We hit the road on Friday afternoon after everyone had finished their work. We packed our car full as can be, including our 120 pound labrador. Our friends hauled their sweet pop-up trailer and we were off for another camping adventure together.
Before reaching our campsite, we drove 12 miles up a windy dirt road, dodging pot holes and ruts. We drove through magnificent fields of lupine, glowing a purple-blue in the final hours of sunlight. We stopped and set up camp with spectacular views of the jagged Sawtooth Mountains, changing colors as the sun set.
There was no one in sight and no cellphone reception. We had escaped civilization for a couple of days. No Peppa Pig television, just books. No checking Facebook or Instagram, just experiencing the beauty of nature in the moment. No facts about the current events going on in the world (we departed town as the coup in Turkey was being reported), just talking with friends about their world.
We made campfires and ate s'mores, snuggled in our sleeping bags (and Baby Bjorn travel crib - greatest piece of baby gear purchased), drank delicious coffee from the percolator, hiked to a fire lookout station, frolicked in fields of wildflowers and went on slow hikes at sunset. The dogs wore themselves out chasing squirrels and running through fields. The kids played in the dirt, rode their Strider bikes and went to bed late.
Camping with kids is such a great way to expose them nature. I find it hard to spend as much time outside as I would like with Kiki. Busy schedules or extreme temperatures can sometimes be blamed. Sometimes its just laziness (or a stubborn, stalling child) and not finding an adventure to get us out the door. Being away from home isn't always easy with little kids - it can feel like more work being on "vacation" than just staying home. Kiki cried, clung and demanded more than she normally would at home - the change in environment can be a bit unnerving for anyone. But, honestly, I will put up with some typical 3-year-old behavior to experience the beauty of nature and expose my child to the great outdoors.
Get out there and camp with your kids! You will all love it and be happy to disconnect from the daily distractions of our plugged-in lives.