I have to say, I really like camping and always have. Not to say I've ever been particularly good at it on my own, but I am slowly learning the ways of being an awesome camper. Luckily we have good friends to show us the ropes.
One of the fundamentals to good camping is location. This past weekend we camped at Nottingham Campground which stretches along East Fork of the Hood River. The first night all the men created this little blocked off area with large rocks so the kiddies could play in the water without getting carried down the river.
Our awesome tent, which didn't even leak when a thunderstorm hit at 2am the last night we were there.
Another fundamental of good camping is good company. Here are the men of the group. 'Cept baby Savannah.
To celebrate Alicia's birthday, the kids got sparklers. Seems like a good idea to play with fireworks when you're out camping in a forest. :) Jacob didn't really know what to do.
Cute kids on a rock.
It's also important to have fun activities planned. On Saturday we took a drive to the Fruit Loop. This included a stop at Cascade Alpacas farm and Foothills Yarn and Fiber.
These baby alpacas were so cute.
The view itself makes me want to live on a farm.
Awww, so sweet. A nursing baby.
This little newbie alpaca was so fluffy and soft, like a brand new baby chick would be.
Only 2 weeks old with mama.
The kids petting the Great Pyrenees guard dog.
I was surprised to learn that alpaca fiber exceeds sheeps wool in several ways. It's finer, softer, lighter, warmer, and stronger, plus it's not as itchy and its hypoallergenic. Here is some yarn made from alpaca fiber.
A bag of raw alpaca fleece just shorn.
Washed and carded fleece. Although, some spinners don't even wash the fleece until after it's spun into yarn. Apparently it's not necessary since alpacas don't produce bodily oils the same way sheep do. Yah, I bet you didn't know I was gonna go all educational on you.
Alpaca fleece sockies.
Jacob is usually pretty wary of animals of every kind. It took him a really long time to finally get the nerve to go pet this farm cat with Vessel.
Another sweet view.
Look at them chompers!
Feeding the black alpaca.
Here is Mount Hood. I tried to get a good shot several times and then it turns out this is the only photo I got and it sucks. Whaddayagonnado? On a side note, Mount St. Helens is behind us in this photo and I didn't get a picture of that either, so just use your imaginations, mmmmkay? If Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood were in a face off, which one would win?
We ate lunch at Apple Valley BBQ. Mmmmmm, pulled pork sandwiches and apple slaw.
Twangy country singer who did an awful job singing Happy Birthday to Alicia. Boooooo....
The kids saw some Italian Greyhounds. I only find this interesting since my brother and sister-in-law have Italian Greyhounds.
At Packer Orchards we got ice cream and shakes.
And saw some fruit...
Did you know that Haven LOVES camping?
Well, he does!
He likes to Dutch oven cook, too.
Here's the group enjoying some water fun. Mike, Mark, and I took a jaunt across the river and found a sweet trail that led up to an eroded cliff side that overlooked the fork. Then we pretended to be Bear Grylls as we climbed down the mountain and then walked upstream in the freezing cold water. It was actually pretty fun. Don't worry, the kiddies were supervised by a napping Ben Blake.
The nice thing about this campsite was a lot of sandy areas for the kids to play in and keep themselves occupied.
So there you have it, Camping 101. In order to make it a memorable time all you need is the right location, fun people, fun activities, stuff to keep the kids entertained, and last, but not least, let's not forget the good food.