Friday, June 3, 2016

Memorial Day Camping, 2016

Usually the school year ends on the Thursday before Memorial Day. We head off camping the very next day. This year, however, we had an entire week off before camping. The kids were so excited. They were counting down the days. We went to the same campground as always in Williams, AZ. It's called Dogtown Lake. Dakri reserves the group campsite every year and it's always so much fun.

Before we hit the 4 mile dirt road that heads to the campground, we hit the Dairy Queen.  Nothing like starting the trip with a blizzard.

Speaking of which, last year, it was hailing when we got to the campground.  It was so cold that weekend.  This year, we were looking for perfect weather, high around 70, low in the high 30's.

We were the first people to get there.

Emily did what she does...handstands.

Noah started collecting firewood for his fire.  This kid loves fire.  I told him he should be a fireman one day.  He told me that he likes to start fires, not put them out.  Oh, um, well not sure there is a job for that.

Ben did what he does, run in the woods.

David and I got our camp all set up.

Then, it was time to relax...
That's Lucy, the Sutton's dog.  
She loves David.  And she loves David's chair!

This is Savannah.  We are good friends with their family.  Usually we'll see each other at the pool and Noah doesn't have a lot to do with her or her sister who is 8.  Noah is smack dab in age between the two.  But out here camping, they had time to bond.  It was cute.  Noah would get shy whenever I'd try to take a picture.

Noah found this huge piece of wood and dragged it back for the fire.
It weighed more than him.

The first night, there were gnats.  We didn't have any mosquitos, no ants, no bees, but these gnats were pesky.  They kept landing in our food and I couldn't tell what was pepper and what was a gnat.  So, David and I ate in our car.  It was perfect.  Luckily, the gnats were gone the next morning.  Do you like how I have a plate and my husband has a frying pan.  :)

Here's Noah with Clara and Savannah.

Josh brought a friend, Isaac, who made the best fire.  He's hired!

My pretty girl...

It looks like it's the middle of the afternoon, but it was already about 7 and we wanted smores!

Did you notice the plug in coffee pot on our table?  Ok, this is one of my biggest gripes about camping.  Bad coffee.  We've tried everything.  It's either too strong, too weak, has grinds in it, etc.  So, the past few times, we'd brew enough coffee here and take it in an empty milk jug and reheat it.  It was better than nothing.  The other problem is David would make coffee when he got up.  By the time I got up, it was cold.  Then, the kids would trickle out of the tent later.  It was a never ending problem.  

Then, I was at a yard sale and saw this coffepot with a pot that is insulated and stays hot for 4 hours.  Hmmm...I got the idea to buy an AC adapter that plugs into the car and we could make coffee.  So, I got the adapter and bought the coffeepot.  Only problem, the AC adapter can only handle 350 watts.  A coffeepot pulls over 1,000.  Ugh.  Then, David and I put our brains together.  We heat the water with our camp stove, pour it in the coffee grind part, close it and it drips into the pot like it normally would.  You don't need any electricity.  It worked brilliantly!  The pot kept the coffee hot and when the kids woke up, we'd just pour them a cup.  Everyone was so happy to not have yucky coffee!

See...Ben looks very happy, right?

Noah heading off to find his friends.  :)

We went shooting that afternoon.

Ben borrowed a pellet gun.

David teaching Noah how to use our new Red Ryder! 
And nobody shot their eye out!

We walked down to the lake.

The Sutton's brought an inflatable boat, so the girls went in.

We did sparklers at night and smores every night.

Ben was dying to hear a ghost story, so Isaac had one to share.

It was a huge fire.  Then, the girls all threw pineneedles on it and up it went!

The kids played some game called spoons.

And that was it in a nutshell.  We got home and we were exhausted and had so much stuff to do.  It's always so much work to go camping and then so much work when you get home.  It's a good thing we pretty much do nothing for the 3 days we are there!


Linda said...

Okay so the first thing I should write is that I'm writing this comment at 12:05 AM on Saturday morning because your Uncle Jim and I have stayed up late, drinking and chatting on the patio and in the garage space until now, LOL. Hello summer! :) The "kids" are still out and we're waiting for their return home. My, how things change through the years.

Anyway... I loved reading about your camping adventures and seeing all the photos. I still have never once been camping in all of my life, and really never has Sarah (other than the backyard and that doesn't really count). We've talked about going, but we'll see if we really do. It looks like fun to me. :)


Anonymous said...

Finally Grampie can stop bothering me about getting Ginina to send some pictures... LOL! We really loved seeing all the pics and what was going on. I know it takes a lot of work to get everything ready and then set up and then the take down and put away once you get back home but those are memories the kids will have probably forever. Our camping trips when I was young were great too but instead of eating in the car I got to sleep in the car which pleased me immensely so much better than in the tent and we didn't really have those big mattresses like today. Mom and Dad had air mattresses but all the kids had were sleeping bags on the tent floor and when it rained as it often did. oh Boy you can imagine. :(
Anyway as always thanks for sharing the fun..