July 3: 2009: Camping in Yellowstone

It started raining about the time we finished our lunch at Bubba’s BBQ in Cody. We worried about setting up our tent in the pouring down rain and thunder and lightning. Almost as soon as we entered Yellowstone National Park, the sun came out. Daddy and I set up the tent pretty quickly, with only a couple snafus. (The written instructions weren’t the best in the world, and neither of us had ever set up this tent before.)

Momma had bought this new, fully waterproof/weatherproof tent just for this camping trip. We also anticipated taking the tent to South Dakota and camping near Mt. Rushmore. Veterans of camping, my parents had prepared. Daddy brought extra stakes to reinforce the tent’s foundation. And Momma. Wow. She brought enough food for our two-night, three-day stay in YNP to feed us and half the bears in the park. 21 hot dogs. 12 pork chops. 8 ears of corn. 5 chicken breasts. A dozen eggs. 20 sausage links. Buns. Chips. Marshmallows. 30 candy bars. Oreos. Cereal bars. Tortillas. Chex Mix. Vanilla wafers. Graham crackers. Hershey bars. The list goes on.

After Daddy and I got the tent set up, Momma sent us to the general store about 4 miles away to get insect repellent and firewood for our firepit. Our campsite had an infestation of mammoth mosquitoes. You know if they can survive the Yellowstone winter, they are indeed voracious, and they were biting. After paying $30 for some Off! and citronella candles and coils, Daddy and I walked out of the general store to a mega thunderstorm: pouring rain, streak lightning, roaring thunder. We drove back to the campsite, where we had just unloaded all our gear in a big pile. Momma had shoved as much as she could inside the tent, and put the kids in the tent with her. They were running in circles in our 13×9 space, very excited. Some of our gear (like our new canvas camp chairs) were soaked through, but Momma had managed to get the sleeping bags and clothes inside the tent.

We soon noticed that our tent was not exactly waterproof as water began to run down the walls, collecting in puddles on the floor.

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