Grand Adventure

This past summer we hitched up our trusty little Coleman Pop-up camper and headed west for a “Grand Adventure”.

All loaded and ready to go / Google Photos

We spent 16 days traveling and visited 3 National Parks with the camper. Our trip started in Smithtown, NY and headed first to Ohio to camp overnight at Barkcamp State Park.
It was a nice park but the facilities were a bit lacking.

First stop – Barkcamp State Park, OH / Google Photos

Glad we only stayed one night. Then it was up early the next morning to hit the road and make it to Cuba Missouri for our second stop.
We stayed at Meramac Valley Campground for two nights so we could do some sightseeing in St Louis.

Dinner at Meramac Valley Campground / Google Photos
Tour of the Budweiser Factory / Google Photos
St Louis Arch selfie / Google Photos

Then we were back on the road again. This time another long drive to make it to Amarillo, Texas where we stayed at a very nice state park called Palo Duro Canyon.

Stopping for dinner before Palo Duro Canyon State Park / Google Photos
Cadillac Ranch / Google Photos

After a single night at Palo Duro Canyon we hit the road again to drive to Sedona. I wish we could have stayed another day in Palo Duro, it was such a nice park.

We drove a good 10 hours to get to Sedona and stayed at Rancho Sedona RV Park. It was a very nice RV park and we all loved the amenities.
While we were in Sedona we did some hiking and then stopped at Slide Rock State Park and did some swimming in a VERY COLD river that had cut through the red rocks and made some natural slides. It was the highlight of our stay in Sedona.

Camping in Sedona / Google Photos

From Sedona we got back on the road for a short 3 hour drive up to the Grand Canyon. We stayed inside the park at Mather Campground which was pretty nice. The sites were good and the facilities were clean. It was amazing that we were so close to the actual canyon (5 minute drive) and yet you would have no idea that it was there.

We finally made it to the Grand Canyon! / Google Photos

When we arrived at Mather we had enough time to quickly set up camp and then we headed off to take a helicopter tour of the canyon. That was amazing! Everyone had a great time.

Taking off! / Google Photos
Flying high! / Google Photos
Views from the helicopter / Google Photos
Our helicopter / Google Photos

Then we spent another two days exploring the Grand Canyon. We had some great weather and took lots of photos.

Grand Canyon Selfie! / Google Photos
Family shot at the Grand Canyon / Google Photos
Family shot at the Grand Canyon / Google Photos
Relaxing at the campsite / Google Photos
Sunset at the Grand Canyon / Google Photos
Sunset at the Grand Canyon / Google Photos

After our 3 days at the Grand Canyon we packed up and headed up to Zion National Park. While at Zion we hiked the famous Angels Landing Trail. It was a tough 2.5 miles to the top where we stopped for lunch.

Zion National Park – Angels Landing Trail / Google Photos
Zion National Park – Angels Landing Trail / Google Photos

We only got a single day at Zion which was a shame, there seemed like so much to do there. Perhaps one day we will get the chance to go back.

From Zion we drove up and over the Continental Divide and into Rocky Mountain National Park where we stayed for two days in Glacier Basin Campground.
It was amazing the sights we saw, the animals and the scenery. I couldn’t get used to the elevation and how it affected everyone. Just the simplest thing would get you short of breath.

Rocky Mountain – Red Fox / Google Photos
Our campsite at RMNP / Google Photos
Hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park / Google Photos
Rocky Mountain – Elk / Google Photos
Highest Elevation – Rocky Mountain National Park / Google Photos

While in Colorado we took a quick trip down to Boulder to show the boys where we used to live and just check out Pearl St.

We had a great time seeing all the National Parks and camping in our little camper, but now we had to start heading home. It was a long drive and everyone was tired so we ended up spending our last two nights of the trip in hotels, we would drive as far as we could and then just pull off the highway to find a hotel.

It certainly was a “Grand Adventure”! Everyone will have great memories of the trip and we are already planning our next one!

Camp Yawgoog 2017

Well, the boys are home now from their week at Boy Scout Camp Yawgoog in Rhode Island. They had a great time and accomplished a lot while they were there. The troop won Honor Troop of the week this year and Nick was awarded the J. Harold Williams Award for Brotherhood for outstanding expression of Scouting’s ideals.

It was bittersweet since this was Alex’s last year at Summer Camp as a Boy Scout and I was only able to come up and share the last two days with them but I was proud of how both Alex and Nick have become such responsible and mature young men.

Great job boys and great job Troop 888!

