North America · 29 Days · 155 Moments · June 2017

Northwest Camping! June 24- July 23, 2017


22 July 2017

6,750 miles + 29 days + 16 states + 13 national parks = ONE Dobson Family Adventure! TOP 12 FAVORITE ADVENTURES 🚐🚲 12. Mount Saint Helen's 11. Banff/ Drive between Banff & Jasper 10. Crater Lake 9. Mountain Biking 8. Portland, OR- voodoo doughnuts, Nike, Hayward Field 7. Wildlife Loop- Custer State Park 6. Whale Watching- Vancouver, Canada 5. Wisconsin Dells Waterpark- Kalahari Resort 4. Wind Cave National Park 3. Glacier- views, campground, Cedar Falls Hike 2. Visiting with Uncle Tony, Aunt Laura, Van & Megan 1. Olympic National Park- Ruby Beach, Hoh rainforest, campfire on the beach
We will be getting home in about 4 hours so we thought it would be a perfect time for our TOP 10 list: a list that we have come up with about our 10 favorite things about this vacation. We hope you enjoyed following our trip and cant wait to share more with you all! :)
Written by Addie 7/21/17 In case you were wondering, today was pretty boring. We woke up in the morning and we were off again for another boring drive to somewhere in Missouri. After lunch sometime, we stopped at a little ice cream shop to get ice cream! When we got in the car we got to FaceTime Kendall! It was fun to talk to her and have a little break of the boring car rides next to fields! Around 7:30 PM we arrived at our campground! It was super cool with a game room, playgrounds, a pond, and a pool (a good thing because it's like 105 degrees). Once we were all set up, we got our swimming suits on and went to the pool! It was crazy packed but we played lots of gator! We went back for dinner, helped clean up, and ended our day at the pool again. We went back to our camper and played tenzi before going to bed for another day of driving.

21 July 2017

7/20/17 Written by Eden Yesterday we visited our last national park of this vacation-Canyonlands. We spent half of our day there and the other half of our day driving. Canyonlands looked like a mini version of the Grand Canyon. First, we watched the movie about the park at the visitors center and picked up our junior ranger books. Then We attended a ranger program about rocks. We learned about the geology of Canyonlands and all of the different layers of rocks. The ranger had rocks from each layer that we could feel and look at. Next We went to a couple lookouts and got to climb on the rocks. We had finished our Jr ranger booklets so Last, we got our Jr Ranger badges. Our last ones of this trip. After Canyonlands we started driving. We made it all the way through the state of Colorado and got to our campsite around 10:30 PM.

20 July 2017

Junior rangers
Climbing around to get our energy out before we got back into the car!
Canyonlands! :) So pretty!
The views of where the ranger program was! Yes, it's a dead drop to the bottom. 😬
Written by all 7/19/17 Today we got to see Aunt Laura, Uncle Tony, Van, Megan, and Ellie! They came from Colorado to spend a day seeing us! They came early in the morning then we went to go on a hikes and climb and explore. The first place we went was to climb on rocks! Everyone loved helping Van climb. We then went to some picnic tables to have a picnic lunch. Next we went on a hike to see some really cool arches! They were so amazing! When we went back we played in the sand! After we went to see another arch. When we were done seeing the arch, we went back to the campsite and went to the playground. Pretty soon after, we went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner! The food was really good!! After dinner we went outside to have Chasity open her presents from everyone. She got lots of cool crafts! When she was done opening up, we had to say goodbye to everyone until Aunt Sarah's wedding. It was a great day visiting with everyone! :)

19 July 2017

Already starting to make bracelets!
Thanks for my present Aunt Laura, Uncle Tony, Van, Megan, and Ellie! :-)
Junior rangers
Landscape arch, double arch, and delicate arch
Playing around! :)
Building rock snowmen
Balanced rock
Playing with cousin Van today! They came from Colorado just to see us!
Playing on rocks

