Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Moran State Park Family Camping

The family and I had a blast on our last camping trip of the year! We went to Moran State Park on Orcas Island from August 22nd-25th. My Mom had this camping trip planned for a very long time and it worked out perfectly for this camping trip to be the time when Sam and I met up with the Grandparents to get the kiddos. 

Friday Sam and I hit the road and were leisurely about getting to Anacortes, WA, where we were to take the ferry over to Orcas Island. We arrived in Anacortes at about 7pm and after checking into our hotel, we went out to eat at The Rockfish Bar and Grill for dinner. 

Our ferry left Anacortes at 7:25am Saturday morning, and we were told to get there about 30 minutes early, so it was a very early morning for us! We didn't see any whales on our hour long ferry ride, but we definitely enjoyed the trip and the scenery.

After making it to Orcas Island, we decided to stop at a few shops and take our time making our way to Moran State Park. We arrived at our campground, spot 78 at the North End Campground in Moran State Park at about 10ish and were so excited to see the kids! They had already been camping with Grandma and Grandpa, and a few other relatives, for 2 days. Everyone was just about to make their way to the local Farmers Market when we showed up, so after a few long awaited kiddos hugs, we joined in on the caravan and spent an hour or so in town checking out the market and other shops. After a bit, Sam and I, along with the kiddos, headed back to our camp spot. Anthony and Tim got right to work helping Papa set up our tent while Molly and I did the camp chairs and other gear. Good job, Boys!


We did a fair amount of hiking during our camping trip. I even made sure to pack Anthony's field bag I made for him for his birthday so we could all get in some Bigfoot evidence hunting! The kids had a good time checking things out with the magnifying glass and collecting evidence in "evidence bags." My favorite part of our hike was when we asked all the kids to touch the slug we found, and of course, Timothy was the only one who did! And when he did it, the slug sucked itself in and it was the funniest thing to watch, Tim sure got a kick out it it. Yay for nature!

Our campsite was pretty dang cozy. It was down below the camp loop road so I felt like we had a decent amount of privacy and I didn't have to worry about the kids running into the road. They were free to run around our spot and down the hill to the creek and play on logs and such. I feared them falling and getting hurt, but luckily there were no causalities. 

Except for me....sometime during our hike, or maybe after....I can't exactly pinpoint when because it was quite gradual, I hurt my right knee. At first it started out as a dull ache, but soon progressed into a constant aching throb and pain when walking, with excruciating sharp pains while walking downhill. Weird, annoying, and definitely not part of my camping and hiking plan. Oh well. What are you gonna go.

We couldn't have a fire because of Washington's fire ban, which was a bummer. I think this was our very first time camping without a camp fire. To make up for our lack of fire and lack of smores, I made the kids a smores trail mix for dessert. And Anthony tried his hand at popping popcorn over our camp stove. So despite our no fire situation, we still had our fireside treats!

There was no shortage of wildlife interested in what we had to offer. We thought we did a decent job cleaning up our food stuffs, but when we came back from our hike, we saw our Costco cookie container on the ground with a little squirrel over it and all the cookies gone! There's no way the squirrels could have gotten it open with their little hands, right? I think they pushed it off the table and it popped open. Darn it! The kids were so mad! Costco cookies! UGH! From then on Timothy would grab a stick and chase the squirrels, beating the trees with sticks yelling, "Get out of here you squirrel!" hahaha

In the middle of the night, I awoke to some rustling outside our tent. I woke Sammy up and together we investigated. Turns out it was a buck right next to our tent eating our hotdog buns from our food bag! Looks like, in our tired stupor, we forgot to stow away our food bag and the deer decided to take advantage. All of our hot dog buns.....gone. In the trees above our tent were two big raccoons, watching the show down below. We were checking them out as much as they were checking us out. After a few minutes, they descended the tree and wandered off...or so I thought. We moved our bag to safety and hit the hay.

Not long after Sam and I went back to bed, we woke up and heard my Mom and Aunt talking outside. In the morning my Aunt told us she awoke to a noise and saw a big 'ol raccoon trying to open their food utility box! If it had had more time, I bet it would have gotten in with it's nimble little fingers! Haha

Day two of camping was a busy one! Unfortunately my leg was still hurting, but I didn't want that to stop the fun, so I did my best to keep up and not let the pain stop me from enjoying the day. Sam and I took the kids on a drive and then on a walk through the campground he and I stayed in the very first time he and I camped on Orcas Island....7 and a half years ago! That was a nice blast from the past and the kids giggled with delight over knowing they were visiting a place Mama and Papa once camped before Molly and Timothy were born and when Anthony was only 6 months old or so. We got in some more Bigfoot evidence hunting and even got a close up of those pesky cookie stealing squirrels!

We also visited Mount Constitution, part of Moran State Park. That was quite the trek up and pretty painful for me coming back down! But the sights at the top were definitely worth it and the kids really enjoyed themselves and leading the way up and down. And luckily, the kids took turns being my crutch and giving me a hand down the hill. What sweetie pies!

Our campground had a very nice park and swimming hole. It was only a few minutes walk from our camp spot. After buying an ice cream treat at the ice cream hut and playing at the playground, we took the kids to the lake. Sam enjoyed swimming with the kids, they all got pretty brave and ventured in a good distance! We also played in the sand, building motes and watching the water flow in and out. It was so nice out and it felt awesome to sit and relax in the sand.

The remainder of our time camping I gave my camera a rest, only picking it up every now and again. I wanted to focus on enjoying the time and not worry about capturing it so much. My mom took a lot of photos though, so hopefully I'll get those sometime and be able to update the post with more photos of all the other family who camped with us! I was selfish and pretty much focused on just the kids, lol, sorry family.

We went on a few more hikes, one of which was down to a little beach where the kids were able to run around in the sand and splash in the water. We did a lot of relaxing in the hammock and eating yummy food. The kids enjoyed playing with trucks and cars in the dirt and especially playing UNO. I swear we played that for hours every night, that's how we ended our days. I forgot how fun UNO was...and how good at winning I was. ;) Anthony got a kick out of teaching my Uncle Steven how to play. Even Grandma and Grandpa played a few rounds with us. We were UNO playing fools.

Tuesday morning was a mellow one. Our other family left the day before, so it was just us and Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma made french toast for breakfast and we took our time rolling out of bed and packing up. Our ferry left at noon, so we had plenty of time to wrap up our camping adventure. It was fun that we were on the same ferry as them. We took in the sights, got a snack, and worked on a puzzle. The kids thought it was awesome that we said goodbye to them at the campsite and then again on the ferry! 

The drive home was a long 7 hours, including stops. Time just seemed to drag. But we kept ourselves entertained with chatting, music, a few rousing games of Auto Bingo, snacks, and naps. Thankfully the kids are good travelers...for the most part!

What an awesome last camping adventure we had and what a great way to end the summer! We sure did have a blast!! 

My leg is still hurting off and on...but not like it was while camping because thankfully I don't have any hills or stairs to climb up and down here at home. I'm much too busy and stubborn to take myself into the Dr, haha, but I looked it up and I think I just have some sort of muscle or ligament sprain/strain. Who knows. Guess I'll just try to rest my leg as much as possible and see if that helps. Is that even possible when you're a busy Mama and school and sports are about to start?

With love,
Mama Hauck

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