The Best Minute

Well, I’m back on Facebook, so the great anti-social media experiment is over. And I certainly am glad it ended when it did, because that meant that last week when a friend posted “hey guys, I’m free this weekend, what’s good?” I was able to see that post, and pull together an impromptu camping trip to Vermont. It was a truly excellent weekend. Thanks, Facebook.

At first blush I assumed that my crazy idea would never pan out. I mean- what campsite has last minute availability for July 4th weekend? But after a couple phone calls I found one that did. Even better, the site was only about 15 minutes from my sister’s house. The weekend was happening! And we had a backup plan in case of horrible rain! Bags were packed and lists were made and a TON of stuff was forgotten and then picked up at Walmart but we made it there.

All during the drive down to VT I kept checking the weather. Warnings of severe thunderstorms were in the forecast for Friday night, but the rest of the weekend looked gorgeous. In the end, we beat the rain, but only just. We decided to try and set up camp before it started raining in earnest but uhhhhhhh yeah. After a half hour of wrangling tent poles in increasingly heavy rains, we heard from the park ranger that wind speeds were supposed to get upwards of 65 mph, and that we should abandon the tents and sit in our cars to wait out the storm. So we did what anyone would do- quickly tore down the tents we’d just gotten drenched setting up, got back into the cars, drove the 20 minutes to my sister’s house, and ordered pizzas.

But we did finally get to the campsite, and get set up, and proceeded to thoroughly enjoy the weekend. Since this was camping with kids, we kept things simple- hot dogs, s’mores, foil packet meals, cereal and pop tarts and exploring around the campground (which admittedly was within view of the road, but was also in a Vermont State park, so it was good exploring). We did take a proper hike on our last day, up to the top of Mt. Ascutney.

Each morning began with me and my two early birds- just the three of us brewing coffee and eating oatmeal. A nice quiet start to the day.mt_ascutney-01

Before too long, we would be joined by everyone else, all ready for a busy day of Just Hanging Around and Eating Too Many Snacks and of course, Exploring and Adventuring. On Saturday we mostly just hung around the campsite, the kids looking for sticks and playing in the woods while the adults were busy doing all the setup. But by Sunday the kids had fully explored everything within our immediate area and we ventured out a bit further afield. We found a little trail that led to a big field, and on the way found a small stream. The kids did a little bit of wading while fully dressed, then we headed back to the campsite for lunch and promised them we’d return later with swimsuits to fully enjoy the water. They had an absolute blast.

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The water was cold, but the exploring was top notch. Enough room for simultaneous water gun fights and “creature” hunting.

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On Monday, after we’d packed up the site, we decided to end the trip with a little hike. The state parks website said that the 1.4mile hike (round trip) from the parking lot up to the summit was a “maybe” for kids, so we went for it. Mikey was sleeping by the time we’d finished the drive up to the parking lot, so I threw him in the Ergo and carried him up, but the rest of the kids did awesome on their own. We hiked up, picnicked at the top, and headed back down (the trip back down did necessitate the use of bribery, to be totally honest. It ended up being a good thing I’d accidentally left the dessert in the car)

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When we got back down to the parking lot I of course made the kids pose for too many photos, and it may have ended when Mikey took a header off that rock you see featured in the shots below and ended up with a bloody nose. (It paired well with the fat lip he already had from falling off a picnic table earlier that same day, and the skinned knee from the day before. The child will be lucky to see two, and his birthday is in a week!)

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And then there were hugs and kisses for cousins and friends and the transfer of a decently sized stash of Polar seltzer into my car and finally a quick stop at Dunkin’ Donuts and we were headed home.

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Hurrah for the last minute!

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