My darling husband knows me very well. Some days he's fairly clueless, like many men we love, but when it came to celebrating 6 years together, he did remarkable. His plan was to surprise me with a weekend away at the beach, camping. It didn't come out exactly that way, but it was pretty close. He arranged for my parents to watch our 3 girls ages 16 months to almost 5 years and then took me deep into the quiet Mark Twain National Forest. We camped at this camping "resort," which basically means it's slightly pampered camping. You could pay for the cabins, which we don't consider camping, or you could camp in the field with a fire pit, picnic table, and free firewood. A quick walk away is a covered pavilion with washing sink, next to the bathroom and shower house. Another quick walk brings you to the trading post, stocked with such necessities as sunglasses, bug spray, lighters, water shoes, and medicines. They even have small packages of cornmeal, oil, and flour if you forgot food. And of course ice and candy bars. ;) It was a true vacation for us, since we usually camp as primitively as possible: digging latrines, searching for firewood, and eating whatever camp-worthy food we could manage.
|Our "pampered campsite"|
Do you like our tent? We were so geeked-out over finding a canvas tent with attached floors, zippered windows, and a true double door at a yard sale. We got it for a STEAL of only $15! These things retail at over a thousand. It needs a little love, but it's still excellent and huge. It sleeps 8 and is tall enough for my 6'1" Boy Scout to stand up and can still reach his arms up. We hate changing clothes in a 4' tall tent!
We loved just sitting in those chairs and listening to nothing but birds, watching squirrels going through the woods, and taking in all of God's beauty.
|The view from our tent door|
|My Boy Scout carving a "chicken stick."|
|In your best imitation of Crocodile Dundee, say "Now, THAT's a knife."|
Put the chickens on the stick and rotate, as needed, about every 15 minutes. We seasoned these with salt and pepper and played various games while waiting for them to finish cooking. Remember: you shouldn't walk away from your fire, even if it's in a fire pit. Just before they were done, we poured some buffalo wing marinade over one. It was awesome. I'd post a picture of the completed chickens, but it was rather dark and they were so amazingly tasty that I couldn't bring myself to take a picture. Suffice it to say, they lived up to the legend and we will TOTALLY bring hens on every camp out our family does.
|Our morning hike/adventure|
Next, we went to play in the river and discovered we had floated passed this very place the last few years. Don't let that calm-looking water fool you. This river has some strong current! We couldn't walk upstream, so we tried different paths and ended walking through the woods to explore other parts of the water. When we got to the "island" in the middle of the river, we found deer tracks in the stream running through there. So very cool. And so was the WATER! It was COLD! After a little while we got used to it, or maybe our legs went numb. It's a hard choice, but it was still nice to hear the bubbling stream and listen to the bird calls. There was one in particular who was quite loud, but I couldn't get a good shot of him.
|Showing off at the river.|
|Playing around with CollageItPro.|