Family Camping Weekend: Fun with Four-Wheelers

Obstacle courseWe recently had another enjoyable Danson camping weekend at Mary’s Landing. Big thanks to Russ and Sue for their generosity in hosting this annual get together. The weekend was filled with family, friends, food and fun.

In addition to the usual bonfire on Friday and Saturday night, Russ took us out for moonlight hayrides. The fuse blew when he started the tractor on Friday, so that ride was entirely lit by the nearly-full Harvest Moon. On Saturday he used a different tractor, and we needed the lights when we headed into the sugar bush. Shafts of moonlight lit up a few spots of the forest floor, but in most places it was pitch black. We won’t mention any names, but Annie “The Jumper” got pretty spooked; Dale must have been holding her tight, because she was still on the wagon when we got back to the bonfire.

Our main game event on Saturday was a four-wheeler obstacle course, and with all the rain we’ve had, we knew it was wise to stay far away from the bog this year. Nearly everyone, young and not-so-young, paired up with a partner, and we split the group into two, named after their machines: Team Polaris and Team Artic Cat.

Collage 2014-09-07 Camping Weekend 1The teams competed relay-style, sending all of their pairs through the course, and the first team to finish was the winner. The course began with a quick zip across an old pasture, now referred to as the golf course, to a two-man saw. After the pairs cut through a six-inch log (pull, don’t push!), they jumped into their ATV, buckled up and ripped the turf on their way to the next challenges. One player had to complete a one-hole round of disc golf. As soon as the disc landed in the basket, then the other teammate had to toss a beanbag in the hole on the Cornhole game. It’s surprising how hard that is when you have a large audience watching every toss. Choke.

The contestants then dashed to challenge four, where my mom, Kathy, applied a blindfold to the driver. Passengers had to guide their blinded driver as they weaved rodeo-style through four barrels. Kudos to Oren and Andrea and Marcia and Sue for their exceptional skill and teamwork on this challenge. At the last barrel, the driver removed the blindfold and raced to a stock tank on the backside of the barn. The passenger filled an ice cream bucket with water and had to hold it as the driver zipped through the bumpy pasture, drove over a dirt mound and raced to the finish line so the next pair could complete their relay through the course. The passengers stayed mostly dry because they dangled their buckets outside the four-wheeler; if we ever do this again, we need to remove the handle from the bucket!

The two teams stayed neck-and-neck through most of the race, which drew out the competitive spirit in all. It also led to a bit of rule-bending for some (and a lot for others – what kind of family is this??). All in all it was a fun competition. With most challenges in full view of waiting team-members, it was constant entertainment.

Once again, we had plenty of delicious food: pancakes, muffins, egg bakes, fruit, sandwiches, salads, desserts, roasted corn, roasted turkeys, pork chops on a stick (the latter was John’s Friday night meat raffle prize). Thanks to everyone who chipped in to provide meals.

Let’s hope we get to do this again next year. The more the merrier, and hopefully Aunt Edna can join us. This past week (9/10/14) marked the ninth anniversary of Grandma Mary’s death, but her legacy lives on. She and Grandpa would be happy to know that their large family gathered once again for a good time on the farm.

Annie and Dale









Two man saw








Blind Driver Bob and Wilma











Collage 2014-09-07 Camping Weekend 2












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