This Friday afternoon I'll slip out of work a little early and head home.
Once there I'll double-check that I've got all my gear in order: Backpack, tent, sleeping bag, food, fire, water, bugspray, sunscreen, fishing pole & tackle, pistol. Keaton will be in the garage as I do this last-minute sanity-check to ensure we're ready and I'll use that time to foster more excitement about our trip. I'll cinch up the pack and chuck it in the back of the GMC. I'll ask Keaton if she's gone over her pack, made sure she's rightly-provisioned and is ready to go, I'll get her emotionally involved and also be giving her a lesson on what to bring for a successful overnight backpacking trip. I'm hoping she'll be full of anticipation and excitement and anxious to get on the road and on the trail.
We'll head up the mountain around 4pm so we can park and put feet to earth by 6:30pm. We'll race the sunset to try and get to camp, 2mi in from our starting point, by dusk. After setup and a late dinner we'll have a small permit-be-damned fire and roast marshmallows and bundle up against the nighttime chill. Come morning we'll wake with the sun and eat a backwoods breakfast, I'll ask her to help me get it ready and be part of the team, while contemplating the beauty of God's creation and the benefits of solitude. No Saturday morning cartoons, no couch to lounge on. In the heat of the day we'll go bug-catching, try fishing in the creek, throw a Frisbee, hunt for some Geocaches. We'll take a light lunch wherever we are around 1pm. Around 4pm we'll pack it in and I'll again require her assistance - she's going to walk away knowing she was an integral part of our camping success story.
We'll be back home again by nightfall Saturday, a short 24hrs later and returned to the comforts of home - don't want to overdue the "fun" on our first daddy/daughter sojourn.
I can't wait.