18 July 2017

Written by Jackson 7/18/17 This morning we woke up really early to go see a cave! The ranger that lead us was super nice! There were some things in the cave called cave popcorn, stalagmites, stalactites, cave bacon, drapery, and flowstone. At the very end of the tour, our guide demonstrated what an earthquake would be like underground. Did you know that it's safer to be underground in an earthquake because only sound waves travel under the ground? After the cave we worked on our books and finished them to get a wooden badge. After, we went to watch a movie about the park. Owen, Eden, Chasity, and I all got books about National Parks. After getting our books we unhitched the camper to go up a mountain to see a pretty view. Then we went to hitch our camper back up and hit the road. We had 6 hours to get to our camper. When we got there it was 102 degrees so Mom and Dad let us swim in the pool at our campground. We had dinner and then went back to the pool. We ended the day playing games
Pretty views of Great Basin National Park. We quickly went on a drive to see a View before we left for Arches and Canyonlands!
This is a GREAT series of books! All kids except Addison got them but they are loving them so far! Totally worth reading them if you like National Parks and reading! :)
Junior rangers
Cave tours at Great Basin National Park

17 July 2017

PS...we made it and have our camper set up. And the nights sky views are spectacular! Totally worth the 14 hours in the car today!
Written by Owen 7/17/17 Today was driving, driving stoping to get gas and repeating that a lot of times. Except one of the stops we got slushies. I got the flavor blue raspberry but I traded with Eden because she did not like her flavor. Thanks Mom! The rest of the trip was on route 50, the loneliest road in America. It was a long boring day and all to look at was desert the whole time. We drove about 14 hours! Not very fun. Luckily we stoped at a restaurant called Silver State in Ely, Nevada. Then we drove to the campground and set up camp in the dark.
Yes, this is the only picture from today because we were in the car for 14 hours driving through Nevada (aka the most boring drive ever)

16 July 2017

Playing games
Written by Addie 7/16/17 Today was a pretty chill day. We started off by sleeping in and having breakfast (another voodoo doughnut). Next we all got ready and headed into the National Park. We started off by getting our junior ranger booklets and then working on them for about 45 minutes while waiting for a program. At the program, we made postcards to send to people (Grammy & Grandpa, Grandma & Pappy, and the Bucher's keep checking your mailbox πŸ˜‰) after the program we went to a viewpoint to look at the pretty view of Wizard Island which is another volcano inside of the lake. After we went to go on a hike to see a different part of the lake. It was beautiful! We went back down then played at a really cool waterfall. When we were done, we came back to our camper and took naps and had some quiet time where we played games until dinner. After dinner we played lots of games as a family... including a new game we got called Trekking the National Parks (a lot like Ticket to Ride).
Playing at a little waterfall!
Looking out after a hike! So pretty! The lake is about 1/2 mile deep of the purist water on the planet!
Earning junior ranger badge
Junior ranger program and sending the postcards we made!
Crater Lake
Playing on snow in July! This place gets an average of 48 ft of snow a year
Written by Addison 7/15/17 This morning we woke up early and had breakfast so we could meet Dads former athlete, Sarah, at Nike world headquarters in Portland. We got a tour of the place. My favorite part was running on the hidden track! When we left, we went to voodoo doughnuts. The doughnuts were delicious and strange but the line was so long! I got a captain crunch doughnut and a fruit loop one. We left pretty soon after to go to Hayward Field in Eugene, OR. It was really cool to think about how Olympic athletes ran on that track and we got to see it! After, went to a bookstore so we could get a souvenir if we wanted it. We out pretty soon and on our way to Crater Lake. We are staying at a campground just outside so we didn't see the lake today. We went to a ranger program and learned that Crater Lake is actually a lake that was formed by a volcano. The volcano top blew up and then crashed back down on itself. We came home and went to bed to get ready for another great day tomorrow

