Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First Family Camping Trip: Day 1

So, I grew up in a home where we played in our backyard which was basically a forest. This place we live in is known for nature, camping, hiking, backpacking, etc. Although camping was part of life where I am from, I have never been camping. I know, crazy! We knew the boys would love camping but it just wasn't possible with Owen on tpn each night or even every other night. 
Once Owen was taken off tpn, this whole new adventurous world opened up. We have been to the lake at least once a week since summer began. We have been able to let the boys play outside for hours and hours without worrying about how much sweating they were doing. Would we have to change Owen's dressing? Has it come off? Is he at risk for infection because of all this sweat? NOPE! Worry has gone away and we are feeling more free than ever before!
Camping seems like the next natural step with two boys who love the outdoors, right?
Well, I was extremely nervous. I have never been camping. How am I supposed to plan a camping trip?!?

 I took to pinterest and searched out blog after blog about family camping. These things just made me more nervous. How many ideas am I supposed to keep in my brain? We had no supplies, and I didn't even know what supplies we really needed. We hit the garage sales in town a couple Saturdays and were able to grab some deals on camping gear we wouldn't need to buy new. I decided it would be best to buy a new tent just to make sure it would be just right for our family and free of holes or rips. I planned on buying a 6-person tent but when we picked up the tent I bought online, we found that it was actually an 8-person tent! Haha! It ended up working out well for us and I was able to keep everything organized, as I always like to do. 
So, we ended up finding a nice campsite at Calaveras Big Trees state park. We decided to reserve it for 3 nights. That way, if we didn't enjoy camping, we wouldn't be there too long but we would have a few days to get used to it. 
We ended up loving it and I wish we had stayed for a night or two more. It was a lot of work to pack and unpack for just two full days there. 

Sunday morning we went to church and had lunch with our church family, then set off for our first camping adventure. 

The car was packed!

Here's our camp site! It was so beautiful! We definitely picked the best camp site in the park. It had plenty of space and the kids didn't bother any other camp sites.

    When we got there, we walked around the space to decide where everything would go and then we set it all up!

The inside of our tent was so spacious! Two queen air mattresses and plenty of space in between. 

Once we got all set up at our campsite, we decided we really wanted to go explore the park, mainly the potential swimming holes. We new there were many creeks and the Stanislaus river running through the park. However, we had heard that the river was much too dangerous to swim in. Since the creek that ran through our campsite was dry I wasn't sure there would be anything the kids could swim in inside the park. We found the perfect spot when we hiked down to the river. Although there are parts of the river that are dangerous, we found this perfectly calm swimming hole that was shallow enough for the kids to play in. It was simply beautiful. We were surrounded by trees, the sound of the river was beautiful, and there weren't any other people around!

The water was pretty cold but the boys didn't seem to mind at all. They got right in. Owen was even posing for us.

We got back to the campsite to start dinner. The boys and I had grilled cheese sandwiches, which were very good by the way. For some reason, food always tastes better when cooked by fire! Heath was able to make a steak. This was the first steak I have ever bought. Heath really wanted one so I asked an older couple at the grocery store to help me pick one out. Apparently they picked well, Heath loved it and ate the whole thing!

We ended the night with a Bible story and cuddles in the boys' bed. They fell asleep quickly and I am so happy they weren't scared to sleep in the tent. I was worried Isaiah would get scared, as he often does at home when the window is open. I think they were both too tired to be scared.