We just got home from our annual Rushing River camping trip. The first year we camped there was just a few weeks before Seth was born, and we’ve camped there every summer since, besides a couple when we were overwhelmed with babies who refused to sleep. For the last eight years we haven’t missed a summer, and we’ve camped at the very same site. It holds a truly special place in our hearts, and it feels like our home away from home, really. It’s a beautiful spot where you’re truly secluded from the other campsites, and you’re right on the water. You can’t see or hear anyone else. The only downside is that the bathrooms are FAR away- at the very least a long walk or a short drive. Everyone’s pretty used to peeing in the bush (and Ivy sure doesn’t mind taking a poop in there too) but we still end up driving to the bathroom at least a couple of times a day. We don’t mind though! And so far no one’s pooped their pants….;)
Over the last few years we’ve added a night to our trip every year, and this year we stayed for our longest time ever, five nights. And we had just the greatest time. We almost tried to extend our trip a night, but we have a lot coming up in the next few days so decided not to. The weather was just absolutely perfect except for yesterday when it rained all morning, and then again in the evening, but even that was fine.
We did all of our favorite hikes, of course. This was also the first year in a long time that we brought Dotty, and she was so so good. She even taught herself to swim while we were there. And oh she was so so close to catching that squirrel! It just taunted her all week, to all of our amusement.
We had a tonne of fun on the paddleboards again this year too. Seth spends so much time on the paddleboard- he just loves it. The rest of us all took turns paddling around together too. Oliver and I went on a long paddle and stopped to explore along the way. Poor guy didn’t quite make it up the rock face and fell right into the water but I scooped him up and he recovered just fine. Oliver spent so much time wandering around on his own, especially on his favorite island. We can see the island from the beach and he just hung out on there while everyone else swam and played. We dropped a snack off for him a couple times and he was perfectly content.
Ben and Ivy were the only ones brave enough to jump off of the dock and they did over and over again. Ben really probably had the best time of any of the kids this week. One day he said, more than once, that he was having the best day of his life and that he was just so happy. What more could a mom ask for? I just love it.
This was the first summer Neil and the kids got in the water near the rapids and floated down river a bit. Ivy is seriously so brave, I just love her for it. And Ben too- he used to be afraid of almost everything and now he’s just up for anything- I’m just amazed at him, and so very proud.
We’re already dreaming about next year’s camping trip. Every year gets better and better as the kids get bigger and we can do more and more things (and as they can do more and more things on their own!).
Also, it has to be said that I’m becoming a wizard with a cast iron pan over an open fire. This year’s smashing success was donuts. Oh my goodness were they ever good. Definitely going onto our regular camping menu rotation (as well as onto my hips.) The kids also loved the oatmeal I made for breakfast- I made it with peaches one morning and with apples and cinnamon another. So yummy! We cooked every single hot meal this week in that pan and they were all delicious. But the donuts were definitely my favourite. 🙂