Packing took a lot longer than Tom wanted (hey, I had to run 10 miles that morning, so I got a late start and then was moving a little slower than normal) so we got on the road later. Which meant that we arrived to the campsite later. Like after dark. Exactly what Tom was trying to avoid.
The campsite was just a few miles from Natural Bridge, Virginia, about two and a half hours away. It was a group campsite. But, only one group could reserve it. And that group was us. Which was awesome because we didn't have to worry about the kids bothering other people or being too loud, etc. It was perfect.
But, getting there in the pure darkness was a little unsettling. First of all, I'm a total chicken. And I will admit that I've probably watched a little too much true crime TV. Anyway, we arrive at this campsite at the end of a long and windy - and scary - road. You have to pull off the road onto a gravel road, open the gate, and drive a little more till it ends. It was super creepy. And it was cold. And really dark.
So, when we all got there (we were following each other), I stayed in the truck with the kids and the dog, while Tom got out and figured out what he wanted us to do. But, the kids (including the dog) weren't having any of that and fussed like crazy to be let out. So, I gave in and let them out. In the meantime the guys had flashlights and were trying to figure out where to set up camp.
No lie, like four minutes passed - FOUR MINUTES - when I heard Cooper cry. I knew instantly that it wasn't just a whiny cry - it was a hurt cry. Really? Tom picked him up and looked him over with the flashlight. Cooper had cut his face on the metal gate/sign that was at the end of the gravel drive.
We inspect the damage and it's very clear that the cut needs stitches. I packed a first aid kit and just happened to put in some butterfly closures, so we tried those to see if they would do the job. At least till morning. They didn't work. It was too close to his mouth, which was moving (non-stop, as always) and his nose was running, so that didn't help, either.
But, there was really no way to get him to the hospital that night. All three guys were needed to set up the tents and start the fire, etc. It was cold and it was late. The only real solution would have been for me to take Cooper. But, there was no cell phone service there. So, if I got lost (which would surely happen) we would be up a creek. Plus, that would completely change our adult to kid ratio (plus a puppy). The bottom line was that it wasn't life-threatening. We stopped the bleeding. And a little tiny scar doesn't bother me. My only concern was infection - but he's had all his shots, so I didn't think there was much we could do in that area. So, we decided to just wait till morning to deal with it. I actually feel sorry for my boys. I'm a much different mom after all we've been through with Harlie.
So, we survive the night. Although I slept very little. A pack of wild, barking dogs on our way to kill us all, woke us up. Funny how your mind plays tricks on you when you can't see more than 20 feet away. And it was like 30-some freaking degrees that night. It was COLD! And when I packed, I packed all the kids' warm clothes, but somehow forgot most of mine. Typical.
At any rate, morning (or daylight, rather) couldn't come fast enough for me. I woke up with matted hair at the back of my neck from all my looking to my right, looking to my left, thinking, "What's that?" and "What was that?!" ACK!
The campsite was a lot less scary in the daylight. In fact, it was really, really nice. After breakfast, we cleaned Cooper's face and we decided Tom had to take him to a hospital for stitches. I might have been comfortable waiting the night, but I wasn't comfortable waiting another whole day or two. So, Tom, Neal and Cooper drove towards civilization till they got cell phone service and then found the nearest ER.
When there, the doc said he needed three stitches. Tom asked him if he could use Dermabond instead. The doc said, "I could have if I had seen him within eight hours of the accident." Ouch!
Tom said Cooper did great, all things considered. Here's a picture after they got back. Oh, and it was taken with my dying iPhone because... take a guess... we forgot the freaking camera!!!
After they got back to the campsite with Cooper, we said, "tag, you're it - you've got the kids." And Tom said, "Christy, I just spent three hours in the hospital with Cooper, you have NO idea what that's like!" And yes, he was joking. But we all thought it was hysterical.
Harlie did really well. We barely had to use the suction machine. We tried to go on a little hike down the creek - but it was very rocky and hard for her to walk. And there was no way I could carry her safely. So Heather took the rest of the kids and I hung out with Harlie. Here's a picture Heather took with her phone (turns out all of us forgot our cameras!)...
Seriously, how freaking cute is my dog?!?!? Rooney is the cutest thing EVER! And he was such a good pup at the campsite. He always stayed with us and loved running in the leaves with the kids. It was so much fun to have him with us. And he fit very nicely in our sleeping bag, too. He's very cuddly.
After a full day at the camp, the second night was a lot easier than the first. We were able to get all layered up for the night early, so we were prepared before bedtime. Plus, it wasn't as scary. Although, somehow, I woke up with matted hair - again. It was also not as cold the second night.
The guys did great with all the food preparations so we ate well. And of course we roasted marshmallows, and all that good stuff. Here are some cell phone pics...
|Our camp. We decided that next time we'll spread out a lot more.|
|Because look at all this space!!!|
|Somebody's loving life...|
|Harlie, Murphy, Mallory, Griffin, Cooper and Kaden|
We will definitely go back. We really had a lot of fun.