Sunday, June 05, 2022

First Camping Trip of the 2022 Season We Went Back to Our Favorite Eisenhower State Park at Lake Melvern

Camp Site at Eisenhower State Park
Two Tents Ready to Camp
We are so excited to be out camping for the first time this year. Somewhat a last minute scheduling as we figured all the spots would already have been taken when we booked our site only a few weeks before the Memorial Day weekend. We booked three spots as Greg and Erin now have a tent and went with us. We had some other friends we were trying to convince to go with us, but it did not work out for them, so we kept the third camp site anyway. This will be our longest camping experience so far in our rather young camp life as we will camp for four nights. Prior to this weekend, we had only camped three nights in a row last year, so we are excited to be out for another day.
Car is Packed Tight and Carrie is Sitting on Sticks
 Packed a Lot!
The events of our weekend are written each day, or the day after, to track accounts of what we did those specific days. This post will not be published until the weekend after our weekend get away to give you a sense of timeline and how I was writing the memories of each day.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

I worked a half day this day so we could get out to the camp site earlier and start the weekend. We ended up leaving later than we had planned and I had a conference call to join while we were driving out to the site. We did manage to get out to the camp site by 4 pm. We took Oliver, so he rode in Carrie’s lap as there was not room to put his car seat anywhere in the car. Oliver was so excited to go in the car although he had no idea where we were headed.

Once again, our car was completely full and could not fit another item into the car. Carrie was sitting with a box at her legs full of wood and we had other boxes stuck in various places for firewood… we do not want to run out… Our car was stacked to the ceiling with everything we needed for our camping weekend. Of course, after we arrived at the camp site, we realized/remembered everything we forgot. Oh well, nothing we need immediately and we can live without those items, but it sure would have been nice to have them for this long weekend.
Once we got camp set up, we chilled for a while and enjoyed some adult beverages. It was a bit chilly with a good wind gust, but later in the evening the wind completely stopped and it was a beautiful night with stars as far as we could see down to the horizon. It was beautiful!
Our Meal on Thursday Evening
Firedisc Dinner is Served
We did fajitas the first night. Man they were so good! We did them in the Firedisc that we bought last year for camping. Good way to start our camping weekend with good food. We made short work of dinner and headed to the fire pit. As I mentioned, the wind died down once the sun went down, so the fire was nice to have going to warm things up a little as it was in the 50s or 60s, but sure nice to not have the wind blowing any longer.
Camp Fire Living for our First Night of Camping
Sitting Around Camp Fire
Erin got our fire roaring and we had a fun night listening to a playlist Carrie had us working on for original music scores. It was fun to hear what everyone selected and then try and think what movie the music was from. We stayed up late the first night listening to music, telling stories, and looking at the beautiful sky with all of the stars. 
Carrie did mention she wants to get up early one morning during this camping weekend to watch the sunrise. About 1 am, I asked her if Friday morning was that time and she said maybe Saturday morning. I think this might be difficult to accomplish as we enjoy staying up late, around the camp fire, and telling stories, so we will see if this happens.
Chairs Lined up to Relax and Enjoy the Day
Lake Was Calm Like Glass

Friday, May 27, 2022

Our first full day at the camp site was a good day. We slept a late and then had egg and bacon sandwiches to start the day. We spent time just relaxing, reading, listening to music, and talking. Such a relaxing day doing nothing. By mid-afternoon we were playing cornhole. We played teams that we changed around throughout the game. It was a lot of fun, but a few of us got a little burnt. I once again have my outlines of shoes on my feet without shoes. One item Carrie and I forgot was sunscreen, but we did end up picking it up on Saturday to we could keep safe.
We stayed up late listening to playlists we all submitted to Carrie ranging from songs we like to sing to songs we like to dance to while we listen. Oliver was enjoying himself sniffing all the smells and seeing people go by from their camp sites. We did let Oliver go leash-free while around the camp site which is something new for us and for him. He did great off of the leash. A few times he would start to wonder off and we would call his name, so he would come right back to camp. Good boy!
Sunrise on Saturday, May 27, 2022
Sunrise Coming up Over Lake

