Sunday, January 26, 2014

Camping Fun and PQ 15-21

Yes, it's January now that I'm posting. I started this post a long time ago but never finished it. Now I want to get it posted before we go on our next big adventure!

We have a goal of camping once a month but with James away almost the whole summer that's pretty tough. I will take the kids by myself lots of places- museums, hiking, driving half way across the country, ... but not quite ready for camping without James. so we were very excited that James could meet us on his way home from Kentucky this summer and we could fit in another camping trip this summer.

The kids and I left early Sunday morning. Thankfully we decided to do Woodmont Park Quest (15) first even though it's a little farther west than Fort Frederick because it was a 4 mile hike. Not mountainous or super hot like some of the the hikes but still 4 miles is a good little hike. Especially if you're 4 or if you are carrying a baby on your back! But it was so nice! Beautiful, nice out- no waterfalls or mountain views just pretty woods. Loved it! Then like most park quest days, we had lunch in the car on the way to the next park quest. Fort Frederick (16). This turned out to be one of the kids' favorite Park Quests.  History + outdoors is definitely a win in our book!

Super reenactors
Beautiful day

And uniforms to try on

And you have 

super happy


And after finishing our park quest, we hit the beach! We love the beach!
Even baby C played in the sand!
And then it got even better. Daddy got there! He met us there on his way home from Kentucky- first time we'd seen him since 4th of July in Texas. We did a first for us- cabin camping. Don't envision any elaborate cabin- this was very basic- one night we had a a cabin with a futon in one room, and bunk beds and double bed in the other. The second night a double bed in one room and 2 sets of bunk beds in the other. There was room for C to sleep on the floor too! We had a great trip. We roasted hotdogs, made s'mores, ate by the fire, without having to set up or break down a tent. (or have a tent breakdown on us in the crazy storm.) The first night we camped at Rocky Gap- beautiful park. Another bonus of the cabin was it didn't take long to pack up Monday morning.   We did Park Quest #17 before leaving Rocky Gap. The Park Quest was really neat. We pretended we were an African American family enslaved in the 1830s in Maryland. We learned about the Underground Railroad as we traveled on the trail to freedom. Lots of the clues along the way were camouflaged so well they were really hard to find but we made it and then headed west to our next quest.

We did do a little fishing but they weren't biting. I think the people fishing before us fed them all.

We headed west and stopped at New Germany State Park (18) where the 2 big boys and I completed "Raiders of the Lost Park" Park Quest. We learned about invasive plants and animals while we hiked around the park. The boys really enjoyed the nature center and the 3 smaller kids enjoyed a nap!
From there we headed to Casselmann River Bridge(19). When the bridge was built in 1813, it was the longest single span stone arch bridge in America. It proved important to our country over the years. And next to the bridge was a cute artisan village where we watched artists performing their crafts- drawing, weaving, carving, ... One of the many things we've loved about Park Quest is the places we've seen that we probably wouldn't have gone to- this village was one of those.

T in the one room schoolhouse in the artisan village
From there we continued to Deep Creek Lake- the very western edge of Maryland. We quickly set up our cabin and had walking tacos and s'mores.

We were so glad we were in a cabin because the storm that night was terrible. The next morning we saw several families' tents had been knocked over. All the fun of camping without getting as wet. We did change our breakfast plans and ate in an unnamed restaurant instead of cooking and eating in the rain. But the rain didn't stop our fun! We learned about the history of firefighting in the Maryland Park Service and
we even got practice putting out fires for Park Quest 20.
We loved Deep Creek Lake. The Discovery Center was wonderful. Terrific displays of animals. Lots of hands on activities. Definitely the largest nature center of the MD state parks. But the highlight of the park quest for the kids was skipping rocks with Daddy on the lake.
From there we went to our last Park Quest out west #21. Talk about saving the best views for last. Beautiful, amazing, wow!

The kids loved the rocks overhead dripping down- like an outdoor shower!
A nice man took a picture of all of us. He also pointed to the raging waterfall and told us that last year the water was so calm his son had gone swimming right there. Amazing what a change the weather makes. And what a display of God's power- in the water falls, the beauty!

We had a super trip! Lots of wonderful memories. The kids and baby were all real troopers on the drives and hikes. We had a wonderful trip. Park Quest is one of the things we'll miss most about Maryland when we move.

No comments: