Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day weekend..continued. We arrived at the campground about 4:30-ish, and when we pulled into our campsite I couldn't believe it...the place was (literally!) a giant pile of rocks! There wasn't a square foot that didn't have some football-sized rock in the ground! (good thing I packed the air matresses!)

It didn't take TOO long to get the tent up, and while Matt and I assembled it, the girls went exploring in the giant field of rocks. Turns out it was an absolute haven for toads and chipmunks. You couldn't walk anywhere without seeing a toad hopping around, or a chipmunk scurrying over the rocks, trees (even our car!)
After we set up camp, we found there was very little in the way of firewood. So I made a run to a nearby wal-mart, hoping to buy an such luck..they sell guns, but no axes. So I had to buy a couple stacks of firewood from the locals along the road to the park, who all seemed to be selling stacks of firewood lol.

Sunday morning we were up fairly early, and decided to take a nice nature walk before it got too hot. We drove over to the trailhead, and on the way found this Eastern Box turtle slowly making his way across the road.

I stopped the car, picked him up, showed him to the girls, and then put him safely away from the road on the other side, where he could continue on out of harm's way.

We reached the trail after only passing by it 3 or 4 times (it was not very well marked). It was a nice, easy trail for the most part, gently winding through the forest. We found this old well? Cistern? It doesn't show well in the picture, but it was a deep, circular hole in the ground, that I didn't let the kids get TOO close to.

About 1/2 way through the 2 mile trail we found a hillside covered in huge rocks, which, of course, the kids wanted to go play on.

Then we reached the 1/2 way mark of the trail and found it went straight UP. There was about a 600 foot elevation we had to go up, then back down. I must say my calves are STILL feeling that climb! The kids, of course, were running up and down the whole time. Ah, to be 8 again lol. Ladybird handled it very well, too. She was just as energetic at the end of the trail as the beginning (though she did drink a lot from the doggie canteen I brought). Though when we got back to camp and I put her in her x-pen, she immediately zonked out.

A really beautiful fern-covered rock at the end of the trail.

We finished about 11, and got back to camp to rest a bit. After lunch I took the girls swimming. Sara had to have a rubber glove taped onto her hand to keep her stitches dry, which didn't make her happy, though I pointed out she could just NOT swim, which at least made her stop complaining. Even though the park has 2 lakes, you are not allowed to go swimming in them, and have to go shell out 7 bucks a person to use the pool. It was a very nice pool, but still if we wanted to swim in a pool, I have one in our backyard that is free. Anyway, the girls had a great time, and I brought a folding chair and a bag of new books, so I got to spend a few hours reading, which is something I don't have a lot of time to do anymore.
Sunday night was cold, with awful thunderstorms, and a lot of rain (we found the tent has a hole in the roof, somewhere, which I'll have to patch up before our weeklong trip in july).
Monday we learned a good lesson. Always read the campground rules CAREFULLY. We were almost out of firewood, so Matt took the hatchet and chopped down a very dead, but still standing tree at the back of our campsite JUST in time for a nice park ranger to come and give him a ticket. Seems standing trees, even if dead, are off-limits. Which makes sense when you think about it, but we didn't. The fine will be set by a judge...hopefully this will not be a horrendously expensive lesson.
We packed up and headed out about 4 on monday, got ice-cream on the way home, and ate leftover chicken from Sunday for dinner. I managed to get everything put away and all our laundry done, before collapsing in my nice, warm bed.
I really had a good time, and can't wait to do it again. Our next trip is a five-day stay in the adirondacks in mid-July when we go up for dad's annual pig roast/family reunion.


At 8:44 AM , Blogger Jen said...

Great pics! It looks like you guys had a great time (despite the ticket thing)- and I am SO ENVIOUS of your tent! I am off to get a new one tonight- 5 person versus my current 3 person.

I can barely recognize Sara, she is so big now!

The turtle- wow. Wow. I have never seen a turtle that color, so beautiful.

Glad you had a nice time! Maybe some time we could all go camping together!


At 12:06 PM , Blogger gryphonkessira said...

hey I'd love that Jen, maybe something late summer..northern PA should be about 1/2 way for both of us..I'll just have to see how much vacation time matt has left


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