15 July 2017

Visiting Hayward Field in Eugene, OR. Very cool since track Olympic trials were held here!
Voodoo doughnuts... a tourist attraction in Portland known for crazy doughnuts. Super yummy (some kids say it's better than Bills at home)!
Nike world headquarters with one of Dad's former athletes, Sarah! Kids' favorite part was running on the hidden track :)
Written by all 7/14/17 Today we saw 2 volcanos in one day-Mt. Ranier and Mt. St. Helens. In the morning we drove to the Paradise Visitor Center. This place was named paradise in the early 1900's by a tourists who proclaimed the wildflowers was as beautiful as paradise. We hiked to Myrtle Falls and saw a family of marmots. We got back from our hike as the visitor center was opening so we got swarm in as Jr Rangers and then watched the movie about the park. We learned about an interesting adaptation of one of the bird species that actually goes underwater to get food to feed her babies. From my Ranker we were headed to Portland, it we stopped at Mt St Helens in the way. It was fascinating!!! A short stop that gave us a lot of information. We arrived just in time for a Jr Ranger program that showed how magma pressure in volcanos creates cracks in the rock surface and how the eruption happened with the face of the mountain exploded 7-14 miles away!

14 July 2017

Mount Saint Helens
Written by Addie7/12/17 This morning we woke up and drove to hurricane ridge to see Mount Olympus. It was a really rainy drive up but when we got to the top it was super sunny and no rain at all! We looked around the visitor center, enjoyed the view, got our junior ranger badges, and left to go to Mount Rainier National Park. We arrived at our campground at 6:30 right as a ranger program was starting. Mom took us kids to the program while Dad took the camper back to get set up and make dinner. We were having tacos!! :) Once we got back to our campground, Eden and Chasity went to explore and Jackson and Owen went to ride their bikes while I stayed back and finished helping with dinner. Once it was time for dinner and Chasity and Eden weren't back. Dad went out to look for them but couldn't find them. So Mom went in the car and Dad rode his bike to find them. Eventually, we found them and they said that they were just exploring a path. We had dinner, went to a program, then went to bed
Mount Rainier

13 July 2017

Pretty views from yesterday at Mount Rainier.

12 July 2017

Written by Addie 7/12/17 This morning we woke up and got everything packed up. Then we had breakfast fast and left to go see the tide pools. It was so cool to see little creatures in the small pools. Then we played with the driftwood and made small little houses. After about 3 hours, we finally went back to our car to go find a campground in the same national park because it was the one day we didn't have a reservation. We found a campground and quickly got set up. After we got set up we played a little at the campsite and went to the beach to check it out. We played there for hours, building houses, playing in the sand, and more. When we got back we got dinner ready. Hot dogs, pizza pockets, pudgy pies, and s'mores. :) After we ate dinner we talked around the fire then took showers and got ready for bed. We are getting up early tomorrow morning to go to Mount Rainier!
Building more houses! :)
Visiting another part of the ocean and playing on more driftwood. Also, seeing 2 bald eagles.
Written by Jackson 7/11/17 The first stop of the day was to drop off our camper and then go to the ranger station to get junior ranger booklets. After that we went to an awesome place... THE RAINFOREST! We got to climb and use the trees as balance beams. The trees we all almost 200+ feet tall. All of the us kids tried wrapping our hands around the tree but we aren't big enough. The green moss on the trees were called grandpas beard. I spotted 2 slugs that were really cool. One was called the European slug and the other was the banana slug. At the very end we saw two giant (Centerville) elks. After that we went back to our campsite to have chili on the fire on the beach which was awesome. With such a pretty sunset! After dinner we made long jump and a track in the sand and had races. One of the last things we did was have marshmallows on fudge stripes. Then we went up to bed but first we had to rise off our feet because they were so sandy. It was a fun day exploring the rainforest.
Building houses with driftwood... Addie and Eden didn't have enough time to finish :/
Checking out tide pools early in the morning! It was so cool to see all of the tiny creatures!

11 July 2017

Dinner on the beach while watching the sunset :) We also made a really cool track with all the events... reception high jump, pole vault, and throwing. I guess that's what happens when your dad is a coach 😜
Elk on our walk!
Visiting the Hoh (Ho) Rainforest! Olympic NP is the only one in the US with a rainforest!
Our breakfast visitors! :)
We don't really know what these rocks are but it says to this it at the next campsite soooo that's what we're going to do!

