We only went camping once this summer, because we're saving our money and vacation days for the Disney cruise we're planning in November!
We went to Knoll Lake as usual, but this time some friends from church, the Woodruffs, came with us. They have 17-year-old twin daughters, and one of them has been spending a couple of days a week at our house with the kids while Rob and I are at work. They're great girls.
One thing we like about Knoll Lake is that usually when most of the state has fire restrictions, the Knoll Lake campground isn't restricted. Rob checks the Forest Service website every day leading up to our trips each year, just to make sure.
Well, this year, he checked it early in the morning the day we left, and unbeknownst to us, they placed a fire restriction a couple of hours later. Oops. After setting up camp and relaxing a bit, we built a nice campfire and made our hobo dinners. We were all sitting around the fire when we had the pleasure of meeting Mel.
The campground used to have a caretaker called Mountain Eddie, who we really liked. But this year, the Forest Service decided to manage the campground themselves, and they guy replacing Mountain Eddie was much less personable. Mel drove up to our campsite, headlights blazing into our faces, and marched right up to our fire with a 5-gallon container of water. "I'm going to have to put out your fire," he said and immediately dumped the water on it.
We were all a little dumfounded, and Rob started asking him what was going on and what they guy's name was. Mel was kind of a big jerk, but he eventally explained that he was away from the campsite during the day because he had to go into town to pick up the fire restriction order, and that he had to make sure all the fires were out. Fine - we're all about not buring down the forest, and we would've put out the fire if he had asked us, but he didn't have to be a creep about it! We were scared we wouldn't be able to cook all our meals and we'd have to go home early. The kids were crying. Good times!
The next morning, Rob talked to Mel and he sort-of apologized for the way he treated us and offered to let us use his gas camp stove to cook our meals. It ended up working out OK, but it was kind of a rough start.
The rest of the week was nice! The weather was great, no rain at all. The lake was too cold for me, but we went several times, and most everyone else swam quite a bit. Even the Woodruff's dog, Drew had a good time swimming. The kids loved having Drew along with us! She's a very good dog, and Robbie was in heaven.
We played a lot of cards and ate a lot of candy.
We went on a few hikes, and the kids were excited to find this log they like to walk across every year.
We had baseball gloves & bats, so we played catch a lot and we even had a little bit of batting practice.
The first day, before we knew we wouldn't be able to have campfires, Rob had gathered a bunch of firewood. Since he went to the trouble of getting it, he went ahead and split it all, and we brought it home so we'd have it next time we go camping. It's hard to see in this picture, but Robbie had the mallet and was helping split wood.