January's *Adventure* - Camping!

Hi friends!

You may remember {from this post} that this is the Year of Adventure!
Instead of new year resolutions, I've claimed a *One Word* for many years now. This year's *adventure* is real life, crafting, or surprises along the way!

January's adventures took us camping!
Suffice it to say, I am so not a camper,
especially knowing I'm going to be in a tent, sleeping bag, with dirt and bugs!
This was a big, big, B-I-G stretch for me!
But my wayfaring, adventurous spirit took over 
and we hit the open road with a "come what may" attitude :) 
We found ourselves in a very rural, rustic area of central Florida
on the outskirts of Lake Okeechobee.
With a lack back semblence, there was a distinct feel of a time gone by.
They still say howdy and ma'am and, with a tip of the hat, wish you a good day.
It's just a stone's throw from Miami,
worth the nearly 3 hour, one way drive. 
Far removed from the hustle and bustle of our daily life,
I appreciated the unspoiled way of life.

We found ourselves arriving in the evening after a horrible Thunderstorm
 ripped through the camp with 30 mph winds and saturated the grounds,
making it too rain soaked to pitch tents.
The few of us that braved the storm to get up there
 were granted access to "higher grounds" until morning,
 putting up the tents in the darkness of the night
with just lanterns and moonlight!

 This is what I could see outside the tent ~

Prayers said, tents up, we 'adventured' on.
We set up a make shift "get through the night" camp,
assembled our small stoves and ate around the campfire.
Those of us that braved the first night sat chatting
under a million stars on the chilly, clear {and now rain-free} night.
We huddled into our tents for the night ...
my always reading son dove into his new book
by the lantern's light,
and I later watched him in beautiful slumber by the light of the moon

The next day was postcard perfect -
absolutely STUNNING weather, sunshiny skies and just cool enough 
to make everything wonderful ..
canoeing, hiking the nature trails, merit badge lessons, scavenger hunts,
and so much more. 

A few more families showed up late in the evening 
 just in time for camp karaoke, scary campfire stories and more s'mores!
(I won't post any of the pictures with other scouts, which is most of my pictures) :(

One of my very very VERY favorite things to do is canoe,
and as soon as the sun rose in the mornings
(and since I wasn't in charge of breakfast or scout duty!),
I channeled my inner Nicholas Sparks to venture into God's creation ↓

Be still my heart.

Through twists and turns, strong current and freezing water,
I was one with the river ♥


 For trip one, I cleared nearly 6 miles :)

Back on land .......

 We took nature hikes - THROUGH this!  
Our Den Leader thought it would be 'great experience!'
I think he took Frost's "Take the path less traveled" to heart ...

Eventually, all roads lead to Rome - right?
We would find actual trails and paths, here or there .... 

 Many paths ventured into the wet marshes, a vast beauty of the Everglades
that must be seen at least once in a lifetime ♥
One scout didn't follow the 'blaze' on the trail and
found himself upon this grass ........ except, it's not grass!

Look again - that's water!
      My son wanted to catch mommy a fish for dinner so badly.
We were told at the camp bait shop that the fish weren't biting -
too cold for Florida fish and the water was too high from the previous weeks' rain
but with good spirits (and luckily camp food!) he & the other Scouts had fun :)

 The lake was glassy and smooth, ripple free and eerily calm + beautiful.
I prayed that my son (and the scout friend with us)
would not rock the canoe!
Water mocassins,

alligators basking in the mid-morning son, one on a nest of her eggs.
Great lesson in WE are the visitors, it is THEIR home! 

We were informed that we were in for some bad weather again that night,
and sure enough, 3 am brought howling winds, torrential rain, freezing temps
(by Florida standards, especially since we were amidst many citrus growers).

Some of the families had packed up and headed out,
but my husband's confidence in his new Coleman tent
fantastic 'hurricane force tent staking' and,
apparently, his newfound "Be bold, baby! Be committed!' stanza
was included in the Year of Adventure.    

