Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Great Outdoors

This weekend we embarked on our first camping trip as a family of four. We joined some of our good friends for a few days of camping near Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. The forecast was for plenty of heat and maybe a little rain. Lucky for us, it didn't rain, but it was HOT--record-setting heat to be exact. Still, we've camped in heat before and it wasn't too bad.

Levi all ready to go
Our journey started off slow. We stopped along a country highway for the guys to change a flat tire on our friend's boat trailer.

Once there, we unpacked and set up camp. We joined some our friends' family and friends who were already there. After a night of fun around the campfire, we headed out for a hike at Starved Rock. It was packed with people, but is a beautiful park to hike in. We hit some of the overlooks with views of the Illinois River.

After a hike along the river trail, we made it to LaSalle Canyon where one of the park's waterfalls was active. It's been dry so all of the other waterfalls were dry. The waterfall was a great place to cool off a little.

Both our kids were in backpacks most of the way. Levi was so comfortable, he fell asleep. He did the same thing a few years ago when we were hiking here.

Back at camp, the guys started in on roasting their chickens over the fire. There was much discussion on the best way to do this and a variety of cooking strategies were employed along the way to our enjoying two very yummy chickens. Roast chicken is a family favorite, so now campfire chickens will be a staple on our camping trips.

The evening was spent hanging out around the campsite-making s'mores and telling ghost stories after dark. It was a great weekend, despite the heat. Levi had a great time playing with the girls around the campsite and Lillian was her usual easy-going self.

(Thanks to my friend for this photo)

I would consider our first family-of-four camping trip a success.

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