We have turned the page on yet another camping season. 2017 turned out to be a great year for us and our favorite pastime. We were able to camp from April to November. Before we get too far into the next chapter, I thought we would spend some time reflecting on 2017. So I asked my camping buddies a few simple questions. I asked my own family a few simple questions. And here is what everyone had to say!
The Taylor Family
Spent 50 nights in the camper
14 different camping trips
18 different campgrounds
2 City/County Parks
7 State Parks (3 new ones and 4 return visits)
1 National Park (although we visited six National Parks)
8 Private Campgrounds
We had so many favorite camping moments this year. The Beaver Ponds Hike in Yellowstone National Park tops our list. We may have not seen a single beaver but we did run into a momma bear and two cubs. My son loved every wildlife experience that he would not pick just one as his favorite. The Short Chic had so much fun in Branson over Thanksgiving that she named it as one of her favorites. Wayne and I loved boating on a nearly empty Forest Lake at Thousand Hill State Park over Labor Day as much as I loved taking home first place for the scariest Halloween campsite at Watkins Mill State Park in October. However, my absolute favorite memory of 2017 is the time my family spent driving to and from camping locations. I loved it so much that I actually made a short video so I can remember these moments forever!
We had a many moments that were memorable but a few made our the list of least favorite moments. We almost flooded our camper in Cody Wyoming by leaving the water on while flushing the black tank. That moment when we opened the door to the camper not knowing what we would find will haunt us for a very long time. We also found ourselves on the bad side of a shared site over Father’s Day weekend. We spent the entire weekend staring at the backside of a strangers camper parked some 8 feet from our front door. The Boy will not forgot an unfortunate encounter with a kraken. Before you ask, yes we know krakens are mythological creatures.
We each had a favorite camping location/trip.
The Short Chic: Treetop Adventures, Branson, MO
The Boy: Monster Lake, in Cody, Wyoming
Wayne: Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park
Me (Pamela): Watkins Mill State Park and our annual Halloween Camping trip.
As a family we have set some new goals for the 2018 season. We would like to hike more. Wayne wants to fish more. I just want to spend another 50 nights in the camper. We do have one “new” thing to look forward to in 2018: camping with a dog!
The Todd Family
Spent at least 35 nights in their camper
12 different camping excursions
6 Private Campgrounds
6 Public Campgrounds
Favorite camping moments the Todd family listed were: Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore. Angie stated they have always dreamed of going to these locations but they are happy to say that they were more than she expected them to be. Allen reported his favorite camping moment of 2017 was the couples trip he and Angie took to Old Highway 86 in Branson, MO. They spent the week relaxing, antiquing, wine tasting, and they even made an appearance at Silver Dollar City. Z’s favorite camping trip of the year was Yellowstone. At her core, Z might be destined to be a full time RV’er. She loves longer trips and can’t wait for the next one.
Angie could not think of any moments that she would call her least favorites. We are thankful for that, because in years past we have had a lot of crazy moments; finding a mess of seed ticks while hiking, losing power in the middle of the night, calling in on-sight service for a hot water heater problem that just needed a switch flipped. But this year, nothing came to mind.
The Todd family is looking forward to exploring new places in 2018, Perhaps they will be exploring in a new fifth wheel camper?
The Masters Family
Spent 40 nights in their camper
They stayed in 12 different campgrounds this year
The Masters family reports they had an amazing camping season, in fact so many great moments it was really hard to identify their favorite moments. In the end their youngest selected Yellowstone National Park as his favorite overall moment. Their daughter put our Halloween camping trip as her high moment. Meeghan said our Big Lake trip as well as the Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Yellowstone.
With such an amazing camping season, was it possible for the Masters to select a least favorite moment? Meeghan stated if she had to pick something it would be shared sites. We have not blogged about this yet but this was a summer that we tried shared RV sites. I won’t say too much but knowing Meeghan put it on her least favorite moment list says enough.
Jeremy had his own least favorite moment. This entire camping season our camping group has been teasing Meeghan that she needed a new bike. Meeghan got an old green Huffy from an auction. She had to ride it with the tires nearly flat because it rubbed against the frame if fully inflated. Despite having several speeds, it was stuck in one gear. It was old and heavy. At the Big Lake camping trip, Jeremy bet Meeghan he could beat her in a bike race. He would take the Huffy and she would ride a borrowed bike. If he won, there would be no more talk of getting a new bike. If she won, he would buy her a new bike. Jeremy’s least favorite camping moment was losing to his wife in a three mile bike race witnessed by twenty or so of their closest friends. Maybe bike riding on a new bike will make Meeghan’s favorite list in 2018?
The Masters had three favorite campgrounds this year. They loved Rafter J Bar Ranch in Hill City, South Dakota. They also loved their site at Smithville Lake for the Family Campout (Spot 334) and they loved Watkins Mill State Park in the fall.
Their goals for 2018 are simple: to continue to camp with friends, to get five Missouri State Parks and earn the Missouri Campers Award, and their final goal is to take a camping trip somewhere with just their family of four.
I think I speak for all of us group campers, we had a busy camping season. It was full of many great moments that finding just a few to select as our favorites was actually rather difficult. From the activities we do yearly to a historic solar eclipse we may not see again in our lifetime, we shared these moments together. And maybe that is our favorite part of it all.
Here is to 2018!