10 July 2017

Written by all of us 7/10/17 Cousin Teddy... we saw him today and it was DEFINITELY the BEST part of our day and a highlight of the entire trip!!! We got to meet his awesome and beautiful and kind girlfriend, Sage, and see his very cool 100+ year old apartment. We enjoyed a yummy lunch and conversation together at the nearby co-op. We had so much fun visiting with them, but the time definitely went by too quickly. Hopefully they'll come visit us in OH sometime! Seattle is a bustling city. We hit the highlights-Pike St Market, waterfront, space needle, gum wall. Unfortunately, no fish flying when we were at the fish market. We bought some delicious peaches for lunch tomorrow and sampled champagne grapes (tiny and sweet red grapes-anyone else ever had these before?) Finished the day with some Serious Pie-eclectic pizza joint that hit the spot after walking and exploring the city. Heading back to our campsite now to set up camp and play games.
1st dinner out so far... we decided to eat at Serious Pie. It was delicious pizza and we had a great waitress who told us all about Seattle. We also got coconut cream pie that is award winning... even the previous president would get a piece for him, his family, and his secret service every time they were in Seattle.
Pikes street market where we visited after our visit with Sage and Teddy. Lots of fish tossing, cheese making, and gum on a wall.

9 July 2017

Written by Addie 7/9/17 Today was a pretty relaxing day with nothing much to do except have fun!! :) We started the day off by getting up early to go whale watching! We had to meet at this really fancy hotel in the middle of the city, it was awesome! Next, we boarded the ship to go look for some whales. The first 2 1/2 hours were quite uneventful. When we started to head back, thinking we just had the same luck as we did seeing a moose, we saw a few boats in a circle! They were watching a pod of whales! We got to see killer whales which are really cool to see! My favorite part was when they came really close to the boat and we could see them close up! When we got back to the dock, we got into our car and headed back to have lunch. After lunch, I worked on a little bit of schoolwork and then played at the pool until dinner! We played lots of fun games with our neighbors! Once it was time for dinner, everyone came to eat and relaxed the rest of the night. Get ready Seattle, we're comin
Playing in the pool all afternoon!
Getting to drive the boat was fun!
Seeing a few whales! Interesting facts: 1. Only males have the big dorsal fin 2. Males typically stay with their moms their entire life while females leave when they have a family of their own 3. Male typical life span: 40 yrs. Female typical life span: 60-80 yrs. 4. In a pod, there is normally the mother and kids 5. Pods usually consist of 3-5 whales
Ready for a few hours of going whale watching! :)
Written by Owen 7/8/17 We woke up at 7:00 and went to the visitor center to get our Jr explorer dog tags. Then we left to go to Vancouver. We drove for 10 hours from Jasper through British Columbia, and during the trip we had some challenges. First, we started to notice lots and lots of thick smoke. It was so thick that we couldn't even see the mountains around us. So we turned on the radio and heard that there were a lot of wildfires. So many that they called it a provincial state of emergency. Some people had to evacuate their homes and take only important things. Some major highways were closed. Fortunately we were not traveling on those roads. Our next problem was we went to McDonald's to get get ice cream, but the ice cream machine didn't work. So we got milkshakes instead. When we got back to the van daddy realized we had a flat tire. So he had to change it. The rest of our drive was pretty good. When we go to our campsite we had dinner and swam in the pool.

