Now that I’m retired I have a lot of extra time to spend with my grandkids, and I absolutely love it. When my son was growing up I missed out on a lot of activities because I was always busy with work. I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t make the same mistake with my grandkids, which is why I have spent this past summer taking them along with me on fishing, camping and hiking trips.


With summer winding down and my grandkids getting ready to go back to school I decided to squeeze in one more trip with them. I really am trying to keep my promise to my son, and teach his kids all about nature. So this past weekend I loaded up the car with enough supplies to take care of an army, picked up the grandkids and off into the wilderness we went. Actually we just went to the nearby state park, but according to the kids “we were way off the map”.


So the reason I decided on a weekend camping trip was because we could combine everything into a couple of days. We could fish and hike during the day, and sleep comfortably under the stars at night. When I say we slept under the stars I am referring to the opening on the top of our tent. The kids wanted to be able to see the sky without worrying constantly about snakes and bugs. Personally I was okay with that. I’m too old now to sleep on the ground and actually be able to move comfortably the next day.


We were lucky enough to get a great campsite in a clearing and close to the stream. We were far enough away I didn’t have to worry about my grandkids falling in the water in the middle of the night, but still close enough that we could just hear it when everything was quiet. It was pretty late in the afternoon when we got there Friday so all we did was set up the campsite, fix dinner and get some sleep.


The next day I thought we’d start with a hike, and I’m glad we did. Otherwise my grandkids wouldn’t have been able to sit still while we did a bit of fishing. I had honestly forgotten how much energy kids have, and I’m not embarrassed to say I had a hard time keeping up with them. Thankfully the trail is well graded and considered to be relatively safe. This way I could let them run a little ways ahead without worrying about them getting into too much trouble. It is a good thing that I had already taught them the three leaf rule, “leaves of three leave them be” since the kids did manage to come across some Poison Ivy.


We did get in a little fishing that afternoon and one of my grandkids caught his first fish. We fried it up for dinner, and it was absolutely delicious. While we were all tired when we got home Sunday, it was probably one of the best camping trips I have ever been on. Especially when I heard one of my grandkids tell my son the very same thing.