crate was left at home!
10. sharing the experience with mom (well of course!)


Jenny said...

Looks like ya'll had an AWESOME time! I'm totally jealous! Thanks for sharing.

Ivy@PaperElixir said...

OMG, what a blast! Swimming, rolling in dirt, stealing food... what else can a corgi ask for in a vacation? :) I just love all the photos, especially the ones of them snoozing under the stars... Isn't this what life with a dog is all about? ;)

And where is this, by the way? Maybe we'll take Eva and Bryson there some day.