8 July 2017

Jasper NP Young Explorers

7 July 2017

Written by Chasity 7/7/17 At the beginning of today we had to wake up very early to head to our next campsite. It took about 5 or more hours to get to the next place because of our stops along the way. Our first stop was at Lake Louise. The water was very blue! It was very crowded there. Our second stop we hiked up to Peyto Lake. We decided to have fun and take a little trail to get there instead of taking the paved path. When we got to the place where we could see the lake very good we looked at it and took a couple pictures. At Athabasca Falls we saw waterfalls. All 3 of our stops were very fun. Then we got to our campsite. We unloaded and we all helped to get things done faster. We rode our bikes to town, went to the visitors center and stopped in some shops. We rode our bikes back to the amphitheater for a ranger program. Then we ate dinner. While mommy and daddy washed and dried dishes I used pot holders to make strong wind by waving my arms so the mosquitoes didn't bite them!
Pictures of the night sky... on a 2 hour drive to see wildlife and all we saw was a duck. Yes, we were supposed to see elk, caribou, bald eagles, moose, and more but all we saw was a lousy duck.
Cow elk, mule deer, caribou, whatever they are... they are all over our campsite!! There's several of the fully grown ones and babies just walking around people's campsites without a care in the world.
Ranger program about Caribou
Athabasca Falls
Peyto Lake
Written by Eden 7/6/17 The best part of my day was the hike to Johnston Canyon! Going through the cave to get close to the waterfall was awesome! We were so close we got wet from the heavy mist! To get there we had to cross bridges that were over water. That felt scary! Along the way way we could see and hear the river rushing down. After our hike we went swimming at Two Jack Lake. Chasity & I went under water. The water was cold & very shallow...at least where we were swimming. There was a little island in the middle of the lake that the kids played on. We made little beds & slept in the sun on the island too. But it was hard to sleep because there were roots on the ground from all of the pine trees. We went snorkeling. It was hard to see anything because it was shallow so when we moved there were big clouds of dirt. If we would have gone deeper it would have been perfect but the water was so cold! After dinner we watched a ranger program about bison & got Jr Explorer dog tags.
Lake Louise
Written by Owen 7/5/17 We got up and left from Glacier National Park. We drove for about 5 hours. During that 5 hours we crossed over into Canada. When we got to our camp site we all ate dinner then went to a ranger program about hiking. It was like a little skit. Next we went to go mountain bilking on a trail which was in our campground. We rode for about 3.5 miles and I fell twice. Then when we got back everyone was tired. But we went to the little city and looked in all the stores until they closed. Mom and Dad said they would buy us each a shirt to remember our trip. We all found things we liked but decided we would go back tomorrow night. Then we went back to our campsite and went to bed after we all showered (with warm water)!!!!

6 July 2017

Earning 1st EXPLORERS souvenir in Canada!
Playing in freezing cold (but really clear and clean) water!
Hiking to the falls! So pretty!
Mountain goats on the road!
Lake Minnewanka
Playing at the park while Mom and Dad find some wifi
Museum about the history of the park.

5 July 2017

Bike ride to a ranger program in the campground!
Look out, the Dobson family is in Canada!

4 July 2017

Happy 9th birthday Chasity! πŸ™‚
Written by Addison 7/4/17 Chasity's birthday, long day of beautiful views, ice cream... nothing could be better!! The worse thing is when Eden is sick! :/ Today we all got up to have breakfast and go on a road by shuttle to see the park. Unfortunately, Dad had to stay back with Eden. While they were at the campsite, we all enjoyed a fun filled day! We took shuttles places in the park to see different things. My favorite part was the little city area at the top with lots of shops. Once we were finished, we went to the shuttle. Thankfully, we caught the last shuttle. Mom started to get worried that we were going to have to find a lodge or some place else to stay because we were a 2 hours drive away from our campsite. Once we got back, we had hamburgers an hotdogs for Chasity's birthday dinner then dump cake and ice cream for dessert. After we talked around the fire for a little bit and went to bed. It was a great last day of seeing Glacier National Park!
Written by Addison 7/3/17 This morning we woke up, had pancakes, and got ready to go on a hike! By 10:00 we were leaving to go! But first... we had to go pick up Jacksons passport card so he could go to Canada. Once we finished, we headed over to the trail. Thinking maybe we would do 4 miles at the most. WRONG! We did a total of 7 miles! The path was hilly and we had to take lots of breaks but it was worth it to see the pretty waterfall! The one thing we didn't think about was packing enough water. By the time we were to the waterfall, most of us had drank all of our water. Which meant going 3.5 miles in 88 degree weather without water! So we practically ran back and didn't stop at all. Once we got back, it was around 7:30 so we got dinner made and eaten. Our plan was to go to a ranger program but we were all too hungry. After dinner, we made a dump cake with lemon and blueberry! Yum! πŸ˜‹ Not long after, we all have went to bed and called it a day!
Written by Addison 7/2/17 Today we wok up really early to go to Glacier National Park. We were soon on the road to drive all the way through Montana. At first, we drove 350 miles on a road with nothing to see but farmland and a few cows. Occasionally, we would stop to get gas but that was when we came across a town. After the long boring road, we started to see mountains. When we were getting close, we realized that we had less than 1/4 of a tank left and the nearest gas station was 24 miles away. We all were starting to think about how we were going to get gas if we were on the side of the road. Thankfully, we made it to the gas station with a less than empty tank! Once we pulled out, there were some really cool tipis that we could see. Then, this lady came out of nowhere. She was parked in the middle of the road with her door open. Dad didn't see it and we swerved, thinking the camper and we were goners. Thankfully, we weren't. All in all, it was a good 10 1/2 hour driving day!
ICE CREAM BY MCDONALD LAKE!! πŸ˜‹πŸ¦
Lunch break!
The views of the Road-to-the-Sun road! Blessed to have a shuttle.
WINTER IN JULY!
Start of a long day! Who new Eden would get sick last night so it was just Addie, Owen, Jackson, Chasity, and Mom. Dad stayed back to help Eden and fix a few things.

