Family Camping

by Alberta Kisling

   The highlight of our summers were camping trips. As we endured the hot, dry summers and every activity resulting in sweat running down our flushed faces and our energy draining as we pulled those icky, tough weeds or pushed and shoved the mower through heavy grass, we could hardly wait to hear the water rushing and bubbling over the rocks in Big Thompson Canyon and breathing the crisp air of Rocky Mountain National Park.

            We always had a contest of who could see the mountains first – a great help as we restlessly endured the hot, barren prairie of Nebraska. As we drove into Estes Park the kids began to chatter and jump up and down. “There are the go carts, there is the amphitheater, hope we can get a camp spot in Moraine Park”! Soon we can hear the groans and moans as Dad drove around and around searching for the perfect spot. “Randy, you go sit on that picnic table to hold this spot as we look for a better one.” We would eventually return to pick up several disgruntled kids and begin the process of setting up camp. The children worked quickly so they could explore our area and climb the rocks. Eventually Burt and I would stretch out in our lawn chairs gazing in awe and wonder at Longs Peak and smelling the beautiful pine trees. Ground squirrels scurried around hoping for a tossed peanut and we smiled and sighed – it was worth the long, long trip, packing, aching heads and back.

            Supper was simple but typical camp food. The most wonderful smell as the bon fire began to burn brightly. Where are our sticks – finally found them and then the smell of hot dogs roasting and sizzling and the little blazes as the marshmallows catch fire. There are homemade cookies loaded with chocolate chips and brownies. The smores are sticky and sweet and of course called for more.

Soon we join our fellow campers trudging along the gravel path to the amphitheater The Ranger is friendly and tells us fascinating stories of the area. We smell popcorn as we plod happily home but we are cold!! Everyone hurries to climb into the warm sleeping bags. “Ok Mom, you were reading ‘Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates – Remember?”

            We feel so close to God under the starry sky, so thankful for our safe travels,  healthy family, and for Beautiful, Beautiful Colorado!!!

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