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Saturday morning we all got up early to watch the sunrise. It was an idea Carrie had that she wanted to see the sunrise from where we are camping. We all got up with no problem and took some pictures of the sun coming up over the lake. It was beautiful! We could have gotten up a little earlier as we missed some of the colors, but it was still breathtaking to see the sun climb in the sky.
Carrie Walking on a Trail
Walking Trails
Following watching the sunrise, we all went back to bed for a bit before we started the day. We had an easy breakfast with snacks and then headed out for the day. We then headed out to get some sunscreen, firewood, and to do some trails. Nice way to start the day. When we got back to camp, we relaxed and listened to the Royals playing in the afternoon. 
Sleeping at the Camp Site
A Few of Us Sleeping
Some of us might have taken naps following the Royals winning their game and of course Carrie snapped a picture of us all snoozing with some snoring happening too. Always fun to get a picture of sleepy heads after having a fun time camping.
For dinner Carrie and Erin went into Casey’s to pick up pizza. Tradition as this is the second time we have done this as our first time was last year when we stayed at this same camp site with Greg and Erin. Delicious and no one had to cook. Following dinner as the sun started to set, we played another round of cornhole mixing up the teams once again. Beautiful evening as we played our game and listened to music. Finally, we could not see any longer, so got ready for the evening which included taking showers before we settled around the camp fire to spend the evening.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

We awoke early this morning to our tent leaning in our heads as the wind picked up. Oliver was a little frightened and it was rather concerning to Carrie and I too. The south side of our tent was being blown in so much by the wind it was hitting my head and freaking Oliver out. Oliver was shivering so bad as he was scared, so Carrie put a blanket over him and held him which helped to calm him down. The sun was not up yet, but I am not sure what time the wind started although it did finally dwindle and we were able to sleep until about 8:30 or 9. 
Set up for Evening Camp Fire and Watching a Movie
Tent, Lake, Movie, and Fire
Greg and Erin left us on Sunday leaving just Carrie and I to be around camp. There were still a lot of campers down the way, but no one in our area. We spent the afternoon snoozing and I listened to the Royals game. By dinner time, we had leftovers we had made the other nights camping. Decided we would build a fire and settle in for watching a movie. We watched a movie from Netflix which was not very good, but entertained us enough that we did not stop watching. The movie we watched was “Senior Year”. Glad it was “free”.
We let the fire die out and decided to head to bed. We wanted to get an early start to Monday morning to get packed up and head back to Topeka. We both knew we would be tired once we got back home and likely needed to rest up Monday afternoon so we could prepare to be back to work on Tuesday.
Monday Morning Looking out at the Lake from Our Tent
View from Inside Tent to Lake

Monday, May 30, 2022

I woke up a few times overnight with some high winds once again. Not as bad as the other night, but it did wake me up a few times. I know Oliver woke up from the gusts too as I would wake up and look over and he would be looking at me. I am not sure Carrie heard a thing. As we began to break down our camp site, I thought the winds picked up again, so once we took the rain fly off of the tent, our tent almost completely collapsed in on itself. Disconnecting the lines and trying to fold up the tent was a challenge, but we managed to get it done and not lose the rain fly, tent, or our tarp.
Tent camping in high winds is not a lot of fun, but we survived. I am thankful we did have some good weather for one or two days. While the winds were high overnight, and some during the day, overall, it was a great camping trip.
Tired Puppy After Four Nights Camping
Sleepy Oliver
We were packed up and ready to leave about 10:30 or so. We were back in Topeka and had the car unpacked by 11:30. Oliver was exhausted as he sat in his pillow seat on Carrie’s last on the way home. He could not keep his eyes open and his tongue was out. So tired after protecting our camp site for four nights. I think he had a great time!
We had checked for ticks a few times and not found any on ourselves, or Oliver, but Monday evening, Carrie found one crawling off of Oliver. Later that night, we found one on me and one on Carrie that had locked into our skin. We got them removed and have not found any more on Oliver or us. Thankful the ticks were not too bad when we went. I read a Reddit camping post from someone saying they went camping in another state in the woods and found 115 tickets in 24 hours. I think we would check out and leave at that point. No thanks!


We had so much fun camping. So happy we were able to take Oliver camping with us and he did great! Had so much fun with Greg and Erin. We ate some amazing meals thanks to everyone involved (team effort). I hope we are able to go again soon. It is fun to put together amazing moments in nature. This was our third time for Carrie and I to camp at this exact spot and I imagine we will go back again sometime in the future to camp again. We hope to try out some new sites and other camp grounds in the future. For now, I use these blog postings and pictures to recall our time at these favorites spots as we continue to enjoy our camping adventures.
Until next time, enjoy your camping adventures and please feel free to comment and share your experiences. Note, clicking on any of the pictures on this post will link out to our Flickr page for all of our pictures.

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