Camping always sounds nice, but I'm learning that actually getting out for a trip is easier said than done. The last time Scott and I went was 3 years ago, in August. It was 104 degrees. We happened to pick a campground that was hosting some sort of terrible redneck family reunion--so not only were all the good camping spaces taken, but the place was absolutely overrun with loud, uneducated, profanity-spewing drunken rednecks. We ended up next to a group of particularly beautiful folks who woke us at 6 a.m. with loud arguments about how best to cover up the pile of human feces in the middle of their campsite. To top it off, we almost lost Scott's wedding ring and I ended up with about 60 bug bites on my feet and ankles alone.
Still, we told ourselves, we had fun. We love camping. Right? But in the three years following that particular trip, we haven't really even come close to having another go at it. A big part of that had to do with Exhibit A and Exhibit B showing up last spring. Who wants to go camping with one baby, let alone two? But toddlers are better. Right? So we became semi-determined to tackle an outing this fall, in a noncommittal "if-it-works-out" sort of way. And when Scott's long weekend coincided with the first true cold front of the fall, we decided to go for it.
It was, in a word, wonderful. The weather, the activities, the food, the company--perfect. We rented a screened shelter (basically a bare cabin) at Mineral Wells State Park. It's only an hour from home--so, we reasoned, we could easily turn around and come back if things got really bad. Here's our humble abode-for-a-day:
The view from our porch:
As far as activities, we thought we'd tackle a trail or two, and otherwise sit around and watch Noah and Lily eat rocks. But we got an added bonus in the form of a spillway that comes over the dam at one end of the lake. It's the wildest thing I've ever seen--an actual sidewalk and road that they allow water to trickle over constantly. It was fun even for Scott and I, and the twins absolutely couldn't get enough.
You can tell the sequence of some of the pictures based on the state of relative dryness of Noah's clothing. Early:
...and then we gave up even trying to keep him dry...
This morning we packed the kiddos on our back and tackled a lakeside trail. The terrain was rough, but pretty and very fun. Scott went first and cleared out most of the spiderwebs with his face, which was very kind of him. In related news, there's a species of very large spider living all around the lake that must not have any natural predators. We could have easily counted over a hundred dangling from the trees overhead in just our short hike.