April 7, 2022-Hot Springs National Park

(click for today's pictures)

One night in our bed, and then off again we go. Nothing really makes us happier-though I did have a strong urge to start throwing out everything in our house. My goal is to go through the whole place doing a bit of purging and organizing. 

Anyway, back to this morning. We were up when our alarm clocks went off to start the day. There was school to do at home for most of the Dennie kids while Reagan and Anderson headed off to Comm Central. 

I have a stack off books from the library that I am planning on reading to the kids before we finish school, plus I want to finish our history and science books-that may mean we will have to do some work together during the summer.

By early afternoon, Robby was pulling out with Graham, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. Bentley was also with them, and she was sitting in my spot. They had to stop and pick up propane and gas before heading to our campground for this weekend.

I was at home for a little bit by myself before Reagan and Anderson showed back up from school. Anderson had one thing to do before eating something. Then I gave them a few more minutes of downtime before we left.

The drive here didn't take too long, but I sure fought the wind the entire drive. Before long though, we were pulling into Gulpha Gorge campground. This is the first time that we have camped in a National Park before so that is kind of neat.

Robby was already set up when we got here. They hadn't been here to long, but had most things out already. We parked and helped get a few more things ready for the weekend. The rug, chairs, tent, lights, tablecloth, trashcan. Camping is not for the lazy for sure-it is a lot of work, but really we love every minute of it.

Robby and I walked around the loop while Campbell and Whitman walked in the water behind our camper. It is a beautiful stream about 1 foot deep. I have actually been here before to play in the water with the kids; however, it is a bit too cold to do that today....

Well, not for Whitman. Campbell and Keaton both did get in the water, but they didn't sit in the water like their brother. He was having the best time. I hung his clothes behind the camper so in case he plans on doing any wading tomorrow then he can put the same clothes back on.

Soon we decided that we should take a little hike. Across the water there was the start of a few different trail. There was one that went to town which I really wanted to take, but we would definitely have run out of daylight and energy on that trail. 

We opted for a .8 mile trail though we didn't really realize that it was straight up the side of a mountain. It wasn't that extreme, but it was a 13 percent grade which was pretty steep compared to the other trails around here. We were sure huffing and puffing going up the hill. 

The best part was when we made it to the top and were able to turn around and head down the trail. That was certainly much, much easier. I told the kids that they could mark 2 miles off on their running/walking chart (everyone but Anderson has a chart for when they walk 100 miles and can earn 20 dollars.)

On our way back, we saw our tent from our campsite-it had blown over. We were able to turn the tent back over, and it is mostly okay, but not 100%. Oh well, that is always Walmart. After fixing the tent, we then started on our supper. 

Tonight for supper we had chili-it was a bit spicy, but still very yummy. (It was warm and the weather was cold. Plus the chili had a few tomato chunks-to me, I loved the extra tomatoes for sure. After eating, we realized that it was cold and since the baseball game was finishing on the tv, we decided to move the party inside.

It takes a bit to get everything ready for the evening especially when there was a small chance of rain to night. Soon though we were all back in the camper-Bentley was sound asleep in no time at all. The rest of us watched as Robby made some popcorn for the kids. I am not a big popcorn fan so I had some of a muffin instead.

Sitting in the camper is one of my favorite things-there are just kids everywhere, and tonight they were all chatty. The evening seemed to fly by and soon it was time to get beds ready for the evening. Now they all have a bit of time before it is finally bedtime.

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