On Sunday we left to go camping in Lake Arrowhead. The kids were so excited it was quite cute. I think the last time we went camping was 3 or 4 years ago, so it had been a while. We got to the site and immediately at the check in two ladies made us want to do a u-turn and just head back home. They told us that someone had left food out on Friday and a bear came onto the campsite. They said since then they had seen a 9 ft bear and also a mama bear and her cub. Usually they only come for the dumpsters they said but that one had gone onto our campsite.
So we nervously drove to our campsite and started setting up our two tents. Unfortunately our campsite was apart from the 3 other families that we went with. They all were beside each other on pretty open and flat huge lots. Our site was up a hill and across the way, with lots of bushes which one would think would make me feel more comfortable but actually left me feeling more vulnerable as it was harder to tell if something was hiding in or behind them. The only plus to our lot was shade during the day and it was close to the bathrooms.
Lar and I had just finished setting up the first tent and the kids were excitedly running around playing with their friends. Next we see Chrish and his friend were playing with a wave board/ripstip (not exactly sure what they're called) which I wasn't too nervous about until they brought them up the steep hill and were about to go down. We told them no and suggested a flat area for them to play on....... next thing you know they're both going down the hill at excellerated speeds, the friends mom is screaming for them to stop and get off..... her son wiped out. From where we were we saw everyone run up to her son helping him out. Usually Caley is mama bear and is pretty good at letting her siblings know their boundaries so I just figured she was running around the corner to catch up to Chrish and bring him back. Still everyone is gathered around the friend. Caley makes her way up to our site. So we ask her where Chrish is. She says 'well he's beat up pretty good'. We couldn't get her to talk fast enough. So we run down there with the first aid kit. We see Chrish standing up watching his friends knee scratches get cleaned up.
We then ask Chrish how he is. He stands up looking pale as a ghost and says 'Dad? I can't think clear'. I then couldn't get him to look at me straight or answer me so we lay him down as he almost passes out. Thankfully Larry knew to elevate his legs which pretty quickly brought colour back to his face. I start cleaning his obvious and deep elbow gash. It was hard to stomach but I was relieved to get it cleaned and stop the bleeding. Hoping that was the extent of it I was informed that no, there were more wounds to clean up. He ended up scraping both elbows, his side was pretty raw, his chest was scratched up and then lastly I noticed on the side away from me his left wrist/hand area was so incredibly raw. Chunks of skin were actually missing. Meanwhile we've got bees flying all over and fine sticky camp dirt sticking like glue to him. We got him cleaned up as best we could, took him back to the campsite where we gave him some orange juice and some tylenol. After struggling to get comfortable he then took a little nap. When he woke he was much, much better thankfully. I don't think it took him all of 30 minutes before he was back on the wave board.
I should mention that Chrish rode down the hill and why we told the boys not to was because they didn't have any helmets or pads. He rode down anyways and did a superman dive off after he heard his friends mom saying get off. He would've been fine if he stayed on I'm certain. That was on Sunday. The rest of the time camping the boys were running around, more wave boarding from not as steep those crazy kids! Larry and Chrish were playing catch and football and though he favoured his especially 'raw' arm we were pretty sure it was because it was SO raw. We got home Tuesday the older 3 got home the next day. I help Chrish bathe and get as much of the sticky camp dirt off and carefully away from his wounds as I can. As I'm working ever so careful on his 'raw' arm I realize that two of his knuckles (index and the next one to it) are swollen and he admits pain inside not just the skin or lack of it.
I brought him in to the Dr.s the next day. They then send me to an orthopedic later that day who thinks there is a bone broken but is not 100%. He puts a cast on him for 2 weeks for precautionary reasons and says we'll then re-examine and go from there. The first day Chrish was quite excited about it. Unfortunately because of the raw wounds he couldn't put him in a waterproof cast. So he has to be extra careful because with those wounds under the cast if he gets wet or dirty there could be serious infection. Yesterday was a pretty tough day with frustration and tears and he was definitely pushing the limits. He at one point was trying to take his cast off and said he'd slip it right back on after he was done playing. So I have to keep my eyes on him like a hawk.
Oh to sum up on the 'bear scare'. We didn't sleep a wink the first night. Chrish and Caley insisted on sleeping in their tent which with our campsite layout couldn't be right beside ours. Had they been with us I think Lar, Hannah and I would have slept some. Every little sounds sent my heart a racing. I kept listening for the kids. At one point I saw the silhouettes of a pack of somethings. Not sure what but they were close enough to our tent and in the morning found paw prints all over our site. Later on that night we all heard something sniffing around the tent which I was sure was a bear. Caley and Chrish heard it too. Our second night we put everyone in our tent. Lar had his own twin and me and the kids put two twin air mattresses beside each other and laid side by side width way. Slept much much better thankfully.
We had some fun moments but don't think we'll be going camping anytime soon. At least not tent camping. It was fun hanging out with the other 3 families and even driving to Lake Gregory where they had waterslides and paddle boats. It just was a LOT of work and exhausting going back and forth between the camps.