That was the only drama of the entire trip. Their tent was just too hot to sleep in. After fighting their desire to sleep in Lightning McQueen for nearly an hour, they gave up and came outside to lay on a tarp that I brought. I laid it right under my hammock so that I was just a few inches away. They laid under the stars, chatted and giggled for a while, then fell asleep. I was proud of myself for pulling it off. We had made a pedal powered journey in the heat, spent great quality time together and here we were, a dad and his sons laying under God's creation. It was good stuff.
I did, however, feel some sprinkles of rain at about 3am. Really? Come on! I got up, ran a line above my hammock and hung another tarp over myself and the boys. They never woke up. But it did rain pretty good for an hour. I was glad that I trusted my gut on bringing two tarps. I was also glad that I went ahead and hung the second tarp after just a few sprinkles. Had I not hung it up in time, the boys would have gotten wet and woke up. It would have been a tough recovery after that.
It was an awesome trip. I can't wait to make it again. Angie wants to go with our oldest as soon as we can leave the baby with a sitter overnight. That would be awesome.
I did learn a few things...
It's easy to overpack on any camping trip. But when you're bringing little ones along, it's a certainty. In hindsight, I would rather underpack on a trip like this and hit up the camp store if I've forgotten something that's a necessity. With the boys weighing in at nearly 100lbs, plus all of the bike, trailer and gear, my legs were pulling some major cargo weight. It didn't slow me down terribly, but it would be nice to ditch 20lbs or so.
There's a trade off between camping in the heat and having the pool available versus camping in the fall but not having the pool to occupy their time. The majority of our time was spent swimming. Our night would be a bit easier in cooler weather, but I would need to compensate with other activities during the day.
And for parking, I called the North Lexington YMCA ahead of time and they were great. They were excited that we were making the trip and welcomed us to leave the car. That's good to know. They just asked that I email my car's make, model and license number for reference. If you're ever interested in this trip, I'd do the same. And parking the car was a great option. I've done this trip a few times, now, but I've always left from home on the bike. That's too many miles and unsafe roads for a family trip, though. Parking at the Y is a great distance and makes it 100% on the bike path.
I'd love to set up a trip this fall and plan it using this blog. Are there other family bike riders out there that would be interested in doing this trip? The primitive sites at the Horse Park would be perfect for dozens of bikes, tents and families rocking it out for a night. Who's interested? I love to hear from any of you that would want to do a Lexington family bike camping trip. Shoot me an email or comment below. I'll start to compile a list.
Get out there.