Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Labor Day Camping at Lake Icaria

Since we skipped tent camping last Memorial Day, opting instead for the convenience of a cabin, we decided to make up for it this Labor Day.  Our destination?  Lake Icaria near Corning, Iowa.

Our original plan was to leave right after work on Friday, but the downpour was so torrential that the girls were completely drenched from making the three-house-journey from the bus stop to our home.  So instead we sat on the front porch swing and watched as all the munchkins danced in the rain and splashed through the puddles.  Pure delight!  That evening, we unplugged all our technology and played Settlers of Catan with NomiAnn and Papa Kay, who camped out at our house.

The next morning the sun was shining brightly, so we loaded up two mini-vans full of tents and gear and headed for the lake. Our campsite was perfect!  Gorgeous view of the lake on one side...

Awesome playground on the other.

Jason and Brooklyn do dishes together. 
Camping certainly encourages us to find the joy in hard work: work hard to get packed up, work harder to get set up, work to get meals fixed, work some more to get cleaned up before it's time to fix the next meal and clean up again.  Then there's all the work of breaking camp, at which point you'd think that the work should be done, but once you get home you still have to unpack.  And don't even get me started on the laundry.

So why is all this fun?  I don't know, but it is.  Probably because we're working together.   

Papa K, hard at work keeping our Sunburst vertical.  (Duct tape can work miracles.)

Annie Mae has it lucky.  She gets to play all day, making messes everywhere for others to clean up.  (I should know.  She just dumped out an entire box of cereal while I was uploading these pictures...)

Oh goodness!  Jason Wayne Wheeler, the third, how could you take such a picture?  Truth is we love camping.

On Saturday afternoon we left the work behind and headed for the beach instead.  Lovely shipped-in sand covering the natural Iowa clay.  Funny thing is that the kids spent most of their time digging through the sand in search of the clay anyway.
Annika Mae with her red bucket.
Talia Lily with her blue one.
Back to Annie who switched for the green bucket.
Eli contemplates the lake.
Kara, shaping mud bowls with the clay.

And one last picture of the baby.
Saturday night some more storms passed through.  Nothing too serious, but the wind and lightning spooked the older kids enough that they opted to spend the night with Dad in the back of the minivan.  Here's what I found when I checked on them in the morning.  Happy, sleepy faces.

A little less thrilled after realizing Eli wet the sleeping bag (a rather uncommon occurrence.)

Always cheerful, Jason hangs out clothes to dry.

Talia gives Annika a snuggle while we start to break camp.

Papa K takes care of the last of the pancake syrup.

Meanwhile, NomiAnn's looking nice and bright in her brand-new sweatshirt (one can't be too particular when shopping in Corning, Iowa.)

Annika learns how to hula hoop...

...and Jason's back to the dishes again.  What a guy!
 Monday afternoon we splurged and rented a pontoon boat.  In the end, we spent more than six hours on the lake.  Positively dreamy!
Annika Mae nestled in her grandma's arms.

Is it just me, or does Brooklyn look way too grown-up lately?

Looking back at the empty space that was our campsite.
Jason and Brooklyn
Stopping off for a swim.  For a girl who absolutely loves the water, Annika sure didn't want anything to do with the lake.

Look who's driving the boat!

Talia and Brooklyn savor our last hour at Lake Icaria.

Eli tossing rocks.  Just love how you captured the stones in motion, Jason!
No camping trip is complete without roasting a few smores, right Eli?
Ah, the melty gooey goodness!

 Being married to an architect, you find yourself suddenly doing strange and unexpected things, like this:

You see, it turns out that Jason is actually designing an addition to three of the cabins at Lake Icaria.  My five foot wingspan lets him visually have a sense of scale at a quick glance. 

Who knows?  Maybe next time we'll stay in a space that he designed.

Farewell, Lake Icaria!
Despite some rain and plenty of Labor Day labor, our visit was so lovely that I sincerely hope this first trip won't be our last.

1 comment:

Callie said...

Thanks for the update! A lovely distraction from what would have been an otherwise productive planning period - thank goodness. Hope we get to crash your next camp site.