Subtitled: An All-Too-Short Stay at the St. Croix St. Park
Surprise! I did go camping after all, having driven up to meet my family after my meeting on Saturday morning.
This is how I felt when I arrived:
It was heavenly to be back with my family and to spend the rest of the weekend in the
buggy great outdoors.
Only three of us got stung by a bee! We did well.
This is where we were:
Quick, kids, what’s the Minnesota State Tree?
How about the Minnesota State Flower?
The Minnesota State Bird?
The Minnesota State Muffin?
(Answers are in the com box.)
(And aren’t I nice to care about your kids’ knowledge of state symbols?)
We went camping with two other families. Here’s a photo of our happy group:
Aren’t we cute?
We do a lot of group camping. In fact, if it weren’t for my friend Tina organizing all these outings, I don’t think I’d get my backside out the door at all.
(It’s good to get one’s backside out the door now and then.)
Tina’s really good at camping. Still, I’m thinking there has to be some rule against looking this good while “roughing” it.
At least I obey the rules.
Would you believe that I straightened my hair that morning? Of course you wouldn’t.
(I include this photo in all humility.)
Another good thing about group camping is that there’s plenty of slave labor.
Though when you have six children, you’re pretty much always group camping.
Here is a photo of our camp site…
…including the most important part.
I like to tease my husband about being the Camp Gestapo. He’s always making sure that things get done correctly.
You can see that Baby Anthony agrees with his father’s directives.
Anthony did well on his first tent camping trip, by the way. He was quite the little trooper. (It helped that there never a shortage of older kids to hold him. I think I saw him maybe twice the whole weekend.)
See what I mean? This is Tina’s daughter Kaylee. She is destined to be a really great mom.
Here is a typical conversation between Kaylee and me:
Me: Do you want me to take the baby back?
I love Kaylee. I want to keep her.
Now I know that many of you are thinking, “I could never camp, let only with a 3-month baby.” I know you’re thinking this! You’ve said it!
Well, you know what? There are things you see when you go camping that you never see when you stay home.
And bees that sting.
What? That’s not a totally convincing list? Okay, how about this? I go camping to see the stars. The night sky is amazing when you get out of the city—just amazing, and breathtaking, and absolutely unequivocally beautiful.
We saw the biggest Big Dipper we’d ever seen. We saw the Milky Way. We got a crick in our neck from staring up and still we stared.
Another of my favorite things about going camping, and about state parks in particular, is that there is almost always an “Interpretive Center” on the premises.
Hi, my name is Margaret and I’m a geeky homeschooling mom.
According to this display, I have the wingspan of a Canada Goose.
I am happy that this display measured the span of my arms and not my hips.
Hey, here’s an interesting bit of trivia for the kids. Did you know that the length of your arm span is pretty much the same as your height?
These are the things that you learn at Interpretive Centers.
Ellie the Dog likes state parks, too, and thinks that they smell really good. She looks like she’s panting happily in this photo, doesn’t she? She is really saying, “Let me go. Let me go. Let me go.”
Here’s my husband again. He’s a gear geek.
I don’t mind that he’s a gear geek because, like my friend Tina , he’s really good at camping.
And plus he got me, like, the warmest sleeping bag ever for this trip. It almost made me forget those bee stings…
…while getting this photo totally did.
Getting photos like these makes camping worth it, and I just know that you agree.
All for the greater glory of God,