Why camping? You may ask. Well, we chose camping for several reasons.
- With our family of 6, camping is the cheapest way to travel. Most state parks are between $15-$25 per day, we can cook our own food, and the wilderness is free.
- We love the outdoors.
- Camping vacations force you as a family to spend time together & really talk.
- We're trying to pay down debt, and didn't want to spend a lot for a get-away.
I'm a pretty tough cookie. Few things rattle me, however, I get very woozy when driving over bridges or windy roads. Notice the sign about steep grades the "next 22 miles"? Mr. Man said, "See that mountain? We're going all of the way up." We were in the excursion, towing the camper, and I thought I was going to have a panic attack. Most of the mountain roads were very narrow, and had no shoulder. Guard rails were scarce, and the road kept winding and winding.
You get the picture. We finally arrived to Fort Mountain State Park, and came upon deer right by the bath house! It was a great welcome!
The first night we arrived, it was cold and windy. I had anticipated colder nights on the mountain, but nothing like this. I convinced Mr. Man that we need to head back down the mountain and get some gloves and hats. The weather channel was calling for snow. No exactly how I had envisioned our Spring Break trip. We ventured back down the mountain and found a Dollar General. We stocked up on snacks, hot cocoa and cap guns for the boys. The closest thing we found for gloves were men's X-LG work gloves. Luckily, we rummaged through the excursion, aka "the Beast" and found gloves for all of the boys. In the morning, we woke up to this:
A big part of me wanted to pout and cry. It was snowing, the wind was cutting, and it was bitterly cold outside. I tried not to be envious of our friends who were at the beach with their toes in the sand. Mr. Man and the boys went outside and tried to start a fire. I watched them from the window, rosey cheeked and laughing. It was at that moment that I decided when life gives you poop, make poop juice, or hot chocolate in our case. We bundled up and took a hike around the lake. We played outside and watched the snow fall. The boys stuck twigs in the fire, and tried to burn each other. The highest the temperature got that day was 26 degrees. At breakfast and after dinner, we read the Bible together. We stopped after each verse and discussed what they meant. We turned on Air One and had it playing most of the day. By mid afternoon, I dug out some road trip game we had never played, which was followed by 5 rounds of "20 Questions." By 5th round and 5th cartoon character as the "who" I suggested that we go start a fire.
Mr. Man can do all most anything, except build fires. I must admit, I could not stop laughing watching him. The wind was blowing hard, and it was snowing on and off. Mr. Man didn't seem to have a real strategy except for throwing more and more wood on the dwindling fire. He built the fire to the side of the pit. When he DID manage to get some real flames, they were spitting off sparks and he all most caught his jeans on fire. Then, there was the smoke. I asked him if he was making "SOS" signals. He left to go get some more wood, and I may or may not have "helped" his little fire along. By the time he returned, the fire was steady, and Mr. Man brought out the big guns. "I've had this wood for 2 years. It is dry to the bone." (Technically, we were supposed to use our own wood to make a fire, something about bringing in worms or bugs or something harmful to the trees, but I wasn't going to say anything.) Two hours later, we finally had fire.
When it got dark, the boys went outside and played with their cap guns. I'm not really sure what kind of game it was OR what the rules were OR how they determined who won. Mr. Man would load up their guns, he'd count, they'd scatter, and then shoot each other, and someone would declare himself a "winner."