Monday, September 23, 2013

Clifty Falls Camping

 A few weeks ago Dr. J had a rare three day weekend.  He was on a consult month and the doctors he was working with didn't want to come in, so viola, three day weekend.  We decided to take advantage and go camping.  If it feels like all our family vacations are camping or to see family you would be right.  First our kids love camping and secondly, once you own the equipment it is cheap, so there you go.  Because of the short notice we couldn't find any camping spots in our regular hang out but we found a small state park only a few hours away that had a couple of openings.  We decided to check it out.  After setting up camp in what I swear was the perfect space for us, seriously one small walk way away from bathrooms with running water and showers (a must for me when camping with kids) it started to pour.  We spent our first night camping holed up in our tent eating cold chicken and rolls.  The kids colored and we all debated on if the weather was going to take our tent down or not.  We decided to call in for an early night.

The next morning we were blessed with clear skies and the offending and now gone rain had dropped the temperature a good 15 degrees.  We were super happy about that and after a breakfast of pancakes and bacon headed off on a hike down into a river bed.  The hike was gorgeous.  Green was everywhere, and just some gorgeous rock and water formations.  We'd gotten down into a small stream bed where Cheetah was busy sitting in all the little bits of water she could find when Peach said, "Hey look, I found a fossil."  Sure enough she had.  After that the kids spend at least an hour searching for more, comparing finds, and looking for better ones.  We then headed off to the main river where the entire family got into the water and enjoyed some of the smaller falls.  When we finally decided to call it a day we were soaked, tired, and carrying some of our best finds back out of the river bed.  The kids were awesome little hikers even Cheetah who hiked almost the entire way out on her own two little shortie legs.  We then went to the visitors center where we got to do some bird watching look at some of the better fossil finds in the park and where Peach removed the head off a taxidermy turkey.  Good times.  For dinner the kids helped us get a fire started and then joined a game of capture the flag with some other kids in the campgrounds.  After it got dark and all the parents had pulled out lanterns we made s'mores and the kids rejoined the game for some night play.  By the time we finally got everyone in bed it was after eleven and they were beat.

Our finally morning we spent cleaning up camp while the kids played with their new friends.  We then headed in to the town of Madison Indiana which I kid you not is the cutest thing I have ever seen.  It is a relatively small town now but it must have been bustling at some point because there are over 100 blocks named in the historical district.  We are talking about homes over 100 years old, well kept, and adorable, so much so that the downtown was made into a National Historic Landmark.  There is lots of shopping and seriously one of the longest old time main streets I've ever seen.  You are also right on the Ohio and they have speed boat races their.  It is the kind of places I would love to live, except of course it happens to be in the swatch where in 1974, a super tornado outbreak happened.  Man I hate tornadoes.  We had been planning on just picking up McDonalds on the way out of town (yuck right, but the kids love that place and it would be easy) but instead decided to eat at this cute little cafe right on the main street.  They had these giant cookies that the kids loved and some seriously delicious tomato soup.  When we finally headed for home everyone was happy and well fed.  

 Seriously these little streams were so beautiful.  Anyone else like looking at rocks and imagining how they formed.  Nerd alert I know but Dr. J and I were in nerd heaven.
 Cheetah loves water.  Oh water bottles.  I'm so sick of carrying them.  I think it is time to get the kids their own camel packs.  

 We bought the kids whistles three camping trips ago after they got lost on our dune hike.  They stay in our camping stuff and come out when I'm concerned about keeping track of everyone.
 Here let me just sit down in this puddle.  

 Peach finds a fossil. After that the whole family got to work looking for them.  

 The main river.  The kids loved these tiny falls.  There are some really tall falls in the park as well, but they are small delicate things, we are not talking Niagara here, very pretty though.
 At this point Cheetah was basically swimming. 
 I get so hot on these little excursions.  Dr. J likes to tease me about how sweaty I get which I think is seriously so rude.  Thanks a lot genetics.  That man hasn't worked out in six years and meanwhile he still has a six pack.  I only take pleasure in the fact that he wishes he was heavier.  Serves him right.  I meanwhile have been working out pretty continuously since Ezra was born and at this moment happen to be heavier then ever.  Seriously just drives me crazy.  My body is literally begging for a famine.  Anyway when he started teasing me this day I said, pick up Ezra so we weigh the same, carry that kid out of here and then we'll see how you look.  I was a tiny bit ticked at him, but mainly just mad at nature...there you go :)
 This rock fence actually marked a very steep drop off.  Of course my whole family decided to stand on it.  I can even show you how steep it was because I absolutely refused to stand by it longer then necessary.

 The funniest thing about all our state parks, I swear they are all right by power plants.
 Dr. J saw this turtle on the side of the road and decided to stop and show the kids.  Cheetah is screaming but not because she is scared.  Instead she is furious she got left in her car seat while everyone else got to get out.  A ranger actually stopped to ask us what we were doing and then asked us to put the wildlife down :)  While we were there we also saw a bunch of wild turkeys and some deer, a bunch of vultures who apparently nest in one of the power plant towers that is no longer used, and Gigi swears she saw an otter but no one else saw it to confirm.

All my kids are pyros.  
 This is actually the point where I told Dr. J I wasn't camping with Cheetah again for another year.  The child kept running off to explore and I kept having to run off to catch up with her.  I told him, "I'm not coming out again until I can tell this girl to stay and give her a boundary and know she will stay in it."  We may never camp again :-/  Containment issues.

 The town is right on the Ohio river and they've lined the river with a long park full of benches and swings where people can watch the river or watch the speed boat racing.  
 Peach feel and was super sad.  When I told her I was going to take a picture of her crying she got even sadder.

 Dad and Cheetah on one side.  Everyone else on the other.  
 Giant cookies.


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