3 July 2017

Lunch break & the views!
Playing in the river!! More like newly melted snow water! 😨
If you can run 50 miles, I think you can hike 7 miles in all without taking a nap.
3.5 miles in 2.5 hours one way was worth the view!!
Crossing a bridge! Pretty scary!!
Hiking 7 miles!!!!

2 July 2017

Glacier National Park! We arrived around 7:00 PM after a long day of driving.
Written by Owen 7/1/17 We all woke up and left from Custer state park. We drive for 6 hours. When we got to Teddy Roosevelt we unpacked and then we drove on a nature loop and we saw a a few wild horses and some bison. Then we went on a hike which had slides in sandstone. We made friends and went down the slides with them. They go to the same campground as us. We are family got to our campsite we went in the little Missouri River. After a while we had dinner. Then we went to a ranger program that was at 9. We learned all about bison. When we got back we had to go to to Glacier early in the morning so it was time for bed.

1 July 2017

Playing in the Missouri River! Surprisingly, it's not that deep!
Wildlife around our campsite! The bison was about 25 yards away!!!
Hiking in Wind Canyon! We found some cool slides!
Wild horses on the wildlife loop! The horses were almost posing for us! (Kids wanted to make sure that Mrs. DeMott and Sarah saw this 😊)
Written by Addison 6/30/17 (sorry if this and the pictures are late, we have no reception) Today we woke up and were on the road by 8:30. We were going to go to Wind Cave National Park! (we went to do laundry and go grocery shopping first) It was not originally part of our plan but definitely worth it! There we learned all about the history of it and what all of the cool structures are! We had an awesome guide named Ranger Beth Ann. After the tour (which was like 1 hour and 45 minutes for 2/3 of a mile) we headed to go see the natural entrance and the burial grounds of Alvin McDonald. When we were done, we got our junior ranger badges we headed on the scenic route to our campground. We left around 7 and didn't get to our campground until around 9:30. The road was only about 25 miles but there were lots of narrow roads, tunnels that we barely fit through, and wildlife on the road. When we got all set up, we made pizza pockets and pudgy pies on the fire then went to bed.
Up and out by 8:45 so we can go to Teddy Roosevelt National Park!

