This was the third year that we’ve kicked off our camping season on the Victoria Day long weekend and the second year that we’ve gone to a Washington state park on that weekend. Last year, we went to Lake Easton State Park. As wonderful as it was, it was just east of Snoqualmie Pass and there was still snow on the ground at the entrance of the park! I really wanted to try to venture somewhere warmer, so this meant we had to travel somewhere in the interior. We opted to go to WA again mostly because it seems much less busy going camping in WA on a Canadian long weekend than try to go somewhere in BC.
We decided on Lake Chelan State Park. To sum up the weekend: we may have just found our Victoria Day long weekend camping tradition. We had a blast. The campground was quiet enough that it wasn’t busy, but it was busy enough that Josh found friends. Perfect.
Aves was just getting over a stomach flu, so she made the trip out on Friday a tad rough, but she was a trooper. Though she was clingy throughout the weekend, she still managed to run around, play and have a great time.
Josh, as always, found ways to make the trip awesome for him and, ultimately, for us. However, late on Friday at a rest stop, he wasn’t feeling so awesome. He was running back from the bathroom with Brian and tripped over his tired feet. He face planted into the sidewalk and it left him with a bloody mess on the tip of his nose, and around his mouth. The poor guy came over to me in tears and he was gingerly grinding his teeth. He managed to mutter, “Mommy, I think I ate concrete.” Even in the face of pain the guy can make me chuckle! You’ll notice some of the battle scars on his nose in the photos below.
Somehow, the weekend seemed like perfect camping weather. The daytime was warm enough to wander around in shorts and a T-shirt. We even sported swimsuits at the beach on Saturday (except Aves who refused to wear her bathing suit!). Though the water in the lake was still cold, it wasn’t too cold for Josh to venture in up to his waist. In the evening, it was cool enough that you wanted to sit around a campfire, but it wasn’t freezing. Perfect again.
In addition to beach time and campfire time, we managed to fit in a hike, many bike rides, play time around the campsite and we even got out on the water in our dinghy a couple of times! Honestly, I love watching our kids soak in all these experiences. Not only does it remind me how much I enjoyed camping with my family when we were little, but it also gives me warm fuzzies to think we may be creating the same memories for our kids.
And not only did I enjoy watching the kids have a good time, I actually had a very relaxing time too. A Globe & Mail article made me contemplate how I travel with my kids and something in that article helped me to change my outlook. That, coupled with Brian and I working towards helping to alleviate my stress leading up to travel, made this camping trip essentially stress-free for me. Yay and thanks to Bri.
As for the Lake Chelan area, we can’t wait to go back! The Cascade Loop in Northeast WA is beautiful. The down side to going so early in the season is that we miss out on all the summer activities and, most of all, the fruit stands! This trip has left my mouth watering to go back to the interior this summer for our share of the summer fruit season. Yum.
In any case, we have kicked off our 2012 camping season! No other trips planned yet (ha!) but hopefully this will push us to get our butts in gear and make plans!
P.S. This was my first time doing my share of driving the truck with the trailer hitched. It is definitely intimidating, but I think I got the hang of it by the time I was doing my part of the drive home. Having said that, I don’t think I will ever get used to the feeling that we won’t fit going over/through some structures. My butt will continue to clench every time I drive us across a narrow bridge or through a tunnel!
|I have a tummy ache, but there is sand and water to be played with, dammit!
|How am I going to get this boat across this HUGE lake?!
|'Take a picture of me, Mommy.' Seriously. That's what she said.
|Yes, we are making smores on the campfire, but, more importantly, why is Aves wearing her bike helmet at the picnic table?!
|Mommy, Daddy, can you row us far?
|Bri rowing at the stern (but if the stern is at the front, does it make it the bow?)
|Enjoying the scenery from the lake
|We got the feeling the ducks were used to people.
|Look, Mommy! Ice cream!
|Ahhhh! Rainbow sherbert!
|Taking a stroll through Leavenworth