Camping at the end of October?! That’s what I thought when I heard that we would be going camping this week. Surprisingly, it was warm enough and we had a great time.

Way back in September, Paul Long asked us if we wanted to join him and his family along with the Croxalls to go camping. Paul and Holly have 3 boys, Jacob (13), Spencer (10), and Elliot (4). Mike and Hilde also have 3 boys, Hayden (12), Kristian (10), and Camden (7). This sounded like it would be an adventure!

Now, I hadn’t been camping since I was in high school so it’s probably been close to 10 years ago. Jason hadn’t gone since he was in college so it’s been a while for him too. We didn’t even have any camping gear. We have one sleeping bag, that’s it. That one sleeping bag probably sums up our entire collection of gear. So we told Paul we would love to go but, we don’t have anything to sleep in, cook with, shield us from the elements… Luckily, the others had everything we would need so the days were put on the calendar.

We left on Sunday around 4:00 P.M. and it’s about an hour and a half drive to Tellico (the campsite). The drive was beautiful, all of the leaves are changing now and there was color everywhere. By the time we got there it was nearing dark and we had to hurry and set up the tents. Luckily, Mike and Hilde and their boys had been there for a while so their stuff was already set up. The campsite was set on a beautiful river with a few little rapids so we could hear the rushing sound of water at all times. There was a huge rock that the boys enjoyed climbing and all of them wanted to jump from it into the water but apparently that got vetoed by the parents because I never saw any of them jump.

Although it was pretty warm during the day, it got a little chilly at night. After a warm bowl of chili and s’mores around the campfire along with a little guitar, we called it a night. We snuggled up in our tent and got all cozy. I heard later that the Croxalls were even cozier than we were. They were sleeping in a camper with a heater in it. The next day, Mike decided to read the directions about the heater and found out that you’re not supposed to use it in enclosed places because of the fumes. Oops! Needless to say, they didn’t use it the second night!

When morning came the boys were already up when I crawled out of the tent and had the fire going so I hurried to it to stay warm and thus began a pretty relaxing day of camping. We all went on a hike that was good fun until we saw signs of bears and then I was ready to go back to the campsite. For some reason I feel safer knowing my car is within reach! The boys did some swimming, fishing, and bike riding and the adults played cards. The day passed so quickly and before we knew it it had started growing dark again.

After we ate dinner we had to say good bye to Hilde and Hayden because they had to be somewhere early the next morning. By the time they left it was 6 P.M. and looking around at everyone at the campfire, we all looked ready for bed! I couldn’t believe it when I looked at my watch and realized how early it was. We stuck it out and played some more guitar, ate marshmallows, played some Bible trivia and finally at 9:30 we decided it was okay to go to bed.

By the next morning, home sounded really good to pretty much everyone! We had breakfast, packed up the camp and Jason and I were on our way. We had a really good time and hopefully next time there won’t be such a long time in between trips!