In my previous post I discussed the planning of our first family camping trip. I tried to plan everything to perfection so the kids would have the best time ever and be excited about any and all future trips and I'm proud to say that, even with a few mishaps, it was a successful trip! So, here's the recap!
The drive there was super pretty and uneventful. We followed along the side of the Arkansas River for the majority of the drive which made for some nice scenery. When we arrived the weather was nice and we got right to work setting up camp. The first snaffoo was realizing that the air pump for our air mattress needed D batteries that I did not have. So, Derek went to a the nearest town (20 minutes) to purchase some along with some alcohol for us to enjoy later by the fire. He wasn't excited about it but I have scoliosis and was unwilling to compromise with no mattress. Mere moments after his departure Arthur was trying to rinse his hands in the river and FELL IN! Luckily it is the Arkansas River Headwaters so the river is not as huge as it gets further south but he was pretty upset and the water was very cold. Luckily, the tent was set up so we got him in some dry clothes and he was all better.
When Derek returned we finished setting up our bed and had a dinner of chili cheese fries, hotdogs and s'mores. Everyone had a blast. Then it was bedtime. I purchased a tent heater to ensure that we had a good night's sleep however, I did not purchase a winterized tent. FAIL. The tent has a roof that is made entirely of mesh with an optional cover for rain. So, all of the heat our bodies and the heater produced went straight out of the top of the tent. We were all freezing for the entire night. It was terrible.
So, the next morning I have the ingenious idea to duct tape emergency blankets to the entire ceiling of the tent. I was quite proud of myself. I looked like we were inside of a a UFO and was a bit noisy but I'll take a little noise over freezing to death any day. The rest of the day was nice and relaxing. I made fire cooked blueberry french toast for breakfast which was bomb. We hung out, went for a hike, read books, the kids took advantage of all of the crafting supplies that I brough and I worked on some cross-stitching. For dinner I made us chicken teriyaki vegetables with rice which was also amaze-balls and we had some more s'mores. Then the wind came. It was so very, very windy. We had to extinguish the fire for fear of catching our tent on fire and we sent the kids into the tent to watch t.v. on my phone to distract them from the fact that Derek was outside literally holding the tent down. Oh, and the emergency blanket ceiling was soooooo loud with that wind ripping through it you could barely hear inside the tent. But, it did hold up and only had to be re-taped in a few places. And, once the wind calmed down we all slept great because the emergency blankets worked! I actually got sweaty even though it was colder the second night than it was the first.
The next morning the wind was still insane so we couldn't have a fire for breakfast but we did have a camp stove so we managed to eat some eggs and sausage. After packing up we headed to the nearby town of Buena Vista which is super picturesque. We enjoyed some well-deserved doughnuts and bougie coffee and even found an adorable bookstore to peruse for a bit. Then it was back home!
So, was it the picture perfect trip I had planned? No. But, it was very memorable and included a lot of family time. Plus, the kids had a blast despite the sleeping woes and are ready to go back. However, I don't think I will plan another fall camping trip. We'll go for a summer trip next time and hopefully avoid all of the trouble we experienced on this trip. If you're interested in any of the fun activities, planners and recipes that I used on my trip you can find them all for free in the my Mommy Camp: Camping download found on the post linked below.
Rachel is a mother of three, elementary Spanish teacher and part-time blogger who loves crafting, creating fun and engaging activities for her children and students and hanging with her friends and family. She blogs about what she's doing and her interests at any given time which vary. She's a little OCD and always looking for her next project. Her husband calls it, "focusing her crazy", but she just calls it fun.