Here is the next installment about our pilgrimage out West:
It includes the fair state of Iowa – the first state we crossed on our way to the top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado.
You can tell you are out on the plains.
The first day of our trip was pretty easy – we drove for a couple of hours before stopping for lunch at a nice little park in a small Iowa town whose name escapes me. It was perfect, really – the kids got to run and play on the playground, we got to stretch, and the first of the many picnics we would have this week was absolutely delightful. We had just left home, after all.
In a couple more hours, we found the charming Ledges State Park, surprisingly situated amidst the seemingly endless cornfields. It included a natural bit of wilderness around a deep natural canyon (believe it or not), as well as a wonderful, modern campground. Here is what it looked like:
This tent was a wedding gift to us from Jacob’s college friend Whet and his wife Liz. It is a wonderful, spacious tent that we immediately took with us on our honeymoon (also out West), and Jacob has been using it ever since for a yearly camping trip or two he takes with his students. Thank you, Whet and Liz!!
Jacob started the fire…
The kids drew…
There is no TV in our car, and neither is there one at our house (although they watch a few shows online via Netflix now and then), so our kids are used to making up their own games and keeping themselves entertained without the need for electronics or much adult participation – one of the major things that make my experience of motherhood so smooth.
Jacob inflated the ground pads and Josie made “beds” in the tent where four of us were to sleep (Jacob opted to sleep on a ground pad outside). We left the rain-fly off that night and went to sleep under the stars (although the campfire smoke kept being blown towards us, which drove me bonkers).
My mother-in-law lent us her car-top carrier for this trip, as well as several ground pads, the cooler, and her camp kitchen set.
And, finally, Jacob made a campfire supper and coffee, at which he is unparalleled. He made the next morning’s breakfast, too, and also did all the dishes and the packing. I am pretty sure I did nothing at all!