Our small little tent

On August 11th 2007, la familia went for our first camping trip in the US – or ever (sans the old folks, of course). It was a trip I’d looked forward to, even more than the one to Portland even though the camp site was just a ten-minute drive from our house. However, Lokes had dreaded it the moment I’d announced Rae’s old preschool’s plans to organise one every year as a reunion. He’s not so much the camping type, but I’d finally convinced him with “there’s a Starbucks just two minutes away!”

The Tolt Macdonald park is a pretty standard but nonetheless popular campsite with a river running through it, hiking and mountain-biking trails, and even a suspension bridge (which you will see much of in my Flickr pics). All seven of us preschool families camped together, spent the two days walking the trails, crossing and re-crossing the bridge 27,000 times, made fires and even foraged for berries. The camping gods might have blessed us with sweet manna and wild game had we not all parked our SUVs and minivans right on our camp sites; SUVs and minivans stuffed with iceboxes that hid cold beer, wine, steaks and sausages. Pillows, loveys, gas stoves. Magic of the Rainbow Barbies. GPS systems, mobile phones and a PSP.

My American friends tell me it’s ok, these excesses. “Car camping is an American tradition!”, they chorused, trying to assuage the fears of a Malaysian family 12,000 miles away from home – or at least an hour’s drive from bright city lights and structures made of concrete.

As we sat huddled over our pathetic little fire in the dark, cooking hot dogs because we had nothing else to do, I dared to ask.

“So…what do you think?”

My dear semi-roasted husband looked at me, his face glowing from the embers.

“It’s not as bad as I thought.”

There is hope yet for all mankind.