We have been wanting to go camping for a while so decided to go camping in honor of Chester’s birthday. We decided to wait until after Apple Butter to go. I figured that the campgrounds would have lots of availability with it not being summer any longer and school being in session. Well not so! I forgot it was peak fall foliage time! We didn’t want to travel too many hours so we could maximize our camping time. We were able to find some availability at Douthat State Park which is only 2 hours away. Hurrah! Anyway today (23rd) I got up and got all our clothes and food packed up and ready to roll. We headed out around 5pm. I believe. We had to stop at Walmart on our way out. Chester ran in and got the groceries while I got dinner ready. I had cooked pork ribs in my crock pot all day so it was ready when we left. Perfect! I’ll have to remember that for other times we are heading out somewhere. So nice to have it hot and ready and easy to throw in the motorhome so we could go ahead and get on the road. Once we finished dinner we headed on to Douthat. We were able to get a spot and pretty much just got settled in and then headed to bed the first night.
Friday we ended up moving to another spot before we set up for breakfast. The kids slept in. I was worried that Kolby was getting sick. He slept in late and then got up and asked to get dressed then climbed back in bed and went back to sleep. Crazy! I guess he was just worn out after camp and all the late nights since. Chester, Cooper & Bryant went on a mountain bike ride in the morning while Kolby slept. I read a book and then once he woke up and ate Kaylin, Kolby & I played games. We played Jenga and Memory. Kolby was a whizzbang at memory!
Thankfully after his nap and breakfast Kolby was raring to go. When Ches and the boys got back they realized Bryant had left his gloves up at the top of the trail a few miles away. We had lunch and then Chester rode back to get the gloves. The kids and I gathered up firewood and then chopped it up.
In the late afternoon we hiked down to the creek. The kids had a blast throwing rocks in and trying to cross the creek without getting wet. It was amazing to just relax and enjoy God’s creation.
When we got back Chester went to work starting a fire. He was determined to use his new fire starter stick. I don’t know if he got it to light that night or not but by the time we left he had started a couple fires with it. Way to go Babe! After dinner we had to have Smores before crawling into bed. I just really enjoyed not having anything pressing to do. We headed to bed early and got to just crawl in bed and read a book. How relaxing!
Saturday we got up cooked pancakes for breakfast before heading down to hear about a sand presentation. The guy who was giving the presentation used to work for NASA and he had a few pieces of the insulation tiles from a few space shuttles. They were made from sand! It was pretty interesting learning about how the tiles were made. Before the presentation got started Bryant decided to climb the mountain nearby.
After the presentation we headed back to the motorhome and packed a picnic lunch and wen for a hike around the lake. The kids did so well. It was really fun being outdoors together as a family. The weather was BEAUTIFUL! We were able to wear short sleeves during the day but it was plenty cold at night and in the morning to enjoy a nice toasty fire.
We hiked about 3 miles around the lake. We stopped and watched a wedding on the water’s edge and let the kids play on the playground. So proud of the kids making it the whole way.
Sunday morning Bryant decided to take Kaylin & Kolby on a hike up the mountain we were camped by. They were gone for a while. We couldn’t see them or hear them for a little bit. We were starting to worry about them when we heard them laughing and talking on their way back down. They were so thrilled with their little hike. After breakfast we packed up a lunch and some snacks and went on another hike. The kids had gotten backpacks of gear at the ranger station. The backpacks had binoculars, compass, field guides, etc. in them. Pretty neat. You could just borrow them for a hike and bring them back when you were done. The kids thought they were pretty neat. Anyway we headed out to a spot you could look out over the lake.
After we made it up there we decided to try to hike on to a waterfall to have our lunch there. It was a pretty good hike. I ended up carrying Kolby most of the way up. We finally made it up to the waterfall. It was very disappointing as it was just barely a trickle of water running down over the rock. Oh well. We made it and were proud of our accomplishment. We ate our lunch then headed back down. We hiked 3 miles total!
When we got back we had just enough time to rush around and pack up before we had to be out of there at 2. Wow! Such a fun weekend! Very relaxing and good to be a family! So glad we could do it.