Just in case, I mapped out the way to the SUV,
flashlight in hand and knew I'd be sleeping with one eye open.
And based on the symphony of dad's snoring in tents around me,
probably not much at all!
Sleep eluding me, I briefly opened the tent fla
to see a crisp, clear night with so many stars lining the sky.
What an incredible gift to behold ♥      

 Sure enough, by 4 am, the rain arrived in full force. 
But, thanks be to God, the tent held up fabulously!
Not a single drop of water made it's way inside. 
In the morning, we surveyed camp and found much it had blown away.
 Anything that had been left out
(tables, tarps, stoves, etc) were all strewn about and not all of the tents made it. 
Many families were soaked through and spent the morning 'drying out' 
everything on tree branches and fence posts.  
My bestie brought out her dad's ancient coffee percolator
and we got the fire going for one of the best cups of joe! ♥ 

The sunrise also brought sunshine, and it stayed with us the rest of the trip!
 With Arrow of Light requirements mostly done,  
we had a lot of free time to explore and trek and hike and play :)
The Scouts voted me 'best on the river'
and my heart smiled :)

What's a little last night's rain going to do to Scouts?
Give them opportunity!
We put our rainboots and waterproof hikers on and explored!

While tromping through mud and muck and whatnot,
I hear my son ....
"Mommy!  Look at this little guy!"
Have mercy.

It. Is. A. Snake!

    Poor thing didn't survive the night,
but still ....... son, use a stick! 

Although we stayed another 2 nights and 1 day,
it rolled quickly into each other and before we knew it - 
time to head for home!
Bugs, rain, reptiles, exhaustion and all things crawling aside,
we had an incredibly fun and adventurous time, unexpectedly so :)  
I was actually as sad as my son to leave for home,
though I missed the girls and the fur babies.

January was so much fun, I can't wait for February's adventure!

Adventure Awaits ...
Find your tribe!



  1. Wonderful trip Kelly, a great recounting of it, and so glad you actually enjoyed it :-)

  2. Sounds like a real adventure. Way to get into the "spirit" of nature Kelly!

  3. Oh my goodness, what an exciting adventure you had, Kelly!! It sounds like such an awesome time (minus the snakes - eek!!) What sweet picture of your adorable son!! I really enjoyed your trip and pictures!! Thanks for sharing my friend!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  4. Those are some really fantastic photos and I'm sure you'll both remember this trip for a long time! :) What a nice way to get so close and personal with nature!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. How good to have these wonderful memories of an adventure shared with your family, Kelly! I know it will be remembered and treasured by each of you always!

  6. Oh Kelly... I loved reading about your camping adventure.......... and seeing all those pictures, too!

  7. Awesome! I loved the "son ... use a stick!" Can I just tell you how often I've said this?!! Beautiful pictures, fun post!

  8. Glad you're committed to adventure! Great pictures and sounds like a real experience!

  9. Talk about back to nature.....yep, you were there! Glad you had a good trip. Thanks, for sharing.

  10. Fun, fun, fun........without the snake and alligators of course! Sounds like y'all had a wonderful time Kelly. I know that feeling exactly when you put a canoe in the still water and experience nature. It can't compare to anything else.

  11. I absolutely adored this post! Thank you so much for sharing your "adventure" with us as this is as close as I will ever get to camping. The canoe trip looked simply wonderful. I'm still chuckling over the picture of what you saw out the tent the first night! You are quite the writer!

  12. Oh my how you had me laughing about using a stick to pick up the snake! Sounds like a wonderful time!

  13. Sounds and looks like a wonderful time. God's creation is so beautiful when not trampled on by man :)..

  14. An amazing trip- your pictures are just fabulous! What a memory all of these great trips will be in years down the road. Love that you had good coffee too : )

  15. Wow, sounds like an amazing and unforgettable trip. Love seeing all the photos too.

  16. Looks like a wonderful family adventure and those pictures are beautiful!

  17. ADVENTURE! Is really the correct word for this trip. One I'm sure you will never forget! I really enjoyed seeing your great pics and reading your story to go with them. But I have to confess my idea of camping would be quite different.
    About 20 years or so ago, We went "camping" with my sister-in-law and her husband. They had a really nice RV. It had air conditioning, heat, and a bathroom in the RV. (And a TV!) It was in a wooded camp ground...near the indoor pool which I used. (We were there in late October! Now that was my idea of camping.

  18. I enjoyed reading your blog, it looks like you all had a great time camping. I love canoeing too its so much fun. I hope your son has better luck next time with fishing, its a great experience catching a fish and then cooking it on a camp fire. It feels like a more natural way of living.

    Andrea Wilkins @ Getaway Outdoors

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