"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
One weekend it's near record breaking highs and we're dipping our bare feet in the river. The very next our furnace kicks on to stave off the blistery winds, the threat of snow looming on the horizon. Fall definitely made a great entrance on the heels of a beautiful Indian summer day.
Back in August we chose a random weekend on the calendar to mark our final camping trip of the season. What we didn't realize back then, when the humidity stole our very breath away and the mosquitoes bit away at exposed flesh, is that the designated weekend would be the first blistery cold one of the year. We had planned a Friday through Sunday trip, but Friday proved to be bitterly cold and our warm house too cozy. Instead we rented movies and cuddled under blankets. First thing Saturday morning, though, we bundled up and braved the cold. With warm jackets and hats and mittens, the weather really was very tolerable. Once the wind died down and the sun peeked out, the 40 degrees felt like 50 instead of the 30 it was with the windchill. And we stayed active.
Our nature walk ranks up there with one of my all-time favorite camping activities of the year. Instead of sweating and swatting away flies, we leisurely strolled through the trails, enjoying the scenery. And oh how beautiful the scenery was. The fall colors did not disappoint.
We walked a bit on a flat trail until the boys began whining about being carried and then headed back the way we came. There was a leaf-covered staircase leading up a tall wooded hillside that we passed on our way to the trail. We opted to skip it since it seemed like a daunting task with four small legs to consider. But as we passed it again on the way back to the truck we decided to try it anyway. The boys proved us wrong, stomping up the wooden steps like pros. At the top of the hill we were greeted to the view below.....and an extremely steep drop-off. We admired the sights for a minute, discussing our route the next time to better enjoy the view without risking our lives, and then descended back down the stairs, collecting acorn after acorn and stuffing them in our pockets for a later use.
Later that day we picked up Spencer's friend, Jackson, for his first sleepover of any type. The boys needed little assistance from us to entertain themselves. Off they went to enjoy the pirate ship playground right by our campsite and the big blow-up trampoline. We squeezed in a few bike rides, supper, s'mores and a lot more park play time before they nearly collapsed at our feet at 7:00 whining about being sooooo tired. Bedtime shenanigans started at approximately 7:30 and concluded at about 9:00. By my best estimations, Jackson was the first to give in to his droopy eyelids, then a reluctant Ashton followed suit, but Spencer was still awake when I sneaked in to check on them at about 9:00. I think he was a tad overstimulated from his first sleepover. While they goofed off in the camper, Dave and I huddled under blankets around the fire, sipping our drinks, munching on chips and chatting the night away. Or until 10:30 when the cold had seeped into every crevice of our bodies and we finally threw our hands up in defeat.
Farewell to our 2014 camping season. It was a memorable one.