And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down - Days 1 and 2 of our camping odyssey

Here we are all loaded up in the van, ready to head out to Allegany State Park in western New York state.  As you can see, it's pretty full.  Without M. along, we were able to pull-out the back bench giving us more room for all the stuff one needs when camping.  What you don't see is the car top carrier on the roof of the van also filled with stuff.  I'm not sure where we would have put M. and her belongings had she been along.

The trip to New York was uneventful.  We did it in two days, though it was only a 9 hour trip.  After our 13 hour a day marathon to Arizona, this seemed incredibly easy.  We only managed to listen to one recorded book, Love, Ruby Lavender.  (It was a good book, I recommend it.)  By splitting the trip up into two days, we arrived at the campsite in plenty of time to get things set-up and sorted out.

Here are the troops working on putting up one the three tents which our family used.  A. and P. slept with their cousin at her family's campsite, all four boys were in one tent, and J. and I were in another tent, squeezed in between two pack-n-plays which contained G. and L.

While the tents were being set-up, G. and L. had a little lunch in what one brother-in-law came to term the "port-a-prisons".  It became so muddy that it was just easier to contain the crawling babies in their seats.  They got a bit tired of them.

Our 'tent city' (at least half of it that is)

Up until this point, things were relatively calm.  We made dinner, toasted marshmallows for s'mores, and started to get children ready for bed.  And then the lightning started, and the thunder, and then it was as though someone turned on a faucet and the rain came pouring down... and down... and down.  Several of us huddled under the dining fly hoping it would let up.  When it didn't, we raced with the babies to the tent and I got them ready for bed.  They didn't much enjoy their drenching.  It was then I discovered that our tent leaked.  The rain fly was collecting water and it then dripped into the center of the tent.  Everything on the downward slope was fairly soggy.  J. borrowed an extra tarp and rigged another fly over the tent (in the rain) which helped the leaking.  Only one tent out of the six tents that were set-up stayed completely dry.  It was a soggy night.

To be continued...


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