We took a "preacher weekend" (Thursday-Saturday) and went camping in Mountain View, AR. We stayed at a commercial RV park, as opposed to our normal state park camp ground. Teresa and I were by far the youngest people there, not even considering our children! We also took two of Kaden Erickson's siblings (Kilee, 11 & Konor, 6). The RV park was nice, but the tent camping sites were smack in the middle of the park, near the entrance - worst site we've ever had! Still had a great time. The weather was perfect. It got down into the 60's both nights. All the kids did great. Several of the older folks said they were the best kids who had ever stayed there, and since many of them actually LIVE there, I'll take the compliment! Our kids are veteran campers (Faith was still in a playpen on her first trip.), Konor camped out in our backyard last year, and this was Kilee's first time EVER. I love the whole experience. Cooking on the camp stove, and with a Dutch oven, and over the fire, playing games under the dining canopy by lantern, walking to the bath house to... aahh... brush my teeth, sleeping in the old tent together. It is just great, great family time!!
One of the old men walked by our sight and looked at me and said, "You better enjoy it. It goes by fast." I told him, "Don't I know it." Then I thought, "Mister, you have no idea how much I realize it!" Shortly after that I was watching all the kids throwing around a football, and for a second I thought Faith was Kelsey. Nothing creepy, just that instantaneous little thought. She reminded me so much of her sister. I thought again, "MIster, don't I know it!"
Friday we went to the Ozark Folk Center
. Again, we had a great time. Admission was $27 for the whole family, including the Erickson Kids. The Folk Center is like a little village with shops that are keeping old-time Ozark crafts alive. There's everything from gunsmiths to candle makers, basket weavers to blacksmiths, and plenty of bluegrass/country music, if you're into that stuff, we are not. They do demonstrations of the old techniques, and sell their wares. It may have only cost $27 to get in, but by the time we bought a basket, a pottery mug, four wooden tops, and dipped 6 candles it cost a lot more to get out! Hey, I'm not complaining. I loved it! The little money we spent is negligible when you consider the memories we made. If we could have stayed another day, Simon David and I (maybe some others, but not Teresa
) would have done Loco Ropes, which is a treetop rope course connected with the Folk Center.
I would highly recommend a trip to the Ozark Folk Center. Even more so, if you've never taken your family camping, you've got to do it. Buy or borrow a tent and head out to a local state park for a night or two. If you want some advice about food and equipment, ask the person you're borrowing from, or feel free to give me a call or drop me an email. You don't have to be an "outdoors person." It's more about quality family time. Oh yeah, NO TECHNOLOGY!! No DS's, iPods, Portable DVD players, etc. Since Teresa
brought her Kindle this time, I'll have to make an exception but only because it's still just a book.