30 June 2017

Sometimes there's a donkey in the road too!
⚠️BUFFALO CROSSING⚠️ we are driving on the wildlife loop in Custer State Park... and we came up on this. Definitely worth taking this route!
Junior rangers
The first photo is the journal of a man named Alvin McDonald. He was the first one to to really explore the cave. Although, he only explored 10 miles of the 147 miles of cave. The crazy thing? All 147 miles are in 1 square mile of land. Alvin loved the cave so much he started doing tours in them by candlelight! When he was 20, he went to the fair to see what it was like. There, he got pneumonia and typhoid fever. Shortly after he came back he died. All of Alvins discoveries and paths tracked in his journal are what helps make the park today. The second photo is the small hole that Alvin used to go through to get to the cave and use for tours. It is the only natural way into the cave. Eventually, Alvins dad helped him blow up part of the side as an easier way to get in. The hole is about the size of a hat.
Visiting Wind Cave National Park. It was not originally on our plan but it was totally worth visiting it! It is probably one of our favorite places so far!!
Visiting a tourist attraction, Wall Drug! With amazing donuts! The options were Maple, vanilla, chocolate, or plain. Addie, Dad, Eden, and Owen got Maple, Jackson got chocolate, and Mom got plain.
Written by Owen 6/29/17 (sorry for delay) Today was a busy day. First we woke up and went to a ranger program that was about digging fossils. Next we had lunch in the car on our way to the next ranger program which was about fossils. And the ranger that was teaching us was our mesa verse tour guide 2 years ago. The next part of our day was going to see the prairie dogs they were cool. After that we went on a hike that was up a big ladder and was was a awesome view once you got to the end. Finally we went back to our camp site. Played bocce ball and had dinner. Finally we went to a ranger program about the ancient animals in the Badlands. The last thing we did was play games in the camper and go to bed.
The other 2 junior rangers

29 June 2017

Looking at the moon at a Ranger program!
The 3 junior rangers so far! At every national park, all of the kids do a program and earn a badge if they complete all of the activities. So far, we all have about 16 badges and 5 patches.
Hiking The Notch Trail. A bit frightening! We had to climb on a ladder, walk on the edge of a cliff, and more! Eden and Mom couldn't make it much past the ladder!
The pretty views!
Love seeing all of the wildlife! Today we all saw prong horned antelope, deer, prairie dogs, and a turkey vulture. We were really upset to not see a bison but I'm sure we will by the end of the trip. Also, Addie and Dad went on a run early in the morning and saw 6 big horned sheep!
So in the first picture is Ranger Ted today at a fossil program and in the second picture is Ranger Ted at Mesa Verde 2 years ago on our last trip! It was so crazy to see him again. Jackson recognized him right away!
Hiking Saddle Pass Trail
Ranger program... learning about fossils and digging like paleontologists!

28 June 2017

... Dad won of course. Around 9:00 there was a night ranger program at the amphitheater in our campground. We learned all about prairie dogs and how they are so important to the life in the grassland ecosystems! There was going to be a program to look at stars and planets... but there was a storm coming in so it was super cloudy. Today was great and I can't wait for more climbing tomorrow! Prairie dog facts: 1. Prairie dogs may be at the bottom of the food chain but they sustain the life of over 200 other animal species 2. Prairie dogs got their names because they make barking sounds, not because they're related to dogs (they're actually related to squirrels) 3. Prairie dogs are getting the plague by fleas which are destroying the population of other animals. Currently, they are giving prairie dogs peanut butter flavored chew vaccines to help get rid of the fleas. 4. Prairie dogs stand on their hind legs and make a yipping sound to let others the area is safe.
Written by Addison 6/28/17 Today, we found a place that kids can go wild and parents can act like kids, climbing on big mounds of crumbly clay... THE BADLANDS! We arrived in the early afternoon after leaving the Ingalls homestead. The first thing we did was go to the welcome center to get our junior ranger booklets so we could earn our junior ranger badges. After, we went to our campground (its more like a parking lot because it's in the middle of a grassland) to set up camp. Once we were all set up, Mom and Dad made dinner while the rest of us went to explore! It was only around 5:30 but if we were in Ohio, it would be 7:30 so we were super hungry! Exploring was fun but a little scary! After dinner, we took Mom and Dad to the place that we were climbing then went on a bike ride. We met a man who had been roller-blading for 8 weeks. He started in New York and hopes to be on the West coast by November! Once we got back from the bike ride, we played some bocce ball as a family...
Climbing right by our campsite! We rode our bikes down the road and were able to climb for hours! The great thing, we are able to climb wherever we want in the entire park!
More climbing!
and MORE climbing!
View from our campsite! 😍 Yes, the second picture is real
First looks of the Badlands!

