Tuesday, July 15, 2008

guys go camping

Every year we have a family vacation with my wife's family. We had been to Brown County State Park in Southern Indiana several times. Two years ago God provided that we were able to spend a week at Clearwater Beach in Florida. Last year we were thankful for a time at Holiday World halfway between Louisville and Evansville. This amusement park is special in that they have free soft drinks throughout the park and free sun screen in the water park area.

This year the 12 female members of the extended family, plus the babies age 1 and under, had girl time. They saw the American Girl movie, shopped and had a sleep over.

The 13 guys (minus the 3 baby boys) went camping at Turkey Run, an Indiana State Park.

It was gorgeous weather for hiking, swimming, roasting marshmallows, and sleeping under the stars with a bright moon (protected from the bugs in our tent). My oldest son and I had been on adventures before, like seeing a Space Shuttle launch, kayaking with dolphins, etc, but we had never been camping.

We had some great times. It was just nice to hang out with family that we hadn't seen in some time, what with being gone for the month of June. Since my son is in a family of mostly ladies, he really loves times with his boy cousins. He was the youngest of all the little guys who went, but he did well keeping up and playing their games. I realized he actually hiked more miles than anyone else there (except myself, since I went with him).

He slept well that night.

He didn't even wake when my little nephew sleeping in the adjacent tent woke up in the middle of the night and started screaming (I didn't hear it either, but everyone else was telling the stories in the morning). He didn't wake up for the raccoon noises or what sounded like a gun shot that was possibly directed toward the raccoons (I heard that).

After hiking across bridges, through caves and crevices, over rocks and around mud, up ladders and down steps (up them too), do you know what he wanted to do the next morning before we left? Yep, go for another hike. That time we took a different trail, say a beautiful cliff, and he found another toad. This was a tiny little toad. You have to look pretty close to see it in his hand.

We had such a great time hiking that when we got back to Indianapolis on Tuesday, we took the young girls in the family hiking in some nearby woods. To hear more about the rest of the week that I wasn't there for check out Shine Again.

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