I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Since college, we have got together with a group of friends to go camping during the warmer months of the year. As our lives got busier and some of us have had to move out of state (or overseas - the Wilsons), our camping weekends dwindled down to just one big trip...Indian Mary.
We've been going to Indian Mary Campground near Grants Pass annually over the 4th of July weekend for the past 12 years (guys - correct me if I'm wrong). In the beginning, it was just my husband and I along with our two friends Bef and Bar; and my dad has always joined us for a night or two. We've grown over the years and as we've become more accustomed to the 'lifestyle', we've purchased better equipment and have expanded our invitations to all our friends and family.
Over the past 4-5 years, there has always been a core group that rsvps when I make the reservations (generally 11+ months in advance due to the popularity of the park and the holiday weekend); this group includes the aforementioned 5 and also includes our 2 little ones, Kong (Bar's wife), and Bef & Bar's parents for a grand total of 10.
Over the years, we've seen our numbers wax and wane... in 2005, we had over 30 campers spread between 3 campsites! It was crazy! We learned a lot that year and, to be honest, I'm more particular about whether or not I will allow others to use our site. There were friends of friends ... some I'd never met before ... others who had no prior experience camping ... I didn't get to enjoy myself and relax. I was so worried about whether the park officials would kick some of us out (park rules limit each site to 8 campers) and it seemed I had become the official care-taker for those that didn't plan well and needed this or that.
The park offers many popular ammenities (frisbee golf, easy access to the river, a playground, showers, large grassy fields, beach volleyball, basketball, etc.). One thing that makes Indian Mary stand out is The Muffin Man. An older gentlemen that runs a little bakery in Galice arrives every morning in his customized Model T (he used to drive an old VW bus but it broke down) with fresh, hot cinnamon rolls and marionberry danishes. They are to die for! The best I've ever had. He generally gives the kiddos free breadsticks as they wait in line. (He doesn't actually sell muffins, however.)
Our meals are one of the highlights of the trip. If you have ever camped, you know full well how difficult preparing meals at a campsite can be. You are on vacation! You want to relax. But you also want to eat well, at least we do. So, we've devised a system whereby we all contribute and we distribute the burden to each 'family'.
Here is our meal plan for this year:
Lunch - on your own
Dinner - Taco Salad & Bday Cake (Karel)
Breakfast - Pancakes & Smoothies (Me)
Lunch - Hot Dogs & Deli Salad (Kong) Veggie Tray (Karel)
Dinner - Grilled Salmon (Kong) and Pasta w/Spinach & Asiago Cheese (Me)
Dessert - Root Beer Floats (Karel)
Breakfast - Breakfast in a Bag & Bagels (Karel) A fun, easy way to do omelettes!
Lunch - Galice Cafe
Dinner - Shrimp (Kong) & Filet Mignon (Bef), Side Dish (Karel)
Dessert - Berry Pie (Kong)
Breakfast - Fruit Salad & ?? (Kong)
Lunch - Grilled Chicken Breast w/green tom, goat cheese, sage mayo & bacon (Me) and Corn on the Cob & Watermelon (my Dad)
Dinner - CousCous Salad w/Grilled Veggies & Tequila Lime Chicken Wings (Me) and Side Dish (Karel)
Dessert - Leftovers & S'mores
Breakfast - Leftovers & the Muffin Man
My mom (who comes occasionally for a day-visit) has said, "You guys eat better when your camping than I do all year!" One of our most memorable quotes - ahh, a Thursday 13 list idea. :)
OSN: 2050 meters (600m w/u mixed stroke, 300m free, 3x50 breast, 200m free, 5x50 back, 100m free, 7x50 free)