Jul 21, 2009

Lazing In The Woods

The camping trip this past weekend was just awesome.

The weather was great (upper 70's - low 80's) and we had even more people than I originally thought were going to be there. The total count was 20 people in our group!

We got three different sites that happened to be next to each other so we all spread out and took over our little piece of "forestry acreage" to maximum effect.

Luckily there wasn't a burn ban to prevent us from having a campfire, as long as we had a fire extinguisher or a 5-Gal. bucket of water nearby in case things got out-of-hand.

Friday we all showed up and picked out our spots. G-rod & I took a site by ourselves so that everyone else could be closer together since they all had children.
We made some food and sat around talking for a while until the bugs started coming out and it was getting dark. Then we built a fire in the pit and the kids all made s'mores while I got busy mixing up a few mojitos for the adults.

Some of us stayed up until well after midnight, just hanging out by the campfire and talking.
Finally we started to get sleepy so we headed of to our separate tents until later that morning.

The kids, of course, were the first ones up and ready to play.
The adults kind of stumbled around for a bit until somebody got some coffee brewed and then things started to come into focus.

Imperfect treated all of us to some fantastic French Toast on Saturday morning.
His French Toast is the bomb and always a welcome treat at camp.
While he was cooking up breakfast, some of the kids wanted to snuggle with "Uncle Ferretnick", which was just fine by me.
It was a bit chilly in the morning, so having a kid or two on my lap kept me warm until my breakfast was ready.

When they weren't snuggling, they were busy switching everybody's hats until all of them ended up on G-rod.

We all talked about what we were planning to do that day, but the general consensus was..... nothing.
Pretty much we all just wanted to relax around camp and enjoy the weather.
I had brought some crafts for the kids, but they were mostly busy running around and entertaining themselves when they weren't hanging off of me.

After a little while, we decided to take the kids to see Franklin Falls. It's a pretty short hike (2-miles round trip) and not very far from camp in case any of the little ones pooped-out.
We got about 20 yards into the trail when somebody noticed that there were some nice, smooth rocks right next to the creek. So we diverted off-trail and spent the next 45 mins to an hour hanging out on the creek side while the kids threw rocks into the water and splashed around for a while.

I also took a few pictures of the scenery while I was there.

Then everyone finally tired of that and decided to get back on the trail.
We got about another 30 yards and then the kids started getting hungry and fussy, so we just trucked 'em all back to camp.
It may have been only a 50 yard hike, but everyone had fun.

Lunches were made and the kids played while the adults mostly napped or read a book under the trees.

I got out the coloring books I'd made and took the kids to one of the picnic tables to color and keep them busy for a while.
I also made necklaces from rocks that the kids found at the creek. They loved them and wore them around camp for most of the remainder of the day.

Hotness didn't camp with us, but she did come out to visit briefly.
She got there in the late afternoon and stayed until dinner before heading back home again.

As evening wore on, I brought out some glow bracelets for the kids to wear around camp as it got darker.

Then we all brought out the s'more fixin's and got busy making some sugary treats.
I try to shake things up and stay away from the ordinary when we're at camp.
So for making s'mores I brought cinnamon-covered graham crackers and a bevy of exotic chocolates to choose from.
We had:
Caramel-filled milk chocolate
Peanut butter-filled milk chocolate
Dark chocolate w/ orange
Dark chocolate w/ pomegranate
and Raspberry-filled dark chocolate

Everybody experimented with the selection to come up with their own favorites.
No word yet on which one was the best.

After dark, the kids hit the sack (or rather, the sleeping bag) and a few of the adults stayed up for a bit around the campfire quoting scenes from movies and telling poop jokes. (Wait... did I say the kids had already gone to bed?!?)

The next morning, I got up and started working on a breakfast recipe that I came up with at camp a while back.
Basically it's a biscuit crust bottom with seasoned hamburger & toasted pine nuts (and sometimes I throw in a can of mushrooms too), topped with shredded cheese and then on top of that I cover it with more biscuit dough.
Then I stick it in a Dutch Oven to cook for about an hour.
Here it is cooking:
But I'm afraid I forgot to get a picture of it after it was finished.
It went over well with everyone and was finished quickly.
This was the last day of camping and we all had to be out of the sites before the afternoon.
Most of the people had a pretty good drive waiting for them on their way back home, so soon after breakfast we all started breaking down camp and packing up.

I got out around 11:30 a.m. and made it home shortly before 1:00 p.m.
I unpacked the car and then took a shower to wash the smoke, dirt and general camping "funk" off of me.

It was great time and everybody had fun.


Here are a few other pics from the weekend:

0 things people had to say: