The thunder roared and you could see the lightning through the tent as we lay there at night. The baby cried and our other two children lay scared and cuddling close, needless to say our first family camping experience was quite the adventure.
We discovered our campsite by accident actually, meant to drive to the Mogollon Rim, it got late so we camped at another campground along a creek about 20 minutes outside Payson, Arizona. Our camp hosts were great and campsite neighbors kind enough to entertain our 4 year old with a little Bocci ball (on our drive home, he asked to join the next “Bocci Ball” league!) and understand our crying 15 month old was hardly consolable during the first night.
Our Saturday hike turned into a 200 yard trek and we turned around because someone had a potty disaster. Not easy to clean up with no running water or toilets. Later, the visit to the Tonto Fish Hatchery was fun, the kids loved seeing all the fish, the kids also caught a few of their own at a pond down the way and cooked them up right on our camping stove for lunch (you can see the fish on the cook top in the picture!). Not long after, the dark clouds could be seen once again coming around the mountain, so we hid all the supplies and covered what we could, the rain, thunder and lightning coupled with the (semi) scary stories I told helped us survive the couple hours in the family sized tent (the pack and play fit perfectly!).
It finally dried up which made way for the campfire and the s’mores (its really all the kids cared for anyway). Saturday night fared much better, everyone slept soundly and the pancakes and bacon tasted better than ever first thing Sunday morning. Then we packed up and headed home…to eat Sunday dinner out.
We’ve since booked our next camping trip..