For over a dozen years now, we've done a group camping trip with friends and family. Over the years the locale has changed at least four times. The group number has reduced significantly, but that's okay - sometimes change is good, and now it is more an opportunity to hang with Mom and Dad and a couple of other families we are close too, vs. putting on the "social smile" all weekend long.
Due to the drainage of Hills Creek Reservoir last year, we opted for a locale at another reservoir. The camping turned out to be okay there, but it was still lacking in "atmosphere" for me. Truth be told, I'm more of a "higher elevation/central Oregon" camper, but there's lots of factors in choosing on behalf of a group - with distance being paramount. So, this year, we opted to return to Hills Creek - but reserved a different campsite - literally "site" unseen. =) Therefore, before we all showed up, I thought it might be a good idea to check out the layout, to see how we might all fit once we arrived.
The plan had been to drag Brayden and Mikayla with me, but this week there's been a lot of "switching of kiddos" with the Meyers. So instead of Brayden, Christina came instead. Not that I didn't want Brayden's company, but lately, it takes all of 13.7 seconds for my kids to be together for them to start bickering. To have two girls in the backseat that actually wanted to sit next to each other was truly a delight.
The trip is only an hour from home. We packed Sydney too - believing we'd have a chance to throw a tennis ball in the water for her. After checking out Packard Creek Campground and giving a "thumbs up" to the water level in the reservoir as well as the camping conditions at our reserved site - we drove about a quarter of a mile to Larison Cove. For all the times we've camped at this spot, I've never checked this little lake out. It's so beautiful!
We then spent about a half hour hiking to the source of the lake - Larison Creek - and stopping again for Sydney to get wet. She LOVES water - and she sure needs the exercise! It also cracked us up that she was scared of the stump in the water - she obviously didn't know what it was and had to cautiously approach it and sniff all over. What a goof ball. My vehicle is so perfect for these occasions in that it has a very deep "trunk" (0r whatever you call that back spot in a van) with a waterproof rubber liner - so no matter how dirty she is, she's contained and can't make too much of a mess.
All told, it was a glorious way to spend the first half of the day. (Especially after starting the first hour at the Group Power workout - it's been a month since I've been....bad girl....and the consequences of such behavior is that every muscle hurts in my body right now, the morning after....) The rest of the day was spent with Amy and the kids at the pool, and then a family adventure to see "Zookeeper" at the movies. A "Fantastic Friday" indeed!