Family Fun

Yesterday our family headed up to the Shenandoah National Park for a day of hiking. I have camped and hiked all of my life. I am from Iowa, but spent summers in California with my dad. Camping was pretty much what we did the entire time and I loved it. The few happy memories I have of my younger years are of being at Lake Tahoe or in Yosemite. We went lots of place, but those were my fav.

We did camping somewhere in between roughing it and yuppie. We always camped in a tent and used the best of camping gear, but we always stayed in fairly busy campgrounds and did only day hikes. I can build a camp fire, but not with a magnifying glass and a twig…I need some wood and newspaper. As with other parts of my life, I didn’t get as much from the experience as I could have.

I would venture to say that from the time I was 5 until now, I have been camping/hiking (all over the US) more than the average person and yet, I can hardly identify any trees, plants, or flowers. I know basic first aid, but not much else.

One of the best hiking memories I have is of me and my hubby on our honeymoon. We traveled from Iowa to California in his Fiero, yes, I said Fiero. We stopped off in Utah and hiked  Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon…Gorgeous.

All of our kids are seasoned hikers, but this summer we haven’t been out much due to my work schedule, but yesterday, we spent the whole day in the mountains. I was in heaven.

We hiked a little over 4 miles of pure beauty!

Me eating a little pre-hike watermelon.

A and her daddy heading up the trail.

E and her brother stopped to play with some bugs.

A little sibling love.

A little spouse-ly love.

H was walking backwards to take a pic of me and his dad, but his SA was off and he ended up falling down. He got a little scrape and our mother hen, E, was right there digging into her backpack to retrieve her first aid kit. She insisted on putting on the gloves. I think she was a little disappointed that he did not need some appendage amputated. I am positive she would have tried to remove one of his limbs with her pocket knife.

This is M and me sitting on the edge listening to the waterfall and other sounds of nature. She absolutely refused to allow me to put her gorgeous face on the blog, so I cropped her out, but I wanted her represented here in some form.

During the hike we didn’t see much wildlife, but as soon as we got to our car to leave, we saw this beauty and this one…

This little guy was giving the rangers fits. He is a sneaky fella who wasn’t causing any issues, but he liked heading into the campgrounds and giving the folks a little wake up call. He let people get very very close to him. We did not walk up to him, but many people were barely more than an arms length away. He was a cutie.

I tried to get a pic of the dart gun that the female ranger was holding, but I couldn’t get a good shot. I should have just asked her, but I chickened out. Why, I don’t know. My hubby and I talked to them for about 10 minutes and they were the nicest people. We shared bear encounter stories. They told us that the park hasn’t seen any real bear-people problems. They had a case back in the 70’s where a bear went into some person’s tent and the man got scraped up pretty good, but was fine. We told them about the time we were in Big Bear and a bear opened our back door. He was huge and not looking so friendly. My dad chased him off with a broom. Unfortunately, people had been feeding him and they eventually had to put him down.

E took this picture and insisted I put it on the blog. I love to make her happy, so…

Could not have asked for a more perfect day.


35 thoughts on “Family Fun

  1. I continue to be amazed at how amazing your kid’s are, when the girl’s reach dating age you and your husband will have your hands full. I would often sit at our dining room table with either a shotgun; rifle or service pistol disassembled just before the prospective boyfriends arrivals with my step daughter. After meeting the ‘boyfriend” I’d sit down and begin the reassembly of the “gun of the moment” and casually discuss some of the “calls for service” I’d responded to where “suitors” had encountered the wrath of an angry parent. This would be followed by a long look into the by now very pale face of the young man and my comment “we’re not going to have any of those problems are we?”.

    • Ha, perfect! I think my girls will need that kind of love from us too. Hopefully, I will have taught them well and they will choose good men…those like their father and you.

  2. W00T! Fellow (former) Hawkeye!

    “As with other parts of my life, I didn’t get as much from the experience as I could have.”

    BS. You got everything out of it that you needed. You don’t need to be Survivor(wo)man to get the most out of camping and hiking. Is not survival, is fun! Don’t be so hard on yourself. 😀

    My wife’s idea of “roughing it” was a hotel without room service. My youngest boy sneers at my sister’s RV and tells her “That’s not camping!” We use a tent, too, but we don’t go very far off the beaten path…just far enough to get to the fishing hole.

    We haven’t been lately. Maybe it’s time to break the tent out…

  3. Was that near or at Big Meadows? Used to love going there in the summertime as a kid with family to get a little relief from the heat.

    By the way, good first picture, standing without your legs crossed!!
    Last picture – ? You’re getting better!

    • Lol, Ok, I know this is gonna sound like an excuse, but my legs were not crossed in the last photo:) my daughter has been trying to get me to be less “stiff” in pics, so I put my leg in front of the other to look more “natural” Now Arete, will still say that sucks…he has mentioned this before and really he doesn’t think crossed legs when sitting down is good:) I guess I gotta find a way to look feminine with my legs on more solid footing…lol

      Yes, it was Big Meadows…Lewis Trail. Lovely, lovely!

  4. I love Shenandoah National Park, we used to go there all the time and hike, picnic, and fish. It’s just so relaxing to be out in mother nature. It looks like your kids totally enjoyed themselves. Beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing them with us.

  5. Debora and I were up there a couple weeks ago. Plan is to do each of the waterfall hikes. 6.5 miler is last on the list, tentatively set for October. Took the pupster and saw our first rattlesnake in the wild suning itself on a rock a little below us at the end of the trail. Love the waterfalls. Not a fan of rattlers.

    • Yes yes, the rangers said the rattlers have been abundant this year. We didn’t see any, but not a fan either. I was bit by a snake when I was a kid…my dad had to rush me to a ranger station and they gave me some kind of shot. I don’t think it was venomous, but I did have a swollen leg for days.

  6. What a great day! It makes me want to load up Lu and Angus and go hike Zion. Maybe next weekend….

  7. Next, canoes down the Shenandoah.

    It’s much more fun in August/September when the river is low, you get more rapids that way.
    If you talk with one of the outfitters around Harper’s Ferry or Luray, they can set you up with some rentals, and they know the best pieces of river to do, depending on experience, kids, how long you want to go, etc..
    Yes, you can do overnight trips and camp along the river.

    2nd Lottajoy. Nice guns. You got a heavy bag?

  8. Looks like fun!

    I’m jonesing for some outdoors time… it’s been since April! But it’s just so darned hot here (and not very pretty) compared to home. I’m hoping to get Hubby and the Pup out in September before he deploys, but while he’s gone and it’s cooler I think I’m going to try for once a month.

    • The heat is hard(I love it, but tough on the kids, so we don’t go)

      Being outside and doing help clear the mind and pass the time:)

  9. We like to do our hiking up at Estes Park (Rocky Mtn National). We’ve been known to leave at sunrise, do a 12+ mile hike with a 2-3,000 foot elevation change and be home in time for dinner. Exhausting, but the views are incredible and the exercise is satisfying.

    Doing that next summer to hike over the Continental Divide, then go to the Grand Canyon and hike in, camp, and hike out over a few days. 🙂 And yes, I can carry in all of those parks. 🙂 WOOT!

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