Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Camping Fun

This weekend we went on a camping adventure.  We've wanted to do this for over a month.

Our camp site.
Apollos found it comfy

One of the kids favorites aspects - a creek in our 'backyard'.

After many cancellations and schedule changes..... we were able to head up into the mountains for a little get-away.

Our pop-up camper overlooking beautiful blue skies.  We were the only campers the first night.
One other site was filled the second night.  The third night brought one more group to the campground.
This truly was a 'get-away' given that there were - in essence - no other people around.

We knew the overnight temps might get a bit on the chilly side.  Chilly was an understatement. We put on our winter hats and multiple layers of coats for roasting s'mores as well as for sleeping.  Poor Apollos' teeth were literally chattering Friday morning.  As we stepped outside the camper we were greeted with this................... 

Frost on the chairs - oatmeal was a good hot breakfast plan.

yep, that's ice on our chairs and table cloth.  In addition Apollos' water was frozen.

At one point I feared his tongue would stick to the  ice block in his bowl - visions of 'A Christmas Story' and the little boy getting his tongue stuck to a pole - danced through my head

The entire table was covered in frost/ice.

Still, the weekend was loaded with fun.

"Buddy time" was instituted by the littles.

Charity and her 'buddy', Bethany playing by the creek.
This constituted one-on-one playing time between the older/younger sibling pairs we've developed over the years.  Sword fighting, piggy back rides, playing in the stream, and shooting airsoft guns were among the many activities chosen.

Selah with her 'buddy' Jacob shooting airsoft guns.
This along with sword fighting was her favorite buddy time activity.

Trinity convinced her 'buddy', Elijah to give her lots of piggy back rides.

In addition to 'Buddy Time' was LOTS of all sibling games and fun.  Hide and seek, sword fighting, climbing rocks, and picking rose hip berries were but a few of the fun events engaged in by all the kiddos.

Guess it's good we have SO MANY swords.

Whenever we couldn't find 'frick and frack' we knew to
check the creek and rocks.

Once again -- on the rocks, IN the creek.
They didn't seem to mind the frigid cold water.

Catching grass hoppers {and making unique habitats for said hoppy friends}, traversing the creek, even cutting fire wood all made for fond memories.

Selah LOVED her grasshoppers.
Not so sure the feeling was mutual.

The 'man-child' at work cutting wood.

Case in point.  Grasshoppers in a water bottle;
hung by a bungie cord; on the back of the camper.  Ha.

A trip to Saratoga - a good 1/2 hour from our campsite - to visit the hot springs, get homemade ice cream from Lollipops, and window shop encapsulated Friday afternoon.

Lollipops ice cream parlor - like taking a step back in time.

The ice cream was well worth the trip.

You scream, I scream, we all scream for...... ICE CREAM!!!

Saturday was filled with lots of creek playing, rock climbing, dirt digging, and mud pie making, along with a 'roadtrip' to the welcome center and a drive up to see the Ryan Park Fire Tower.

Gotta love piggy back rides AND rock climbing in one.

The views alone made the ever-so-rocky-feel-your-spine-rattle-hope-we-don't-destroy-the-oil-pan drive up the mountain worth it.

Looking down from the fire tower.  Breathtaking!

I'm pretty sure dirt.....

......equates fun!

One can't camp without a campfire and s'mores.  Each night we made these tasty treats.  Now a family tradition anytime we camp  or have a fire.  Even Aunt Biff joined us Sat night for the sticky-chocolaty-crunchy goodness.

One of our many campfires.  It was so cold at night, the heat from the fire did little to warm us.

Roasting marshmallows. 

Some like them golden.....

....Others like them.... on fire?

Getting big -- Selah now roasts her own marshmallow.

Another one likes them 'crispy' to say the least.

No matter how they are roasted....

once combined w/chocolate
and grahams..... they are yummo!

.....And apparently funny too!

Sunday was leisurely as Techno made pancakes for breakfast; the kids played in their PJ's all morning; and we enjoyed our wonderful mountain and stream views.
Our little warrior princesses.

'Cooking' with the rose hip berries.
Searching for more unsuspecting

Sneaking away for some quiet reading before the
littles insisted on their 'buddy time'.
Who wouldn't want to sit on a cold rock and read for hours?
Of course, with the views we had.....
I too spent some quiet time with Techno sitting on rocks,
reading our Bibles and chatting near the stream.

Convincing her sister of something.



After her first shot.... she was determined
to re-load that gun herself.  She did too!

.... Fire!

It's hard work hunting for insects.  Wears a girl out.
Our creak.
The sun peaking through the trees.
The morning sky as Techno made pancakes and I sat in my mesh chair enjoying the sunshine on my face
and the sound of laughter in my ears.
So peaceful!
Unfortunately, as lunch approached, so did the clouds.

Storms can hit quickly in the mountains.

Hail and rain chased us all into the pop-up to finish preparing and eating our lunch.  Once finished we began the task of packing up the camper and heading home -- in. the. rather. cold. rain.

Even though the stormy sky brought dropping temperatures and freezing fingers; we finished packing up, popping down, and headed out with warm hearts full of wonderful memories.

Another view from the fire tower -- this overlooks toward Saratoga where we had our ice cream.


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful trip! I was actually just thinking about you all yesterday and how beautiful it is where you live. We are currently on vacation in Bryson City (the south side of the Smokies) and we are seeing elk everyday. Now, we do actually have to go to town in Cherokee - specifically at the Oconulftee Center - to see them. This is where the local herd is staying currently - they are wild animals and have just gathered there for now. Do you have elk where you live? They are pretty cool to see and might I mention - absolutely HUGE!

    1. Daneale,
      Yes, we have a lot of elk here. When we drive to town it's not uncommon to see a huge herd grazing in some of the ranch lands we pass. They are huge. I'm always amazed at how many we see. We had never seen elk when we would vacation here, but since moving here it's a common occurrence. We also have moose. They too are quite large. We see them less frequently, but we have gotten glimpses of them here and htere. Prong horn and deer are as common as squirrels in Ohio. LOL! Glad you are having a great time in Bryson City. Vacation? I was just looking at some of your pics and thought how much 'like Wyoming' they looked. Enjoy the rest of your trip. If you ever make it out west, let me know. Would love to meet up.


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