We spent 2 nights at Indiana State Park, Clifty Falls, during fall break. Camping is so much work, no way around it, it's exhausting physically. There is nothing easy about preparing to camp, setting up camp, and camping with 5 kids, a toddler and a baby. We run threw packages of baby wipes, cleaning dirty fingers, sticky faces and brown feet with dirt between toes. We deal with stinky outside potties and campfire smoke infused clothes, blankets, hair and van. Dirt and leaves are tracked into the van, into our tents and our sheets.
Camping is a kind of soul therapy. It invigorates me when I hear the kids excitement while picking the perfect secluded camp site, in exploring the woods nearby, in finding joy in a basic playground, in collecting flowers, rocks and sticks, in taking a hike, building a fire, lighting the lantern and cracking glow sticks.
They are happy.
These smiles came from dashing to the tent during an unexpected downpour midmorning, when they zipped up their own tent for the night, when Joe bought them each their own $1 flashlight to shine in the trees and their own eyes. The kids created a timed obstetrical course on the playground. They showed a neighboring camper a leaf bug and how touch me nots work. Jenna toasted and buttered bagels for all of us both mornings. Breakfast was the favorite meal each day with hot chocolate, eggs and bacon.
Camping is worth the dirt, delayed showers, crying babies at bedtime and pure tiring work because it creates time with our kids that nothing else does. It creates time to slow down and listen to their laughter, do the things they enjoy doing with them and we make memories. This is why we camp. This is way we love camping.
Madison, IN, the cutest historical town I have ever been through. There are rows and rows of beautiful old homes, each unique and colorful. It sits on the Ohio River. We went to their History Museum but Anne wasn't feeling good so we cut our trip short and headed home. It's a neat place to visit, I'll remember it as the place I was complimented on my accent. :)