Sometimes the stars align. On Election Day this year, they did for us. It happened to be Mark’s birthday and since our polls are held in our school, the kids had off too. On top of all of this, the weather was 70 and sunny. So what better way to end the camping season for 2015. With all this good fortune, what could possibly go wrong?
Well, us being us, we didn’t realize all this until two days before Election Day. So our planning and preparing were nearly non-existent especially because for at least a day I though Mark was joking when he first suggested the one night trip. We were going to have to leave after the kids got home from school the day before Election Day which left daylight in short supply.
We picked French Creek State Park due to its fairly close proximity to our house at about an hour away. They also had open sites for pets available so we tried our best to hightail it out of the driveway after the kids got home. Still, we were racing twilight and…
Honestly, I think if anyone could see us in the dark, with tiny flash lights and my poor hand signals they would have gotten a good laugh. Navigating into a spot in the dark is never fun. I half-joked that we’ll need to buy a pair of traffic batons for the next time we arrive after dark. What is great about these is that the kids can play Star Wars if they get bored. There’s a win-win right there.
After setting up and dinner, we need to get everyone to bed fairly quickly. We didn’t have a lot of time the next day so we wanted to get an early start. More importantly, we REALLY didn’t want to have to attempt to get our trailer up our mega-steep driveway in the dark either. At least, not without my fancy traffic batons.
The next day after some exploring around the camp area and hitting the playground, we decided to take the kids on a 5 mile hike. Five miles was probably 3.5 miles too many. OK, 4 miles too many. Possibly, 4.5 miles too many. We had no hiking shoes which wouldn’t have been a big deal if not for the completely rock covered trails we were about to embark on for the next 3+ hours. So, in addition to the batons, I added hiking boots to the list of to-gets. I always go for looks first which is why I have a husband to talk me out of picking the wrong shoes. I would go with the pink or teal.
And for my favorite littlest lady, some pink to match.
Needless to say, walking for 3 hours with kids over rocky paths (imagine sharp cobblestone) is going to elicit some whining, complaining, refusal to go another step and finally begging to be carried. I still told Mark no, I didn’t care if it was his birthday. He was the one who got us into this mess and he was going to have to walk like everyone else.
When we finished the loop there was much rejoicing and grumbling tummies. BUT, it was getting late now that daylight savings had started we really needed to head out so we packed up and grabbed some lunch on the way home.
We made it back with plenty of daylight and the burgers we brought for lunch became dinner.
I would definitely put French Creek in our rotation for another camping trip. I had been to the pool years before and it was a nice walk-in pool. We didn’t get to see Hopewell Furnace this trip so there is still plenty of exploring to do in the summer. I think lounging by the pool would be more appealing to the kids than another 5 mile hike anyway. It sure does sounds better to me.
If you’ve been you French Creek, what were some of your favorite activities. Feel free to leave them in the comments below so we can add them to our list for next time.