Kaitlyn and I had been looking forward to this past weekend for the better part of a month. While I had concerns about how she would do in such a setting, I knew deep down that she would have a good time. And I was right.
Kaitlyn and I went camping this past weekend, along with my brother and my nephew. It was all the brainchild of my brother, and all I had to do was find a suitable location. We ended up settling on a state park about an hour from my house, one that borders the Apalachicola River. My brother took care of the rest, which included making the reservation and bringing most of the camping gear. What he didn’t bring, we picked up a few days before our adventure.
We made it to the state park pretty much right at the last possible minute that we could…an hour before sunset, as required by the park since we were going to be occupying one of the “primitive” campgrounds. By primitive, I do mean primitive. From the parking area, we had about a 3/4 mile hike to our campground, which doesn’t sound like much. But it turned out to feel like it was about a 3-4 mile hike. We traversed the trail to the campground with our newly-purchased game cart (basically a small metal cart) filled with our tents and sleeping bags; it was a downhill journey, which should have, in theory, made it a little easier, but in reality made things more difficult. The trail was filled with roots and washouts, and our cart tipped over a few times on the way down; we finally made it after about 45 minutes. The second trip was equally as difficult, even with less weight to haul.
Friday night saw the temperatures dip below freezing pretty rapidly after sunset, but Kaitlyn didn’t seem to mind at all. In fact, she seemed to enjoy the cold. She slept great, even with a mid-20s wakeup call Saturday morning.
After some campfire cooking, the four of us set off to explore the park (and hopefully find some geocaches, which my brother has gotten Kaitlyn excited about). During our hike, we found seven total hidden geocaches, and saw some great scenery. The photo at the top of the entry is from a spot overlooking the river, and along the way, we passed six Confederate gun emplacements that would have offered superior sight lines for a defensive position.
The weather Saturday night was not nearly as frigid, and Kaitlyn didn’t seem to mind that, either.
We finally made it home Sunday afternoon, and Kaitlyn was very excited to see Amber (I was, too). Overall, it is safe to say that Kaitlyn really enjoyed her first real experience in the great outdoors. I get the feeling that she may want to go camping again relatively soon. Maybe when it is not so cold outside!