Thanks for visiting my blog. I began journaling about my daily life when I was eleven. Over the years, this has grown to become a way for me to share my thoughts rather than my daily life. I’m pretty open with sharing all the beautiful chaos of life with six children. I have to remind myself to extend grace to myself each and every day! It is my hope that my writings will help others to learn to extend grace to themselves too. After all, if it weren’t for the Grace of God, life would just be messy. I’m so glad that life can instead be a Beautiful Mess and is covered by His Beautiful Grace.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Camping Dreams

It's Spring Break for the public schools in our area.  Not for us though, we are plowing through so that we can get caught up and finish by the end of June.  It's a big task but we are going to make it happen!  Today is a gloomy day though.  While my friends on Facebook are talking about the break being half-way over and the days they're losing to weather, I'm sitting on the back porch, enjoying the breeze, while my husband tills up a garden bed, and the kids play.  I've got my iPad in hand and a friend posts that her kids are getting ready to go camping.  I've been wanting to go camping since the baby was a week old but, Gabe can't take off for a while.  That leaves me dreaming of awesome camping trips.  I have an epic trip through Arkansas planned and I hope we are able to make it happen this summer.  For now though, I'm just sharing some links to lists of amazing places to camp with kids.  We enjoy geocaching so I'll post some lists of great places for that as well.  In the spirit of dreaming, be sure to share your dream trips in the comments!

If you aren't sure camping is your thing, here are a few links to convince you to at least try it once.  14 Reasons to go camping.  I love this list of 11 reasons Why camping is the best.  10 Reasons to go camping NOW!  10 Health benefits of camping.  Real benefits of camping.  17 reasons why camping is the best.  Why do I like camping?  I enjoy connecting with my family when there are no distractions.  I also enjoy the weight of the world being lifted from my shoulders.  Camping is hard work but it doesn't even seem like work.  I've camped in an Rv only a few times but I've camped in a tent more than I can count.  We've camped in cabins too.  Camping in a tent is by far my favorite though.  As I get older, I have developed a love of a good bedroll though.  I don't need an air mattress but a good pad under my sleeping bag is a must!

This list has me all Googly-eyed.  Camping on the beach, hiking through the mountains, sleeping out under the stars, it all sounds like so much fun.  I'm ready to tie the baby on and take off!  This list will for sure have you dreaming!   This list includes places outside of the US but since we are dreaming, I might as well add it.  Some great southwest US sites.  

I grew up dreaming of seeing the ocean.  On our honeymoon we went to Santa Rosa Beach, Fl.  Technically it was still the same gulf I'd been to a million times but this time the water was a little more clear and the sand was much cleaner.  On that trip I learned that beach camping is a thing and have wanted to do it ever since.  I firmly believe I could be one of those retired people that just live on a beach, maybe in an Rv, maybe a tent.  I'd even settle for a van down by the beach, as long as I could lounge around and read all day while my skin turns a beautiful shade of tan.  If that sounds awesome to you too, check out these great beach camping destinations!

Are the mountains more your thing?  Growing up we camped in Arkansas a bunch.  The mountains are smaller in the areas we camped but they're still mountains.  There's still beautiful forests all around.  I once camped in the mountains in New Mexico while at youth camp.  That was the first time I ever saw the Milky Way.  It's still the most majestic thing I've ever seen.  The only thing that might compare is the Northern Lights but that's still on my bucket list.  Anyways, back to the point.  You want a few mountain lists, well here you go.  Rocky MountainsAppalachian Mountain Trial-There are links within this site for each individual state along the trail.  The Cascade Mountains- this link contains links to each region of the mountains.  Sierra Nevada- I've visited some of these places and they're must see places to travel!  Smokey Mountains. Some of these are dreamy write ups, some are just lists of campsites and things to do in that area.  These mountain ranges cover several states each so trying to find a list of all the great places to camp in the mountains was a little daunting.  Just know that camping in the mountains is awesome and leads to lots of exploration in caverns, caves, lakes, and rivers.  

Okay, so honestly, desert camping has never really been that appealing to me but as I get older, it starts to sound kind of cool.  I don't know, it kinda has a hippy kinda VW bus vibe to it and lately that just seems kinda dreamy.  California Desert camping.  New Mexico camping. It was a little hard to find information that wasn't state specific but I'm sure someone living in a desert region might could give us some better info.

The Grand Canyon is so beautiful and majestic.  It deserves it's very own paragraph!  It really deserves it's own blog post.  This is one of those places I dreamed of visiting growing up.  I finally saw it when pregnant with David, our first baby.  I naively thought our frequent trips and weekend excursions would continue once we had kids.  I've since learned that traveling with kids is not easy and it's much more expensive.  Foster care has completely changed it for us, as we have to have permission now.  Anyways, The Grand Canyon is simply beautiful and would be so much fun to camp.  Not sure I'd want to do primitive camping there but they do offer guide services for that.  Thankfully, there are established camp grounds and a whole website devoted tot he ends and outs of camping there.  Check it out and if you've ever camped The Grand Canyon, let us know how it was.

Geocaching..  This goes hand in hand with camping for our family.  We love the thrill of looking for a cache and hoping we find something really cool inside.  We once took a 2 week camping trip we called a treasure hunt.  We camped at the diamond mine in Arkansas, went antique shopping throughout Arkansas and Missouri, and geocached all along the way.  Craziest CachesTop favorites  by state.  Arkansas state parks have a Secret cache that you can only access with information from the clues you get at the other 52 caches in state parks throughout the state.  It is a life goal for our family to eventually find all 52 known caches and then the 53rd.  As you start out on this adventure, don't get discouraged by bad caches.  The hype has died down and there are many caches that are not maintained.  Use a geocaching app to locate caches around where you are camping and check in when you've found them.  If the cache needs attention, report it so others know to avoid it or someone  can maintain it.

I'm sure I could sit and give links to great camping spots for hours.  I could share my own camping adventures for days and our travel adventures for months.  Almost anywhere you could imagine vacationing will have camping options.  Camping isn't for everyone but if you're up for a real adventure, you are sure to find it, whether you are camping in a tent, Rv, or even a cabin.  Take a break from the big resort vacations this year and get in touch with your natural side.  You might just find camping to be your new favorite vacation style, but even if you don't, you're sure to make some amazing memories.

1 comment:

  1. my dreams! Well I do want to take Noah camping in a tent to experience it. And I have dreamed of camping in a fancy RV. I have been in a cabin for family reunion a few times and I loved it! Mainly I think because no tv! We played games and took walks and were just together! I ate it up. We cooked one thing for potluck but everything else was cold food. non camping dreams, all my life I have wanted to go to Disney and to Six Flags. Even though I am a chicken on the rides and would not do much other than kiddie if they would let me on lol. I dream of going as a family to Great wolf lodge! and I dream of taking the boys to Morgan's wonderland special needs park in San Antonio and staying there and going to sea world and swim with dolphins and if I can get motion sickness patches to work go on a dinner cruise on the riverwalk. :) And I dream of going back to Taiwan. In a perfect world for a sibling group of boys and girls 8 or younger. and for some reason I have always believed we would have children with down syndrome and we would have a large family I can go on and on about dreams as far as travel and kiddos. LOL but I will hush now! :) LOVE to read your when you write! I feel like I get to know you even better :) oh and one more to see the actual ocean in person!