The Great Camping Road Trip

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We are back!

Back from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Back from Mammoth Cave National Park.

Back from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

And back from a week-long, camping road trip that included one flat tire, a kind Kentucky state trooper, a cantankerous old lady, dozens of ticks and an abundance of family bonding.

Some people are surprised I even attempted the trip. A 1500+ mile road trip and a week of camping, alone with 4 boys?? But you know what? Life is simpler on the road.

On the road, we only had each other, and without our external obligations and distractions, we reconnected as a family. (Don’t think we abandoned our electronics, though. I highly recommend iPad-, iPod and laptop-use during long road trips!) For one week, all we had to do was survive and experience the wonders of the world. 

Now that we’re back home, I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s a part of our normal lives. Here, I have an entire house — 2 toilets, 2 staircases, multiple rooms and all kinds of furniture and accessories — to care for. When we were camping, we had 5 folding chairs and a tent. (Well, two tents. Boy #1 preferred to sleep in his pup tent) Here, I have an entire kitchen, fridge, freezer and local grocery store. Camping, we dined on what we had in our cooler and carry-along tote. Here, we each have more clothes than we need, and sooner or later, it all ends up in the laundry. Camping, we wore clothes again and again, and no one minded.

Back home, I wonder about the ways we complicate our lives, adding in more stuff than we can ever need, even as I realize that I’ll do little to change it. I may make attempts to whittle down clutter, but let’s face it: I’m not going to give up my house or modern conveniences, and I’m certainly not going to ask the boys to give up their recreational activities, just so we can have some family down time. I may be tempted, but I know that we’ve carefully considered these decisions again and again. I know that our regular, modern lives include an awfully hectic schedule, lots of juggling and a ton of supportive friends and family members.

For one week, though, it sure was nice to get back to the basics.

What did you do while I was gone? Do you have any camping or road trips planned this summer?

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