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Outdoor kids: I really, really like camping

We returned home this afternoon from a very fun weekend camping trip at Gone Creek Campground at Mt. Hood's Timothy Lake. Our first time. Gorgeous lake. Breathtaking views of Hood. Delightful weather. Very chilly at night, but all the more fun singing songs around the campfire together. We went with Heather's family and another preschool family (we same three families also camped together once last summer). 

I'm not going to capture all that was wonderful about it, as I've reached that state of tiredness that typically follows a long camping weekend. We now are all scrubbed clean and no longer sportin' eau de campfire smoke, and oh so happy to be home. Yet we are constantly talking about all that was enjoyable about the trip:

  • My 3-year-old: I didn't go camping in a long, long, long, long time. I really like camping. I come to this camp park again. Can we have graham crackers again?
  • My 5-year-old: I liked swimming in the cold mountain lake and going in the boat. We saw the crawdads race back to the water. It was fun to help bring new logs to the campfire.
  • My husband (aka cheap-o-dad): I liked the Saturday morning hike around the lake. And staying up late after the kids were asleep to watch the Perseid's shooting stars and make "pull-my-finger" jokes. Getting Heather's competitive streak going during that game of rummy.
  • Me: All of it. The shooting stars were spectacular! The joy of knowing one day my kids will be old enough to stay up and watch with us and ooh and aah like we did. When Heather and I rowed out on the boat this morning to dream about spending summer's in exotic places with our families sometime in the hopefully not too distant future. All pitching together to get the meals prepared and washing the dishes together (yes, oddly, I enjoyed the togetherness and camaraderie of dishes). Discovering that a squirt of canola oil got rid of the nasty bit of pine pitch I accidentally smeared all over my fleece.

There is something special about being in the outdoors. Good for the kids, and us grown-ups too. Permission to be dirtier and sillier than usual. Let's hope it's not a long, long, long, long time before we do it again.


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