Saturday, August 25, 2012

Camp Unalayee Part II

Fresh Mountain Spring Water to Cool your Beer














More pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/85544129@N00/sets/72157631246430714/

I didn't know anyone who had been to Camp Unalayee. I signed up because another mom invited me. She had been on our same plane to France last year. I figured that we must have something in common and maybe we'd spend every summer doing somewhat the same thing for the rest of our lives. I worked to keep our schedule unscheduled this summer and by giving the gift of nothing, I said yes to family camp!

To those without kids, going someplace where you could easily just bail out after a day is no big deal. But with kids, going someplace where I'm not sure if I should pack toilet paper, is a huge adventure. I couldn't really get a grasp of what exactly it was by reading the web site. The office administrator in Santa Cruz had never been to camp and everyone who knew anything about camp was at camp with no cell phone access, electricity, or plumbing.

I figured when I paid my money, they would send me some sort of welcome packet with everything that I needed to know. And they did, except it said that I could bring alcoholic beverages but there was no refrigerator. How does that work? Is everyone drinking from flasks? And that there was no hot water for showers but there was a solar shower. Should I plan on not showering while I'm there? Bring dishes but there's dishes there. Pack sandals, but when you arrive one of the first things that they tell you is to only where closed-toed sandals. I brought flip flops and was alright, but kids should definitely have closed-toed sandals. It's rocky! One of the activities listed is a talent show but this isn't some casual light-weight activity. Music and performance are huge parts of every evening's campfire. So much so, I might ask Nate if he wants to prepare something in advance next year.

On the third day of camp, my friend who had invited me asked if I wanted a bite of dark chocolate. My eyes widened and I wondered how she kept it from melting. That's when she lead me down underground into the walk-in refrigerator. It smelt like a wine cellar. Oh! Stashed between cases of beer was her chocolate bar. And from the "cold room" the labeled beer moves to a beer bucket directly in the creek right under gushing cold mountain spring water coming right out of the ground. I can't wait to bring beer next year.

I was going to go dry for the week but my friend brought red wine to share with the tribe at meal times. I think that I might have thanked her an awkward amount of times for my rations. A little alcohol tastes really good up there.

As for the shower situation, my body odor woke me up one morning and so I scrambled to the shower before the kids woke-up. It was freezing cold. There's no hot water tank, the water is heated simply by the day's heat. So the next day, I took a shower at rest time which is during the hottest part of the day, 2-3pm every day, and it was delightful, spectacularly warm. I piled the kids in and we all smelled a lot better and I could finally see the true color of Nate's skin. Although the dirt is pretty good sunblock.

I packed instant oatmeal, granola bars, apples and we ate them. I made my own coffee at our tent, but they have a coffee bar. I just enjoyed using my camping stove and having a quiet moment in my chair before the day got started. My friend brought a clothesline and hung her swimming stuff and towels. I thought that was kind of cool and will stuff a rope in my pack next year.

So, now I am contradicting myself and have already booked a week of our summer for 2013 at Camp Unalayee, and we haven't even made it through this summer yet!

To get more of a picture visual of camp click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/85544129@N00/sets/72157631246430714/


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