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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Back to the Hills from NG Road

When Joe and I found our happy escape this summer we knew we wanted to share our find with our kids.  So when plans we thought we had changed, we jumped at the chance to execute!  Last night we went camping in the Hocking Hills- tent camping, all five of us!  Here are some moments that made me smile.

1st- we really did this on the fly.  When Joe and I were there we revisited the State Park primitive camp and found the correct site number that we had loved years and years ago.  We agreed this could easily be part of the plan to bring the kids back.  Well- today's reservations on line make being in the moment and finding a place to settle in when you arrive more challenging.  The night before we left, 9:30 pm there were were around the table, on the PC......we went back and forth about changing the plans- we thoughts about a cabin, even a hotel......but after 30 minutes we found the simple and easy and quite the bargain- riverside campsites.  Reservation secured and departure plans could be set!

2nd- We pulled out of town at 12:20- little later than I thought but not back. I was happy that thanks to a reservation and a new plan- I could enjoy my Saturday yoga, coffee shop, farmers market, day of planning for the camp fire meal!  We laughed at the fact- new Martha was packed tighter than we left to take three kids to summer camps for three weeks- were going overnight an hour away?

3rd.   The lesson of expectations low is a good thing, but visualizing does help.   When you think of an ideal camp site what comes to your mind?  For us it is shade, a little privacy, a good fire ring and picnic table.  As we approached our camp ground I had to warn everyone - as much for me and I said that out loud- it is only one night and we'll be find.  The camp ground was spacious with beautiful trees and green space - phew.  Most river front- where I thought I'd want to be- were taken but it felt like there were options.  We checked-in at a center down the road, returned and circled- the kids found it- number 140 was perfect for us!  

4th camp set up made me smile. Although the kids were not overly thrilled about this idea, they found their ways to make it fun.  Clare immediately declared "I will go if I get my own tent".  She knows the tent inventory and that this could work.  She was the most prepared for the trip as secured and erected our three tents.  Her tent's poles were missing but thanks to Barbara's return- poles uncovered- the plan could work.  Clare took it to the extreme with her own tent and set her tent up in the "back forty" of our site. Probably not really our site- but it worked.  Sally and Peter took the BIG tent and declared sides.  Joe and I cuddled up in the original tent we've always used.  The kids can't believe it has held Joe and two friends on white water rafting trips.    I stepped back and watched it all play out.  Clare is so much like her father- each took to action and independently, quietly executed.   Sally's bossy side (okay note lunch was delayed and she was hungry, maybe hangry) had her leading the way, Peter following orders.  Joe joined and the tent was quickly ready-to-go.  We made the call of skipping the hike picnic and at our lunch at the table.  I had the table set and supplies organized to make this an easy call.

5th A hiking we will go! Joe and I had not been able to fit  in the visit to Rock House. We agreed this was good as it would pull us back to Hocking Hills sooner than later. Voila- there we were just over a month later with the kids.  Short, beautiful hike to an amazing Ohio wonder.  We all enjoyed this trek.  Not ready to be done we took the kids to see Whispering Cave and the new trail and bridge. They complained a bit but embraced the activity- adding an extra mile to Old Man's Cave- with the promise of ice cream!

6th Back to the campsite to enjoy cocktail time, fire, mountain pie dinner and all that comes with just hanging-out, outside.  I loved it.  It was a wonderful Saturday night for the Leithauser off of NG Road!  A bonus was fireworks someone decided to set off- the only real noise of the large camp ground.  The full location provided entertainment as we took in the neighbors- a couple on a motorcycle, a group of college women, a family with young kids and bikes, a family with a beautiful dog, groups of friends.  We could write a story, a screen play about it all.    Campfire time was family time and I loved it.

7th  We all slept as well as expected- some wake ups due to rocks.  We agree it is time to do air mattresses vs. egg crates.  The air was the perfect tent camping temperature which helped.  The rain in the morning was soothing and Joe was the hero to put every one's cover as we had loved our starry views at bed time.  We were a little stiff and feeling our age of close to 50 but pleased we did it, the discomfort is worth the opportunity to be in the great outdoors.

8th-home again home agin, jiggidy-jig!  Hocking Hills is so close!  We stopped in Lancaster for diner breakfast and were so pleased and delighted with all menu items- there was something for everyone.  A bit too much potty talk- do I live with 4 year olds- sometimes yes- but we did take them primitive camping so it was bound to be discussed.

The car is unloaded, the laundry started and everyone has showered. The day away was a treat for me and my life on NG Road.

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