Weekending sounds so fancy! We were not fancying it up this weekend however, we were keeping it real with a good old-fashioned camping trip. We headed out Friday after work with a van full of supplies. The Ingall's had less in their covered wagon when they headed for the prairie! We got to a long time family favorite, Camp Toodik (yes, the name makes for lots of jokes. We get a picture of the sign just because of it every time we go.) We went there with my Dad back in the days before he was so ill. He loved it there, for good reason. It is about an hour and 45 minute drive and you are in beautiful Amish farm country (Amish country = young girls selling homemade hand pies in many flavors!). Mohican State Park has one of my favorite hikes which includes a covered bridge, waterfall and giant hydro-electric dam. The campground is right on the river, is beautifully wooded, is a family place (aka no beer pong is tolerated), and has the cleanest flush toilets (not outhouse! :) of any campground, EVER. We got there with time to set up camp and spent the evening honing our Olympic grade marshmallow roasting skills before bed.
Creepy night time photos...
We spent some time in the tent reading aloud from The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It is fun to read about blizzards during a very hot summer! We are enjoying reading the Little House series and learning so much from them, both historically, technically (the descriptions of machines and procedures are fairly in-depth and help to make this more interesting for boys as well as girls) and philosophically. Also, as a spiritual but not traditionally religious family, their devotion to the bible and God has opened up a lot of great conversations for us. It was really nice to read together by the lantern's light with a soundtrack of crickets and bullfrogs totally rocking out around us.
We woke up on Saturday at 6 a.m. to a view of the river with sunbeams peeking through the trees.
and hot coffee. YES! It was 6 a.m., after all. And marshmallows, because, well, why wouldn't you?
Wolfie wanted to take a picture of his "new home".
We were excited that Grandma and Grandpa could come and spend a day with us. While waiting for them, we walked around the entrance of the camp, where the seasonal campers live. It was Christmas in July, so they had decorated for a contest. This site had a tree festooned with beer cans! "Tastefully" done?
"Oh black and tan-enbaum",
We took a 10 mile canoe trip together, which The Grand Hoff's made easy work of, but Matt capsized our canoe once, which felt good because it was getting pretty warm on the river. The trip in the school bus to the livery took us through beautiful rolling farms in the foothills of the Appalachians.
There were several dogs on the bus and later in canoes and in the river, which was a lot of fun to see! The trip ended only a few campsites from our own, which is another great feature of this campground. Then it was time for a dip in the pool!
After that, we drove to nearby Shreve and dined at Des Dutch Essenhaus, so, o.k., we "weekended" a little. On the drive, we stopped at a favorite farm's produce stand.
We picked up sweet corn, of course. But, there was an Amish boy and girl selling bakery! Hand pies! Wolf spoke with the girl, and I had confirmation that he had soaked up some of our lessons on the Amish, as I heard him tell her, "You're Amish? Well, I'm English." The little boy even introduced us to his horse. We returned to the campsite for some more campfire with the GrandHoffs before they started the trek back home. We had some more reading and a peaceful night's sleep, probably courtesy of 10 miles worth of the Lake Fork branch of the Mohican River.
In the morning, we had Sweet corn and blueberry and cherry pies for breakfast! Delicious! Our neighbor was cooking for four teenaged boys. He had sausage, gravy, a huge pan of eggs, waffles (from his wafflemaker!) with syrup warmed in a crock pot! He actually had to force those boys to get up and eat!!!!!! I don't know how he packed all that stuff, but I do know that those boys had NO idea how good they had it! We enjoyed their breakfasty smells, but really enjoyed cooking on our fire and some memorably good food!
We spent a little time sightseeing in the area and stopped for ice cream before hitting the road towards home. We just had to bring a little bit of the weekend home, so we stopped for another dozen ears of that sweet corn to enjoy at home.
Today, we are still reminiscing about our trip. Vlad has drawn our campsite on the front sidewalk!
We had a wonderful weekend and I had a good test of my new homemade bug repellent. No bug bites! I followed Amanda Soule's recipe for "bug away" found in her fantastic book, "The Rhythm of the Family".