Confirmed: The outdoors is still great

Fall means our family develops a serious itch to get outdoors. Our busy schedule makes it difficult to find free weekends to head for the hills, but we committed to it this last weekend. A crazy week meant we left Saturday morning rather than Friday afternoon. (Actually, by the time we returned to the house twice for various forgotten items, it was Saturday afternoon.) Weather forced a longer drive to get ahead of the rain. But we were determined, and so we did, in fact, go camping.

We started with a hike at Rock Island State Park. Corin is a fantastic hiker, and sleepy Lina seemed to enjoy the ride. The views were lovely.

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Camping at the state park was completely full, thanks to closed federal and Corps of Engineers parks, but we ended up finding a nearby private campground  (Horseshoe Bend Marina and Campgrounds) with plenty of room.

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Corin absolutely loved the entire experience, except, as it turned out, the actual sleeping in the tent. His wailing in the middle of the night about wanting to go to home woke the baby who had previously been sleeping nicely, and it was all downhill from there. I loathe camping in those wee hours, but somehow, it all seems worthwhile again by the time Jon is making pancakes and veggie sausage links on the camp stove. We ate like kings, got packed up just in time for the rain, and enjoyed a truly beautiful drive home.

We made a vow: We won’t wait so long to do it again. These are the memories we want our kids to have in abundance. However busy we get, this is stuff that matters.

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