27 June 2017

Written by Owen 6/27/17 We went back in time for the second day but this time at the Ingalls Homestead. We got to camp on the Ingalls land. We started with watching a 4 minute video. Then we explored house, land and animals. We got to ride and drive a covered wagon. We also rode a horse and the man who helped us had the last name dobson too. Had fun on the different kinds of plows. We loved all the cats in the barn. We played with them almost the whole time. Also a girl liked a cats like us and we all became friends. She is going to be at the same camp site as us in the Badlands! Isn't that cool? The day ended with a game of Yahtzee. Thank you Aunt Laura, Uncle Tony, Van and Megan. Also, Jackson lost his tooth during dinner eating BBQ chicken, he wanted to make sure everyone knew! ;)
Laura's home
Activities in the barn!
So we came across this guy at the barn. He saw Addie's track sweatshirt with "Dobson" on the back. Turns out, his last name is Dobson too! 😜
Love the animals! :)
Covered wagon ride and we got to drive too!
School in the summer!
Well water! Water was okay to drink but tasted like iron! 😳
The kittens were our favorite! We spent hours playing with them and naming them. We named them Thunder, Midnight, Winter, Spark, Tiger, Moo, Garfield, Ginger, Mittens, and Pinky based on what they looked like!

26 June 2017

Written by Addison 6/26/17 Today we traveled back into time to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, MN. We started with a 6 hour drive to our campsite. As soon as we were all set up, we went to the museum. It was very cool to see actual items that the Ingalls family used. My favorite part was the mantel from the set of the TV show. We learned a lot of new things today about how school used to work and all of the chores that the kids had to do. I'm actually okay with the amount of chores we have now. When we got back, we had dinner and played at the park. Another thing we did was follow a trail on our bikes. Chasity got lost for a little bit but we found her thankfully! We also got to see fireman practicing rescuing people at the lake. After dinner, we went on a bike ride to Plum Creek, the creek that Laura and her family grew up by. We then came home and had s'mores around the campfire (with fudge stripes, thanks Aunt Sarah)!
Written by Owen 6/25/17 We woke up, ate breakfast which was egg sandwiches. Then Dad went to the bike store which was great because I could get a new wheel and dad got a new bike. We had to use the indoor waterpark because it was to cold outside. When we got there we were all so excited to go in. Inside, it was huge. We went down the slides and swam for hours. We swam for so long, we had lunch at 3! We had cheese and crackers for lunch. When we went back in Dad wanted to go do the slides that we had not tried yet. They were the drop slides. Which are basically is when the the floor folds and you fall down in midair for a second then you go down the rest of the slide touching the bottom of the slide. So me, Dad, Addie, and Jackson went up the stairs. Jackson sadly was not tall enough by a cm, he was so sad and Addie she just chickened out and watched from the top. A voice counted down and then we dropped. It was so fast. I did it one more time. We did one more ride & our day was over.

25 June 2017

Surfers! πŸ„πŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ„πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ»
The brave souls in the family doing the drop slide! 😬😳
Lazy river! :)
Lunch break!

24 June 2017

Written by Addison 7/24/17 Today started off by getting up at 7:30 in the morning. We all quickly ate breakfast, got the last few things packed, and were on our way by 8:30. We drove for about 10 hours today. We stopped at Mirror Lake State Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Our ride there was pretty good with the usual stopping for gas, restroom, etc. The only major stop we had was to fix the bikes because the bike rack twisted the bumper of the camper. Dad lost his bike on the highway and Owen's front wheel popped but if that's the worst that happened, we did really good! When we arrived, we got all set up and got our hamburgers and hotdogs made just in time for the rain to come! Our last 30 day trip, we had no rain so this was really crazy! It was super chilly! It rained just for a bit so Mom and I were able to got to the store to pick up some food for the meals this week while Dad stayed with the other kids to clean up. We ended our first day with some s'mores around the fire!
We love exploring new places!
Home sweet home for the next 30 days!! Everyone is so excited! :)
We're off! All of the kids helped so much to get everything ready throughout the week! πŸ€—