Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Camping Season Draws to a Close

We are a camping family. We love it. Any time we get the chance for a vacation we think of camping first. With the start of school and the celebration of Labor Day, we have to accept that prime camping season is over for the year. Not that we never camp later than Labor Day, but it's definitely a major theme of summer. 

This year one of our camping trips was to my favorite spot in the world. It's a special little spot in the Trinity National Forest in Northern California. No, I won't tell you exactly where, and if you recognize it don't give away the secret! It's a very special spot to me: my family has been going there since before I was born, my dad's ashes were scattered there, and my husband and I honeymooned there. This year was our first chance to take Max and we had a blast.

 Matt goes fishing in the nearby river, which Max found fascinating.

creek fishing with kids
Watching Dad catch dinner.

Then he learned to cook them from Grandma Julie!
fish fry campout
Fish fry!
It was a bit hot, but lots of time spent by the water certainly helped. On the hottest day we went swimming in Trinity Lake for the whole afternoon.
creek current with toy boat
Watching the current carry toy boats downriver to Dad.
Camping with family has some serious perks if you're a kid. For example, there are lots more people willing to play with you and give you piggyback rides!
ride from family
A very accommodating Aunt Cary!
We also managed to get in a hike or two, but mostly it was just about being in a beautiful place  together. We spotted butterflies, a snake (not the scary kind), lizards, deer, and I even caught a frog! We released him after Max got a good look.

Despite all this crazy fun, I did manage to get some "work" done. It was wonderful being able to spin doll hair in such gorgeous surroundings, and there is something so satisfying about camping and crafting together. Expect to see some  of this handspun on an upcoming doll!
drop spindle spinning camping

But Max's favorite part might have been that he got to play in the dirt for 5 whole days. That boy loves being filthy! Pine cones became trains and dirt fish; sticks were swords; and piles of dirt were snow, sand, and any number of other things. Fortunately, the water was enticing enough that he sluiced off from time to time.
low tech play in forest

Camping was such a hit that it wasn't long before we had to re-create it at home. This would be the small tent set up in his room, which he then slept in for another week. He's asked to go again "tomorrow" many times. I'm hoping we'll be able to put him off until spring, but who knows; we may have to become snow campers as well!
bedroom tent camping

One of my favorite parts of camping in the same spot is how little it changes in relation to my family. I have pictures of me on this same part of the creek when I was little. The rocks are exactly the same; only the generation has changed. And that is beautiful.
kid in boulder lookout
King of all he surveys. Despite the filthy face.
creek hopping
Cady on the same creek in 1987. Max's rock perch is on the far side of the creek and just out of the frame on the right.

What family traditions do you cherish? We'd love to make a Tansy Doll part of your family memories. Come enter the BIG Giveaway on our Facebook page to win your choice of Tansy Doll!


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