Friday, July 07, 2006

The Fourth of July

Camp Osto! 10 acres on the bank of the lush and sometimes wild Muskegon River. Our respite, our permanent vacation, our break from the hectic day-to-day grind. Kids - they love it. Parents - we love it. What more can you ask for? Only a few less mosquitos maybe!

The weekend is July 4th, 2006...the cast is composed of the Osto family and the Rau's for a couple of days of R&R cleverly disguised as "work." The plan...paint the new shed, dig a new well (complete with old fashioned pitcher pump complements of Papa Bob) and most important ~ have a great time! Lots of work must be followed by lots of fun - that means fitting in tubing and canoeing on the Muskegon, a couple of cold dips at Crawford Park, fishing in Koczak's pond - where Hunter caught a whopper Bass, great food and drink and a perfect campfire.

The kids - Calli, Tyler, Hunter and Riley - braved the woods in the "mosquitos suits" to catch leopard frogs, baby frogs and anything they could catch. They had the most fun and the most mosquito bites to prove it!

Missi pitched her new tent, too bad Mark wasn't man enough to brave the elements with her! Calli and Mya stepped up though. Papa Dan pitched another tent and blew up the Serta Perfect Sleeper style two foot high mattress (does this really qualify as "roughing it")?. Nana Nancy decided "camping" wasn't so bad and decided to join him, while Hunter and Tyler stayed in the second room of the tent. Papa Bob and Nannie Pat had already set up their condo on wheels and of course, there is the Sand Piper - home away from home for me and my better half, Matt. Chooch, Mark and Riley bunked with us. Who knew (okay - Papa Dan warned us) that a thunder storm would roll through at about 1 am? The tenters braved the storm and all kids slept, save Riley who was sleeping in the bunk a foot away from the roof. Her quote, "Dad, this is not safe!" Too bad her first experience sleeping in a trailer included a thunder storm! The campers in the trailers were more worried than those in the tents!

Let's talk about the new well. Papa Bob decided we could do it and we always need an enabler! He was the brains, and he and Matt were the brawn! 18 or so feet later, we struck water - crystal clear, freezing cold, beautiful water. Until you go without running water for a weekend, you don't know how great this is! I am so excited!!! The pounding (Matt's shoulder's are still sore) took a few hours but the reward will last for a long time. THANK YOU!!!!

The shed looks great complete with the "Camp Osto" sign I made last summer. The board washed up in Cedarville in the U.P. and is complements of Nannie and Papa Bob who found it on another camping trip. It is probably from some old logging camp or maybe washed ashore from a shipwreck? It looks great on the freshly painted shed - thanks to Dan for helping me paint the trim.

Our cruises down the river were relaxing, cool and fun. The weather was perfect and the water was refreshing! We seemed to travel in a pack of tubers mixed in with the new canoe. The canoe is awesome - we love this addition which will be a lot of fun on future expeditions! Next time we are taking the 3 hour excursion to the 50th street bridge!

Thanks for all the fun and especially the hard work. Camp Osto has never looked so great.