Wednesday, October 08, 2014

experiencing Fall: camping!

Amish country. I didn't realize it when I booked a yurt at a state park an hour and a half south of us. Now I know, Bainbridge, OH is a small concentration of Amish folk. And pretty much, nothing else. Amish people sure are simple. I mean, sim-ple. I'm talking, bakery and general store simple. Still, we made the most of it. 
It hasn't rained here in a solid month. Of COURSE it would rain the entire time we were camping. Still, we enjoyed it. 
 These two have the same furrowed brow. :D We had to light fires between storms. Forget ambiance. The smoke was blowing all up in our faces as storms blew in and out. Still, we made smores.
 We don't camp like real campers; we camp in yurts. Two yurts in two months, in fact. September 6, we were yurting in NC.
 Jude is in a BOLTING phase. His destination of bolting is typically a roadway of some sort. The busier the road, the better!
 He will not respond to, "No!!" or "Come back!!" He will, however, respond to food. Sean calling him over with marshmallows. 
 Jude responding. 
 I should point out that between the cold and rain and bolting children, I didn't focus much on things like camera settings and lighting. Most of my pictures reflect such. I am kinda bummed about it, but we made memories more than photographic opportunities and sometimes I just have to be okay with that.

 After a quick trip to the campground park, I had to use ice-cream from the camp store to lure him back to our site.

 These two were too busy lighting fires to pose. 

 The campground playground. 

 Waving at his reflection. :D

Growing somewhat restless with the yurt on day two, we ventured into Bainbridge in search of an Amish bakery. I did note that the Amish girl used an electric calculator when she rang up our "fry pies." Fry pies are like little pockets of deep fried heaven. They are hand held pies, deep fried, and drizzled in icing. Yeah. 

Simon, "Were you alive when EVERYBODY drove a horse and buggy?" Turd. 
 After our grand adventure to the bakery and general store(no lie, they had oil lamps hanging from the ceiling), we decided to drive to Chillicothe. 

FOR SALE: I'm not entirely sure if it has electricity, but there were automobiles 'round front, giving reason to believe heathens live here amongst the Amish. 
 While Jude napped and the big kids and Sean went in search of board games, I looked up local attractions while I had a signal on my phone. I found Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. Judging by the enthusiasm of the park ranger, they don't get a ton of visitors. It is nestled nicely between two large prisons. Beautiful prisons if you overlook the excessive amounts of barbed wire.
 The park consisted of a tiny museum, a gift shop, a giant field of reconstructed mounds, and one very knowledgable ranger. She introduced us to the Junior Ranger program. Apparently all national parks have little booklets kids can fill out and earn badges. We have been to DOZENS of national parks and no one has ever said BOO about it. My kids actually paid attention and learned something. As did I. 

 These two chuckleheads were sworn in as Junior Rangers. Titus took the whole thing very seriously. I'm pretty sure Simon was hating this part, but he wanted the patch. 

 Felix doesn't have the humor it takes for mock ceremonies. His holding up of his right hand was a bit lackluster, I'd say. 
 Afterwards, we found a local coffee shop that served lunch. There was a sweet older couple heading out that stopped to chat with us. The lady kept saying what a blessing it was to see our boys. Her own son is in the Army and has three boys of his own. She was sure we'd know him. Sean engaged in the conversation whole heartedly while I ordered and paid. After the older couple left, the coffee shop owner came over with a $10 bill. She said the couple wished to thank Sean for his service. It made our whole day. 
 After debating another stop at the Amish bakery on our way back to the campground, I opted instead to try the recommendation of one of the campground workers. Bainbridge, Ohio supposedly has the world's greatest cheesecake. We arrived promptly at five, hoping to substantiate the claims. CLOSED EARLY?! The disappointment was palpable and now we'll never know if Bainbridge, Ohio, home of America's first dental school, is also home of the "Worl Greates Heesecake." 
Back at the yurt, on our last night there, the clouds parted just in time for one last fire.

 And then they joined back together and decided they wanted to pummel us with rain and lightning and very, very loud thunder. 

 Titus was screaming, "We're gonna die! We're gonna die!" with each round of thunder. He was actually quite convincing and I started to formulate a plan just in case a tornado alarm went off.
 Luckily, Farkle and the bunkbed ladder distracted us all and we fell asleep late to the sound of rain falling on the yurt roof. 
Next adventure: HOUSE HUNTING.

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