Friday, April 7, 2017

Juniper Springs

Juniper Springs Campground
Ocala National Forest, FL

July 2013

Laurel became very interested in tent camping. I had hoped to take the girls to northern New Hampshire for a long weekend of camping in a forest with a high concentration of moose, but that plan didn't work out. I didn't want to disappoint Laurel, so I took her on a 3 day, 2 night father/daughter tent camping trip in Florida, in July. We were extremely fortunate as the temperatures topped out in the low 80's and we didn't have a single drop of rain!

As soon as we picked a campsite, Laurel helped to scout out the best location for the tent. Once she picked a good spot, I let her get the tent out of the car. The stillness of the central Florida jungle ended when I heard Laurel screaming. I looked back to see that she had fallen into the fire pit with her legs in the air and the back of her head against the metal fire ring. 

I could tell by the cries that she was hurt, but I didn't know how bad. We dodged a disaster, the fire ring didn't have any hot ash remaining from the last fire and after a few kisses and some reassurance, Laurel dusted herself off and was ready to set up our campsite.

Laurel helping to set up camp:



Second order of business- swimming:



For 3 1/2 hours:


Followed by a bike ride:


Getting ready for a campfire while learning about safety:


Dinner and S'mores: 





Almost bedtime:


Watching Alicia Keys videos:


A little drumming before breakfast:


Early morning bike ride:


Bubbles:


Laurel's own idea to avoid bugs buzzing by her ears:


Fishing for minnows:



In the middle of swimming for 7+ hours on day two, Laurel decided to jump from the platform with the older kids:


Without fear or any hesitation:



Magical smile:


Besides bugs, the only wildlife we observed:


Helping with dinner:



I think fire safety got through:




Using her sleeping pad for comfort:


Another early morning bike ride:


We ended the trip with a nice hike:








1 comment:

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