Growing up, campground reservations were only necessary on holiday weekends, but camping has gained popularity over the years and nearly every weekend parks in our area are full. Since we made plans for the holiday weekend later than normal, we ended up at Red Hills State Park in Illinois.
We’ve been here several times before and always with the Herr Family. Even the first time we all ended up here together was quite by accident and a discovery we made just a few days before camping that particular weekend. This time two Herr families were here with us.
Labor Day weekend camping in Southern Indiana is almost always one of two extremes…blazing hot and humid or much colder than you planned for when packing. However, this weekend’s weather was glorious with comfortable days and cool nights.
Our three campsites were in a row near the entrance of the loop and near the bathhouse so it was a little busier than we typically like; however, we had a nice large area for a group campfire. We also had a great location for “people/camper watching” as campers rolled in and out over the weekend.
Emmitt loves to help with the campfire. I actually think this might have been one of our first trips this year we had a fire for the entire weekend. Our trips early in the season when it was cooler were rearranged because of COVID and then some of the weekends have been far too hot to start a fire.
In addition to relaxing by the fire, we used it to cook peach cobbler, pork roast and campfire cones. We sure ate well this trip with a baked pasta night and a loaded BBQ potato night. And desserts…there were so many desserts! YUMMY!
Camping in a group is so much fun because the kids always have a buddy…or five! The weekend was full of bike rides, walks, playground visits, sidewalk chalk, Legos, tractors, reading and so much more.
We had a playground close to our sites that the kids frequently visited, but some “rowdy teenagers” sent the kids on a hunt for another playground. (The “rowdy teenagers” description is courtesy of the very kids who will probably hold that title in the not so distant future.) So on Saturday afternoon, Nick and Matt took all the kids to find another playground. The kids hopped in the bed of the truck like it was the 80’s and off they went!
While they were gone, we sat reminiscing about the back of the pickup rides we had as kids. In less than five minutes, Nick and three kids return on foot…back to the campsite to take a second truck. The 80’s have long since gone away and the conservation officer they passed wasn’t keen on the idea of their adventure, so proper seats for everyone! We laughed about the whole thing and the “rebels” they were that day!
(Just to be clear so I don’t get hate mail…they were still in the park as we would not have approved it otherwise. And, yes, the officer was just doing his job to keep everyone safe so no hard feelings.)
The crew eventually made it to another playground and even posed for a picture at the request of “the moms.”
All the playing required A LOT of snacks. I mean who can say “no” to these faces?!?!
A group photo is always on the list when camping with this crew. The park sign was close to our sites and made for a fun way to remember the campground. The Tin Man was even front and center.
Of course, the second group photo more accurately captures this bunch of rebels!
Until next time…