Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Almost Unplugged

(Tuesday post long holiday weekend is a hard one to embrace, but I allowed time for reflection. 

There's something unbelievably refreshing when you can almost unplug. I say almost because we had perfect cell reception. What we didn't have was wifi, TV reception and we left the DVD player at home...we had music, magazines, Mother Nature's playground and each other. It's called camping! 

King Ralph and I arrived Friday to what we now profess as our favorite state park--St. Francois. It's just 45 minutes from home, with the bonus being it's on the Big River. Once we got set up (and accepted our across the street neighbors...because nothing says we're here like hanging your head out the car window, peering at the fly infested vault toilet, while screaming "is that our shitter").
 I served up our happy hour feast of buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips and celery, salami and English cheddar and herb cheese, toasted garlic French bread slices and shrimp cocktails. Oh ya, grapefruit martinis! After our food digested a bit we took a short bike ride. We both had hectic Fridays at work, so relaxing in our lounge chairs while star gazing felt like the perfect way to end the week. 

Saturday started in the usual way, with coffee and tea...then in the not-so-usual way of mapping out our lazy day.
 I cooked a breakfast of pancakes and sausage and then we set out on a long bike ride. The morning air was cool and the view on the ride was serene--the yellow iron weed flowers littered the fields; making it feel perfectly peaceful! Then we packed a cooler of cold beverages and tuna sandwiches and it was off to the river to grab the last of summer's sun. The only worry of the day was that my cup was empty. Those are the best days, when the worries seem so insignificant. 
We finished up our Saturday with a dinner of smoked chicken, Italian salad, a game of Yahtzee and a dessert of candy corn. 

Sunday started like Saturday. On Saturday I commented I forgot the blueberries in the pancakes, so I decided to redeem myself 
and I added hash browns, bacon and made to order eggs. Then we set out to hike our favorite trail in the park: Swimming Deer Trail. 
(King Ralph has no patience for selfies) 
What we really wanted to see was if our chalk autograph on the old saw mill barn was still there from August 2. It was! 
King Ralph was in the humorous spirit and signed again, under our autograph, "9-6-15 BACK" 

Talking of back...by the time we finished our morning hike, making it back to the camp site, Princess A, D and Uli had arrived to the spend the day with us. We took the girls and the dog on the trail for a bit till we reached the path veer off to river. It's a section of the river no ones uses. We had our own personal river oasis.
We plopped our chairs right down the cool water, which made our bourbon slushes taste that much better. 
Uli is not a fan of water, so I carried her across the river to the island so she could  happily run laps. She felt like a queen, a one dog island all her own! 

Of course we had that family selfie moment, recalling we were down one member. 
Once we baked in the sun for five hours we headed back to camp for dinner, games and homemade ice cream (from this resurrected relic) 
It was the perfect end to summer camping. 

Now it's time to plan fall camping!