We took Joey to the mountains this weekend for camping and apple picking, and even convinced some willing friends to join us!
We stayed at Shenandoah River State Park, in one of the large primitive campsites along the river. This park is absolutely gorgeous, and the upkeep is impeccable. One of the trails we explored from the campsite had a full boardwalk that followed the river! We were just a little too early to get a full fall-leave color explosion, but spotted several yellows and reds popping up in the forest. We will definitely be back, this gem is only 1.5 hours drive from Alexandria.
Joey has always enjoyed camping, and this time was no exception. He was fully entertained by exploring the outdoors, and extra happy to have his friend Derek along. This is his first camping trip since he has learned to walk, and he had an absolutely fabulous time exploring the trails near our campsite. Derek & Joey’s favorite part of the weekend was being pulled in a wire wagon trolley, left as a courtesy to transport gear between cars and campsites. We made a campfire to keep warm and cook dinner, and the boys were less interested in it than expected (I thought it would be a full time job to keep Joey out of the fire, but he was content to watch from a distance and play in the gravel).
Apple picking was more work than I remembered! Joey had a brief run around before napping in the Ergo carrier. I got the easier job of wandering through the orchard carrying him while Simon used a big picking pole to collect a bag of the largest and finest apples Virginia has to offer. If you haven’t already guessed, the Freeman fridge and freezer will soon be stocked with applesauce and apple pie. I welcome additional apple recipes 🙂
Car camping like this is one of the most straightforward and fun ways to get your family outside! Both our car and our friends’ were fully loaded with food (we had enough for at least a week), blankets, extra clothes, and big family tents. Although the low temperature was near freezing, everyone stayed cozy with layers of fleece, jackets, and lots of blankets and sleeping bags.