Thursday, July 18, 2013

Maiden Camping Voyage

We had a fantastic time camping at the State Park. We left on Thursday and didn’t return until late morning on Monday. We were blessed to have friends stop by for supper and campfire delights like; S’mores, hotdogs, and Roasted Fluff Covered Strawberries. We fished, swam (even the dog), went out in a paddle boat, played on the playground, and took Stomper on his first “hike”. Our campsite had neither power nor water, but both were not that far away. The park had recently put in a very lovely shower house so we did get to take “real” showers. On Saturday we were able to attend a bird demonstration and saw: kestrels, a raven, an owl, and a golden eagle. All the birds had sustained injuries that made it impossible for them to survive in the wild.

However, our first camping trip was not without excitement.

On Friday Jason went to work and left Stomper and I at camp alone. In the morning we walked down to the playground to stretch our muscles and get some exercise. Then, in the afternoon after naptime, Stomper requested a fire. All the fire started things: accelerant and fire starter logs were in the truck with Jason. I was raised on a mountain with a wood fire and am no stranger to starting a fire without any “crutches”. We balled up paper and scouted for some kindling, but the recent rainy week left us with slim pickings. No problem, I thought, I’ll just use the axe and cut some kindling out of the pine boards Jason had left behind.

I had a few pieces cut when the thought ran through my head, I should put on sneakers this is not a good flip-flop activity, when CHOP! The axe landed wrong and my finger was bleeding. Immediately I knew that this was not a simple cut. Quickly, but calmly, I grabbed up a package of napkins and wrapped my finger in several layers. To Stomper I said: “Mommy has a big boo-boo we need to go get some help.” I held his hand and we walked to the next campsite where people were enjoying their campfire.

“Hello.” I called as I approached. “I need first-aid. I need to go to the Rangers. Will you help me?”

“You need a ride?”

Graciously they took us down to the Ranger station where one of my friends happened to be working. I approached the desk with my hand held high and announced: “I need some first-aid.”

I caused quite a stir. I was ushered in to a back room where one of the Rangers unwrapped my napkins. Bravely I took a look and breathed a sigh of relief, all my finger was there, minus the small bit of flesh I removed. The Ranger wrapped it up to stop the blood and Stomper stayed with my friend. My friend and I discussed our options and decided that she would take Stomper and I back to her house while we tried to contact Jason. In the meantime Stomper and I would need to wait ten minutes for her shift to end.

Stomper was playing with the buttons in my friends van when he shouts: “Papa!” I look out the window and Jason is driving into the park.

I stepped out of the van and waved my bandaged hand at him. He had this exasperated look of: “What did you do?” on his face.

“I cut off part of my finger with an axe,” I told him, “I want you to look at it at the house and tell me what you think.”

At my friend’s house we unwrapped the finger and ran it under water to clean it. I nearly passed out the pain was so intense. “I can’t do it, I can’t clean it. I need help.”

“When was your last tetanus?” he asks me, “That axe is the same one I used to butcher the chickens and part out the moose. It’s none too clean.”

“Let’s go to the hospital.”

Three hours after the incident I am properly inoculated, bandaged, and in front of the campfire. The doctor upon seeing the wound had commented: “Oh, a meat slicer injury.” When I corrected him he said: “That is a very clean cut for an axe.”

I am told that all will grow back in due time.

I am happy to report that I can knit with only nine fingers.

We are looking forward to a less exciting camping trip next time.


  1. Um, OUCH! It reminds me of when my mom sliced her finger on a soup can top or something. I was probably 10 years old so I couldn't drive but I knew what was going on. My job in the car was to apply pressure to my mom's finger while she drove. She wound up needing something like 4 stitches. She wasn't too thrilled about it and they let me watch the whole thing.

    I think you behaved perfectly. Don't freak out because then the little guy would probably freak out. Perfect :)

  2. I am impressed, you showed your camping 'mettle" and did not pass out.


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