Peggy Coyle as Mrs. Moore; Courtney Beghart as Carla
Michael works freelance with Elliot and they take the kids while the women go camping.
Melissa gives Ellyn a big pitch to come along with her on a camping trip with the gang. Elliot comes by and talks Michael into working on a freelance assignment with him, which means canceling on the camping trip just as Gary cancels because of Susannah (and probably Melissa). Needless to say, Hope doesn't take it terribly well and shuts Michael in the closet. Nancy seizes the opportunity, leaves the kids with Elliot and Michael, and goes along with Hope, Ellyn, and Melissa.
The women take off on their trek with no regrets and high spirits. They hike along, singing show tunes, and reminiscing about Parker Cave where Ellyn and Hope used to hike in high school.
Michael and Elliot aren't getting any work done with the kids around, so Elliot pops in a tape for them and the VCR promptly eats it.
The women get to the cave, find the same tour guide they remember from high school, but after hearing the legend of Betsy Parker who got lost in the cave, Ellyn is afraid of going through. The women, somewhat reluctantly, agree to march around it to the other side, instead of going through. Around the campfire that night, Nancy tells the scary story about the hook arm killer that Elliot told her the first night they camped together (trying to scare her into sleeping with him for the first time). It didn't work on her then, and Elliot ended up scaring himself in the middle of the night, she felt bad for him, and slept with him anyway. All this time, Ellyn is seeming a little alienated from the group.
Back at the ranch, Michael and Elliot settle down to work, but Elliot gets into bedtime roughhousing with the kids.
Talking with Nancy in their tent, Hope inadvertently gets trapped into admitting that Elliot had an affair. Ellyn is scared and having trouble sleeping. In the morning, Ellyn proposes a short cut, Melissa opposes it, but they end up going anyway. Elliot tries unsuccessfully to settle the kids so they can get some work done, and while the women keep getting lost, Elliot keeps playing with the kids. Carla, the babysitter, can't stay very late which is when Michael and Elliot realize that the women aren't back yet.
Out on the woods, the women have made it back to the cave, but have to spend the night. In the morning, Ellyn is gone, sneaking into the cave, and talking through her fear of the dark with the park ranger who has no idea why this strange woman is telling her all these things. Elliot and Michael finally resolve their feelings about not getting the work done, Elliot defending the time he spent with his kids as just as important.
The women finally get back to the car and Melissa and Ellyn have a bonding moment with the soda machine. They return to find the house a wreck, converted into a huge fort by the men who have completely given up on working.
Ethan is still wearing an eyepatch from the accident "soda" is used instead of pop, soft drink, or Coke.
"Yeah, well I'm going anyway and maybe I'll meet a forest ranger who's into fat women." --Hope
--"Maybe it's a bear." --Ellyn
--"Maybe it's Hope eating all our food." --Melissa, grouchy
"I saw this article in National Geographic about nuns whitewater rafting and I got inspired." --Ellyn
--"Look, isn't this the trail?" --Hope pointing at the map
--"That's the Pennsylvania Turnpike." --Melissa
"Nancy talked about the story Elliot had told her to try and "scare" her into sleeping with him the first time on a camping trip. Isn't this inconsistent with the story she originally told about how they met in college, slept together the first (or second) date and then moved in together (in his or her dorm room)? I suppose they could have been on a camping trip when they first met but the way she told it sounded like they had been going out for awhile before this happened."
I concur with this, in that it seemed that Nancy and Elliot met via a play in which they both had parts. Elliot stated specifically in "michael writes a story" that they slept together and were "an item" right off the bat. Still, the camping trip story is a worthy one.