Dress Parade / Google Photos
Nicks Award / Google Photos
Troop Campsite / Google Photos

High Adventure Canoe Trip

This past July Alex and I went on a multi-day canoe trip in the Adirondacks with his Boy Scout Troop, Troop 888 of Smithtown. The trip consisted of a 40 mile paddle spread out over 4 days and on day 2 a 1.5 mile canoe portage to get around a waterfall. The trip started on Long Lake in New York, and ended on Tupper Lake and we camped overnight along the way. There were about 6 boys from the troop and myself and one other adult. We all had a great time and the experience was amazing.

Camp Yawgoog 2015

Once again, this past August the Troop went up to Rhode Island to Boy Scout Summer Camp at Camp Yawgoog. This year it was the Centennial Celebration for Yawgoog. They put together a great week of activities and events for the boys. It was also Nick’s first year going to Yawgoog. He had a great time and really got a lot accomplished while he was there. Alex also was the Senior Patrol Leader this year so he got to run the troop while we were up at Yawgoog. I think he did a great job and everyone seemed to have a good time. Here are some pictures from the week.

Alex’s Command Tent

One Rainy Morning – There was one day really early when a thunderstorm came through the camp. It was over by 8am and the rest of the week was sunny and beautiful.

Meal Time

Waiter Duty

Nap Time

Ashaway Aquatics Center

Saturday Night Show

NH White Mountains Hut to Hut Hike

In the end of June Alex, Nick and I went with the Boy Scouts to the White Mountains of NH for a 3 day backpacking trip along the Presidential Range.

Our trip started on Saturday June 26th at the Highland Lodge in Crawford NH. We stayed overnight at the lodge and got an early start on Sunday morning, unfortunately it was raining and would continue to rain for two days. We hiked up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to Lakes of the Clouds Hut which is near the top of Mt Washington. It was a tough hike up but we were rewarded with a nice stay at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut and a warm welcome by the Hut Croo. We ate a hearty meal that night and slept well in our bunks. The next day we hiked Crawford Path / AT across Mt Monroe, Mt Franklin, Mt Eisenhower, and Mt Pierce to Mizpah Springs Hut where we stayed on our 3rd and final night. By the time we got to Mizpah Springs Hut everyone was ready to relax and we enjoyed good food and good company. The Hut Croo played a game of Jeopardy with everyone that night and all the boys enjoyed the competition.

Finally, we hiked down the Mizpah Cutoff to the Crawford Path and back to the Highland Center Lodge for our return trip home.
Even though the weather was rainy and the clouds kept us from seeing the spectacular views atop Mt Washington I think everyone had a good time. It was hard work but I am proud of everyone who did the hike and their accomplishments.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.
Highland Lodge

Nick Backpacking

Alex Backpacking

Crossing the Ammonoosuc River

Nice View

Lake of the Clouds Hut

Happy Hiking Crew

Happy Fathers Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day and we celebrated it by staying home and relaxing. We went swimming in the pool and hung out on the new deck. Alex put up my camping hammock and I was going to get in and relax a for few minutes but the weather changed and we had a pretty nasty thunderstorm for a little while. I have to say thank you to Paula for the gifts and for working so hard (she actually was out in the rain standing at the grill).

Alex on the other hand enjoyed the hammock while he could.

And 5 minutes later after the rain started.

Camp Yawgoog

Last week Troop 888 attended their annual summer camp at Camp Yawgoog in Rockville, RI. I was lucky enough to be one of the adult leaders who went along. I have to say it was a great week, tough but a lot of fun. All the boys worked on different merit badges for their rank requirements but they also got some free time to have fun. Some boys tried stand-up paddle boarding, others shotgun shooting. The troop was challenged by Troop 454 to a game of water basketball, which was a lot of fun. Then we challenged Troop 454 to a game of water dodge ball. Some of the older boys hiked the trails at Yawgoog and worked toward the Yawgoog Hiker segment. Each night we had a great big campfire and everyone sat around and relaxed. On Friday night we had a Flag Retirement ceremony where we retired several old worn out American Flags. It was a very memorable week and I can’t wait to do it again next year. The best part is next year BOTH Alex and Nick will be going up.

Camp Yawgoog Gate

Leaders Tent

Yawgoog Pond Sunset

Sunset

Bonfire

Nick’s Fishing Camp

All last week Nick has been attending a fishing camp down at Short Beach in Smithtown. They have been teaching them how to surf cast and fish from the beach. The’ve used all sorts of different rigs and he even has caught some keepers. Here are some of the ones we actually got to eat. They were Porgies and they were delicious. Nick even helped Paula clean them.

City Sailing Trip

Yesterday we went into Manhattan to take a sailing tour on the Clipper City Tours boat. We visited the 9/11 memorial and walked around Battery Park. Then we finished off the evening with a nice sailboat ride around the Governors Island and past the Statue of Liberty. It was a very nice trip, we all had a great time. Here are some pictures of the trip.