We were VERY ambitious this weekend! Josh spotted a night caching event that he wanted to attend, and it was piggybacking on the summer picnic hosted by NoVAGO (Northern Virginia Geocaching Organization). The picnic and night caching were to take place in a picnic area at Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, so there was also the option to stay and camp in the field adjacent to the picnic area. We decided to do it all including a Cache In Trash Out (CITO) the morning after camping!
We left our house armed with camping gear, a picnic lunch (which was redundant due to the NoVAGO picnic, but we had mis-read the hours), snacks, and energy to do a serious amount of hiking and caching before the picnic!
We ran into some fellow cachers towards the end of our morning plan, so that was fun to search for the last couple with extra pairs of eyes. We also got to have a family photo taken as we walked across the huge fallen tree!
The picnic was really fun, and we met some really nice people! There weren't many other kids, but Jackson was a rockstar, and he actually took over our ice breaker activity and went up to other people to get the answers! The boys were very good and of course, made friends! After the picnic, Daddy took off for some more caching while I took the boys to seek some relief in the air conditioned car on the drive to Walmart! We LOVE our Prius, but sometimes our space is so limited, and we have to go shopping for food after unloading some other things... ;) We procured the necessary items for dinner, breakfast and some snacking. We drove back to camp and I proceeded to set up our tent ALL BY MYSELF! Josh gave me the choice to do whatever I would rather do, and after a morning caching and Walmart with both of them, I was happy to set up the tent by myself while he supervised the boys running off energy! We enjoyed some dinner and then I worked on putting Graham to bed.
You can sort of see the outline of our tent in the sunset...
Happy with this perch while Graham snoozed and Josh and Jackson went off in search of some night caches! What they found sounded really neat, but I was happy for some time with my book in the beautiful night!
Everyone did pretty well in the tent. We were up early, of course, and got all packed up before it was time for the CITO. It was another hot day, and we were all a little extra tired, so we wore down quicker than usual during the CITO. It also wasn't the typical one we have attended. Jackson LOVES going to these particular events with Josh, because sometimes there are the fancy trash picker-upper-pokers... So, yes, we are used to clearing areas of trash. This particular mission was more about trail maintenance, so Josh was in charge of the hedge clippers to trim anything that might hit someone on the trail whether they were walking or riding a horse (these trails were used a lot for horseback riding). Jackson was pretty helpful with clearing the brush that Josh cut down, but Graham was pretty much over the whole thing before we even started, AND he wanted to be carried! We pushed through, and all four of us were never happier to get in the car in search of lunch! Everyone got recharged enough with McDonalds that our moods improved, and then the boys and I snoozed while Daddy drove us home :)