We now have 5 nights of sleeping in our camper under our belts! Things have gone smoothly thus far. It’s not all sunshine and roses when camping with small children, but we’ve been having fun. J did not want the camping trip to end, so that is a great sign that he is enjoying it. H doesn’t say much yet but we can tell that she has enjoyed getting to be outside (despite the heat and humidity) and having free reign to explore the campsite. The campground is HUGE with over 300 sites and most have at least water and electric. Several have full hookups. The sites are wide in most areas and you are not on top of your neighbor. However, the loop that we stayed in is the snuggest of them all that has electric and water. Our site was plenty large enough to accommodate our RV but there wasn’t much room between our parking pad and the next site’s border. With the entire campground (including primitive sites) full to capacity, we took what we could get!
We camped at Piney Campground in the Land Between the Lakes area. This nature mecca is only a 30 minute drive from our house. There is fishing, boating, camping, wildlife and nature in abundance here. It’s a national recreation area and is run by the USDA Forest Service.
Here’s a recap of what all went down this weekend. I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I would have liked but we were pretty busy and it was VERY hot. I just didn’t feel like lugging my big camera everywhere that we went.
Friday night was spent getting set up inside and out. We did grilled cheese sandwiches for ease and then we called it a night. We hit the hay early because we knew that Saturday was going to be a busy and fun-filled day.
Saturday morning we got breakfast going and cooked inside the RV for the first time. Michael was worried it would heat up the inside too much but it all worked out fine. We took it pretty slow and let the kids explore some. Michael’s parent’s came down to visit us mid-morning and we enjoyed seeing them! At 11:00 they had a bird feeder craft at the big pavilion. They tied string to pine cones and then smeared peanut butter all over it. Then rolled it in bird seed. J enjoyed this a lot but it was too messy for H. She just came along for moral support. LOL It was great to see so many kids out playing and riding bikes. The campground was full of families.
After lunch, H took a nap and Michael and J went back up to the pavilion to start the Junior Ranger program. They gave each kid a booklet to complete some activities in it to earn their badge. They started off by heading to the bison range about 20 minutes away. As you can see below, J drew a pictures of a bison and had to document (with Daddy’s help) what he saw.
The view from our campsite. It was shaded all day long! One funny thing that happened during lunch on Saturday was that we were all eating at the table and these big chunks of tree (not bark but actual wood) kept falling down all over the table and the food. We could hear something up in the tree above but couldn’t see it and we figured it was a squirrel. It sounded like something hammering though. We finally got a good look at it and it was huge woodpecker. Not some tiny one but a really big one. It was going to town on that tree and we were getting rained on! Eventually we finished up and moved away from the table. I was afraid it would start pooping on us next! A few minutes later, out of nowhere, a big tree branch comes crashing down right past our site border. Thankfully we had all moved and kids weren’t over there!!
View of our campsite from the yard part of it. The access road is on the right.
Sunday was a busy morning because we all got up early, ate breakfast and headed to our church for worship. We were only 45 minutes away and we really felt like we needed to be there. After church we had a big fellowship meal and I took H home to nap (it’s half-way between the campground and church) and then we headed back down to Piney.
One thing I want to note is that the kids slept great all 3 nights. We couldn’t have asked for them to have done better. However, our sleep was another story. First of all the bed we sleep on is pretty small (and we sleep on a queen at home). The second thing is that the people on the site behind us were loud.It was one of the few permanent sites and they had their table set up about 8 feet away from our sleeping slide out. Quiet time starts at 10 but on Saturday and Sunday nights we were awakened by loud talking and laughing around 12:30-2 am. Ugh! We never did say anything or report them because eventually they quieted down and it was obvious they were being loud because of drinking, but we really were not happy! That is one reason why I won’t stay in this particular loop of the campground ever again.
We walked up to the ranger station to have them check J’s activity book and get his ranger badge!
J wanted a picture with the “weather rock.” He thought it was so cool!
Daddy enjoying the cooler evening temps on Sunday night!
A little before lunch we were all loaded and hitched up and ready to head home and unpack. It was a great weekend and nice to unplug and get away without being too far from home. I don’t know that we’ll ever stay here on a holiday weekend again or not. We definitely won’t if we don’t book early to the sites we really like.
Overall we learned a lot about what we enjoy while camping and what to avoid (i.e. noisy neighbors who don’t care about anyone else). Now we just need to get Mama a bike with a seat for H so we don’t have to walk or drive everywhere!