So, we recently headed off on a camping adventure.
Now, let me give you a little history-
I've never been a camper.
Er, let me correct that. I've been a camper.
I'm just not quite sure I've ever been a happy camper.
Here we are, heading off on our adventure-
with thoughts of s'mores, forest, sunshine, adventure, lightning bugs and
family memories dancing in our heads:
The road trip there was pretty.
We saw things like this:
And this, too.
We researched campgrounds online and found one with a waterfall.
Governor Dodge State Park - Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
It looked beautiful.
We searched through the campsites and found the.perfect.campsite.
Lots of gorgeous trees and just a short walk to the beach.
Or, so we thought.
Meet our campsite:
You will see quite a bit of sunshine.
Hot, roasty sunshine.
If you look to the left, you will see a stump.
A big, sad stump... where a big, happy tree used to be.
Of course, this was slightly disappointing because we picked this
particular site for the big, beautiful tree.
Thoughts of writing letters under the shade of a beautiful tree began to dwindle.
As the day went on, the little shade we had became less and less.
We were also surprised to see a fence...
if you look closely, you will see it too.
Er, space we thought would be a walking trail to the beach
and forest to explore was in fact....
.... a 100+ foot drop. Tree tops.
And way down yonder, you can see a piece of the road.
Mr. Mustard Seed climbed over the fence to get these shots.
Pretty view? Yes.
But not quite what we were expecting.
The beach was in fact, a car ride away.
The forest we hoped to explore, also a car ride away.
We set up camp, and got busy.
Top Photo: Buddy, enjoying his first camping adventure.
Bottom Photo: Winnie, a true hot dog.
The dogs were not welcome at the beach, park or many other areas,
so our family time had to be split which was a bit of a bummer.
The dogs were, however, welcome on trails.
And so, we headed off (via car) to find the waterfall.
Our first view of the water fall. Absolutely beautiful. Peaceful. Cool.
This particular photo was taken from the trail that led down to the waterfall.
It was another 100+ish foot drop straight down.
A bit scary.
I held the boys hands and Mr. Mustard Seed did his best to manage the dogs.
Our path down to the water fall.
The Green Owl and The Fantastic Okapi enjoying the waterfall.
Mr. Mustard Seed and me.
(Definition of my expression: I was wondering if my camera
was actually going to take the photo. It was stalling a bit)
Exploring! The water was freeeezing.
Can you find The Fantastic Okapi in the bottom photo?
It was a very hot day, but we wandered off the trail a bit and stumbled upon:
An old fashioned refrigerator from the 1850s. Pretty nifty!
We found a few tasty wild blackberries, too.
We followed a pretty wildflower trail back to our car
and returned to the campsite.
It was then that we realized we forgot a spatula. Uh oh!
It was a good thing a fellow camper shared some of his kindling with us.
Mr. Mustard Seed used a piece of kindling as a spatula.
What a beef cake.
And the boys enjoyed building houses and things with the kindling, too.
It didn't take long for the bugs to attack.
Extreme heat. Little shade. Buzzy bugs... what had we gotten ourselves into?
We decided to stick it out at least one night.
I'm thankful we did for one simple reason:
There were gazillions of them!
We never see them in our backyard at home, so it was a special treat.
We quickly filled a bug house with as many as we could catch.
We tucked it in the tent and prepared to fall asleep.
I'd like to say we slept like rocks, but that wasn't the case.
Nope, instead we slept on rocks, and
apparently, the buzzy bugs and mosquitoes
thought we were having a sleepover.
It was pretty terrible, but we managed to snooze a few z's.
(But not nearly enough)
We woke up the next morning and decided we should head home.
Lemme tell ya, it was a scrunchy ride.
We barely managed to fit everything in our our.
I had one dog on my feet and the other, well- see for yourself!
(His arms are even crossed!)
Three hours of scrunchiness?
It's a good thing we love each other!
The drive home was pretty- rolly hills, cute little downtowns,
golden fields and endless skies.
Mr. Mustard Seed stopped to get us each a drink in the tiny town of Loganville.
(I surprised him with this photo)
The Fantastic Okapi fell asleep on the way home.
Check out the bites on his arm. Yikes. They look like chicken pox.
A little FYI- a great remedy for mosquito bites: apple cider vinegar.
It works. For real. Too bad I forgot ours at home.
(Along with our spatula, and the letters I wanted to write and our s'mores supplies... sheesh, what were we thinking?!)
I took my point and shoot camera along, so these photos are all a bit
snap-shotty, unfocused and flat in color.
I wanted to bring my fancypants camera along but
couldn't find my charger = bummer.
But memories were captured, so I am happy.
Overall, our camping trip was an adventure.
The cons: the heat. lack of shade. "no dog" areas. tree stumps instead of trees. unexpected cliffs. buzzy bugs.
The pros: beautiful scenery (I never knew Wisconsin was so pretty- my photos don't do justice), sparkling lightning bugs, amazing waterfall, and memories together as a family.
I kept thinking, "Is this a vacation? Because if it is, why is it so much work?!
Setting up a tent. Making food. Hiking to a bathroom. Crusty showers. Bugs. Someone rescue me!"
To those of you who enjoy camping, I tip my hat to you.
I'm too wimpy.
Will we camp anytime soon?
Do cats bark?