Tuesday, October 7, 2008

happy campers

We had such a great weekend camping! We couldn't have asked for better weather. I was a little nervous never having camped this late in the year, but it was perfect; just warm enough during the day and not too terribly cold at night. We had perfect sunny days. And a surprise bonus of October camping? The sun sets earlier and rises later... it's dark enough for a fire and s'mores and the kids to be asleep before 8 o'clock and they actually slept until 7 each morning without the summertime sun in their eyes and warming up the tent at 5AM! The kids both actually slept great.

We got there on Friday afternoon and were followed shortly by the Swinigans. We stuck close to home with this being a somewhat last minute trip and us being a little out of practice with the camping thing (I can't hardly believe we never went last summer! We haven't been since Sawyer was a baby!!). We have a great state park just 20 miles outside of the city with camping and trails and creeks, as well as a pool and tennis courts!! So we headed there. It was a nice campground and we got a great campsite right next to a big green space where the kids could run and play. Of course right after dinner we got a fire started and then there were S'mores all around...

My kids were so excited to share the camping trip with their friends. Savannah must have asked 45 times if they were coming yet in the 30 minutes we were there before them. Only half of the Swinigans actually stayed and camped; Heather and Lucy headed home each night to sleep in their beds. I guess that's another perk of camping just 20 minutes from home!

the girls enjoying their oatmeal

the boys tending to the early morning fire

the view over head at our campsite

Saturday we went for a hike and the kids had a blast. Savannah and Norah were ahead of the group, barreling down the trail the whole time. Well, by the end they were dragging a little (we picked kind of a long loop for so many little kids), but really I was surprised and their enthusiasm for most of the hike. We all know they are not two of the most adventurous, roughing-it type of girls. Sawyer on the other hand, unlike the last time we hiked here, was lollygagging behind the whole time... just taking his time, stopping to pick up sticks and caterpillars and kept having to be prodded to keep up with the group at all.

Sunday we just lazed around the fire all morning and I took the kids on a big scavenger hunt while the dads packed up the tents and loaded the vehicles. They were so cute and definitely on a mission. I wish I had taken some video of that. Sawyer especially was all gung ho about it, doing a little sing-songy "criss-cross" on his picture list when he found another item. We walked all over the campground and it took up a good hour of time!

We realized this was the first camping trip of Sawyer remembering anything, and he was by far the most excited by every aspect of the trip. While he was more than happy to be playing tennis or Frisbee or ride his scooter around, he was fascinated by the bug searches, the bear hunts, the firewood gathering and of course the tent set up and take down. I'm happy to report, he's definitely a camper!

we never made it over to the actual tennis courts, but Sawyer was recruiting anyone to play in the road with him whenever there was a free moment

Sawyer also formed quite an attachment to a
Fuzzy Bear Caterpillar he found on our hike. He was sad to leave it behind in the forest. Later, that afternoon Ryan spotted another one in our campsite and Sawyer was thrilled; "Fuzzy! My friend! You came back for me! I'm so happy to see you!". He spent the next 30+ minutes playing with that fuzzy little friend, picking him up, following him around, letting him crawl all over him. It did seem that fuzzy little thing liked him too!

I can't wait to get lots of camping in next year! As much fun as we've always had, it's just so much more fun with kids. It all turns into such an adventure and they see things so differently than us, making us stop and appreciate the world around us as well; how cool is that fire? What an art roasting marshmallows is. Isn't it amazing how many different bugs you can see in 48 hours? Stopping to pet puppies, shouting out a hearty two year old hello to anyone who passes by our campsite, cozing up in sleeping bags with footy pajamas, how good hot dogs and spaghettios taste cooked outside.
Watching them take it all in is an adventure in itself!


Kim said...

Looks like you guys had a great time! I love camping especially when its a little cool outside.

jenny said...

you made me want to go camping before the snow flies! what a fun trip! love sawyer and his little fuzzy bear caterpillar! too cute.

Heather S. said...

Glad it worked out for us to join you! Norah had a GREAT time!! The weather was incredible!!

Nicole said...

looks like you guys had a great time!

Mom said...

The pictures tell the story.What a nice camping experience to share with friends!(and family via the blog!!!)Thanks!xxxxoooooxox Mom

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