Opening Summer !

We have been so busy summer just sort of snuck up on us. Teagan and Latah had plans to spend summer with family in Boston and Vermont. There was about a week before they had to leave so we squeezed in a family camping trip before they left. Most of the campgrounds in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest require reservations for a spot. However, most campgrounds have a number of, “first come, first serve,” spaces. We set our sights for one of those and so in doing that we not only took our chances but didn’t know where we would wind up until we got there. Dennis and I left very early on a Friday morning, each in our own vehicle, to get spots. We were successful at Moss Creek Campground out of Willard, WA. Dennis held a spot for Jason’s gang and about 3 sites away I found a spot for my camp, We had a great five day camping adventure. The weather was cool with rain during two of the days. Jason put up a huge tarp in their camp so we actually enjoyed the rain. Let the adventure begin.


Jason and Jeannette slept in their truck but Sam, Sophie, and I put up tents. Dennis and Taylor joined us during the day with Taylor arriving on his motorcycle after work and leaving late in the dark. Sometimes he came by road but at other times he came on trails over the mountains. I was always happy when he was home safe. He promised the girls he would let them know when he was home. We had great cell reception, which surprised me.

We were pleased Taylor joined us even on the rainy days. Latah and I had our own camp a short walk away. We liked the privacy of it but spent most of our time at the other camp.
Sam set up his own tent
Being an early riser I could have my morning coffee without disturbing the others.
Sophie set up her own tent.
Teagan moved in with Sophie.

We helped Jason put up a large tarp as we knew there would be rainy days. It worked great and we loved being under there listening to the rain, playing games and so forth. Camp life carried on as usual.

We prefer cool weather over blazing heat any time.
Dennis generally came later in the day and enjoyed the evening fire and dinner before going home.
The kids really enjoyed the hammock and spent lots of time in there. There would be one, two, or all of them wrapped up in there at times.
Jason brought his trusty mobile camp kitchen that folds up into a neat portable box. He had designed and made the camp kitchen last year.


We spent a lot of time just sitting around poking at the campfire, but we played games too around the table. Cribbage is my game of choice and a number of us play. Sam would take me on and kept me on my toes. Sophie taught us a new game which I thought was lots of fun. I think it was called, “Scum” or something like that. Exploring the campground provides entertainment. Jason or Jeannette read a few McManus stores around the campfire to settle us in before going to bed nights. Jason and Jeannette left to find Spirit Falls one afternoon. I stayed with the kids at camp. The entire time the kids involved themselves in making a video, a reality show sort of thing that turned out great. They spent the entire afternoon on it. I don’t have access to the video at this time.

The Little White Salmon River borders Moss Creek Campground.
Latah and Teagan are early risers so they liked to sit around the campfire drinking hot chocolate until the others got up.
There was always plenty of food around
Stakes, chops, baked potatoes, weenies.
Great hiding places
Beware of spooky characters

There are many downed logs and lush vegetation for the kids to use in their video. I enjoyed watching the actors play their chosen parts and to hear their laughter ring through the forest, with the constant rush of the Little White Salmon making its way to the Columbia in the background.

Sam brought the truck he received for his birthday. He and Latah had a great time preparing obstacles and roads for it. We all got a kick out of watching. Sometimes it would be overhead on the tarp and we would see its shadow zipping around. I added the sound effects to the video.