IMGP7382  I decided to unplug a bit with the boys and build a campsite in "ferndale" on our property. It is in a little clearing with the most perfect patches of sunlight. IMGP7384  The boys loved it! Such silliness ensues when a tent goes up. Lots of bashing each other with rolled up sleeping bags. IMGP7388  Now for the fire! I found an OLD shovel head when I was clearing, so I used that for a fire pit. I figured I could use the handle to move the fire later should I need to. I put rocks around it that I found while clearing. I had a 100 sq ft area cleared with my machete, and leveled, within about an hour. That was hard work! But so worth it. IMGP7389  Getting hair-thin kindling to get the fire started from some fir that was downed on our property. The tree had fallen long ago and we thought it was dry. Not so much! Starting a fire with a dull axe and wet wood...that is some fun right there! Whew...
IMGP7390  Watching fingers carefully! IMGP7392  Now for the SPAM! Yeah! IMGP7395  Not sure what is going on here! IMGP7397  Fending off intruders!
IMGP7399  Nice shot. IMGP7401  This is real silliness now! IMGP7403 IMGP7406  Love this one! See what everyone is doing? Gramma on her...you-know-what!
IMGP7407  Daddy home from work to see what is going on! IMGP7410  These are the HUGEST marshmallows I have EVER seen! They are really messy... IMGP7411  Poor mom! It was the most perfect marshmallow! IMGP7416  I thought putting stumps on their side would be really innovative - you can roll toward the fire if you get cold, or away from the fire if it gets too warm. Wel...you can imagine...people were rolling in unintended directions at unintended times!
IMGP7419  Reading the REAL journals of Lewis and Clark, who persisted through many hardships along their journey to the West Coast. Certainly wet wood and a dull axe would have been a minor complaint for them! IMGP7423  Daddy! IMGP7426  Ben's first glimpse of the new day. IMGP7427  He adored being outside and slept like a rock. I, on the other hand, stood watch all night listening for critters. There are a good deal of creatures in our woods because there is acre upon acre - hundreds - of deep woods behind us. I can see animal trails through the woods. Only deer, raccoons, opossums, and coyotes, then owls and chipmunks and stuff. But still - they make a lot of noise at night! Especially when they have a kill...
IMGP7428  Sam's first glimpse. This is a family tradition - take a picture when you first wake up. Isn't that cruel? IMGP7430  The view from inside the tent. I was able to see the Big Dipper straight up from my tent in the middle of the night! IMGP7433 IMGP7440  Eagle waking up from his first night camping!
IMGP7445  Slept with my trusty machete by the tent door, just in case. Dad - I know you are wondering - the machete is really very dull. No one would get hurt on it like this, plus I placed it there when everyone was in bed already, not horsing around. IMGP7447  Ben had pitch on his legs, and his feet were filthy! Signs of a great time :) IMGP7451  Now for morning silly faces! IMGP7452
IMGP7453  I love this look! Mary, what do you think? IMGP7457 IMGP7458 IMGP7461
IMGP7474  I love you, boys! IMGP7480 IMGP7481 IMGP7487  PopTart snacks in the morning!
IMGP7488  Here is my fire pit :)