Thursday, September 20, 2012

summer camping

My brilliant long-time local group of mom friends decided to do a group camping trip this summer. A couple of the moms camp with their families regularly, another wanted to resume camping I think. So while we met for coffee one evening as we often do, they announced their plan to find a weekend to go camping together, without their husbands.

Fun idea for them, I thought. And then one of them mentioned that the girls and I should come with them. My friends know that I don't camp. I mean, I have camped, but only because I was going along with others for lack of a better idea. I haven't camped in many years because John isn't a camper. Those facts, and the added bonus that we didn't own much camping equipment either, didn't dissuade my friends. A 4 mom and 12 kid camping weekend in July was put together.

 My friends reserved 3 adjacent camp sites at a gorgeous state park a mere 40 minute drive away. As is typical for our area, you drive just a little while and can find yourself in surroundings completely unlike our normal crowded suburbia.
We arrived on a friday evening and the kids took advantage of a great low climbing tree in one of our campsites.
On our first morning we set out on a group hike.

The first exciting wildlife we encountered along the trail.

The kids enjoyed picking and demonstrating the fun of sticky monkeyflower leaves, and climbing trees along the trail.

After a snack break we headed back down the trail by explorng and following the creek.
That evening after dinner we got an early start on what the kids had most been looking forward to--getting the campfire going and making s'mores.


Everyone had a good time making real s'mores for a while, but later on it degenerated into a contest about who would be willing to eat the blackest, most burned marshmallows. One of the moms won.

The next day after we packed much of the camp in the morning, the kids suited up in bathing suits and we set out on another long walk, this time in the creek the whole way, scrambling over logs and large boulders for much of it.

There were plenty of banana slugs to find along the banks.

And the water formed fun little pools in a couple of places.
The kids even found a waterfall with a pool at the base. Great fun for everyone, and the four of us survived the weekend in good shape, I'd say. I think I was the first one to suggest that we do this again next year.

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