Camping in Our Own Backyard

Ed was determined to go camping this summer. DETERMINED! However, it was really hot this summer. We were also really busy. So he had a brilliant idea. We were going camping…in our backyard. We would pick a cooler weekend, and all we had to do was set aside one night instead of the whole weekend. I was a big fan of this idea. Seriously. It meant a lot less work for this mama.

After we set up the tent, we took a hike in the woods. There’s a nice trail along the river less than a mile from our house. Always bring your dolly with pink hair hiking with you. And pink gloves. They help protect you from poison ivy.

Roasting hot dogs–how can I not love it when they make their own dinner?
Emmy loves All Things Marshmallow–but no roasting, please. The stick is just for show.
Camping in our own backyard meant we did not have to be afraid of bears. We saw this black bear during our trip in Alaska.

No bears in Illinois…however, we were very afraid of our nightly, furry visitor, Mr. Skunk. I waved the flashlight around a lot and stomped my feel whenever we were outside. I took this next picture a few nights after we camped, from the safety of my house. Sorry for the fuzziness, but I wasn’t about to get any closer!

Mr. Skunk, as I affectionately call him.
Sleep tight! (They actually did not go to sleep for hours after I took this picture!)

In our version of camping, we don’t use sleeping bags. Air mattresses, sheets and comforters are how we sleep in a tent! Ah, it’s almost like sleeping in our own bedrooms!


Have you ever camped in your own backyard?


August Mini-trips

In August and September, we have taken several little mini-trips around the mid-west, and I have been meaning to write about all of them. In August, we went camping. Remember this post? To camp or not to camp: Ed and I decided that it is too much work setting up and breaking down camp to spend only one night in a tent. It was a great experience, except for when I had a meltdown at dinner time. (Cooking dinner on a campfire? Whose great idea was that?) Lily is relaxing in this picture, after all that hard work setting up the tent!

Emmy kept crawling off the blanket, but didn’t like crawling on the gravel or in the grass. We had room to set up the Pack-n-Play in the tent, so she had a great place to sleep. Lily was very excited to go to bed; she has never slept in a tent before! I was surprised at how fast she fell asleep. I thought she would be awake for hours!
Our camp site was in Kettle Moraine State Forest–Northern Unit, and we spent the first day swimming in Mauthe Lake. (The water was brown, which was a little weird, and Ed thought it was due to tannic acid. It turned out he was right!) We hiked some of the trails on the second day, before it was time to head home.

Lily’s favorite stop of the day had nothing to do with camping; it was at Mars Cheese Castle. We bought a lot of cheese, including cheese curds, so we could squeak them between our teeth. Lily thought this was really neat, since we had just read about Laura and Mary eating cheese curds in Summertime in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I will post more about some of our other mini-trips soon!
Summertime in the Big Woods (My First Little House)

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