manning park. . .the best .. and the rest ..

The saddest moment. . .
waiting in hours of stopped traffic while a young mans body was retrieved from the valley below.
Knowing that his family would be receiving the news that his motorcycle crashed flinging him over the side was the sad part.
The bluest skies were the first several days and the last day.
The best time to pick a picnic table was during the rain.

The driest woodpile in the campground that we had the good sense to bring along.
(see the little squirrel?)

The best new find in the prepared food department.

The best walk around the lake.

The best man made addition to the lake. . . keeps the water in.

The best view while I hike.

The coziest restaurant in the campsite. .
our night to make dinner. . .
crab cakes ..
grilled beef tenderloin .. .
grilled veggies ..
sauteed shrimp in a butter sauce ..
Best guests . . .
Best geocache find.

Best selected item in the geocache container. .
thinking of our friends Ray and Becky who tried to convince us to scrap camping and come to Paris with them .. .
they can't say we didn't think of them.
The loveliest greens in the wetlands.

My best attempt at being helpful . .tying the boat while my beloved fished.

Best dessert. . .
Kathy made a Warm Peach Pie with Ice cream .. .

Best place to sit and pray . ..

Best help .. . that's our oldest holding the log ..

Best decision .. .to stop and buy a tarp.

Book I had to read. . .

Most interesting flower.

Closest I've ever come to being flapped in the head by a Raven wing.

Best view of our massive campsite tarp.

Best lunch. . I made Rollkuchen dough the week before . . .
froze it .. .and then let it thaw in the fridge. .
Bea rolled them out .. .and I fried them up.

Best find .. while my beloved ran into the hardware store to buy a tarp. .
I ran into a used toy store and picked up this little car for $15 for our grandbabies to ride on their first camping trip.

Person who loved Chocolate Puff Wheat Cake the most.
First time having a snack without mommy knowing. . .
We wondered why the little farmhand was having such a long nap in his playpen in the trailer.
He wasn't napping . . .he was enjoying his long reach.
He pulled the puff wheat cake off the table that was beside him. .
and proceeded to have a snack.
The pan was half full when he started.
Regretfully. . we cleaned him up first and then realized we didn't take a picture. . .
as you can see. . .
he still willingly went for more. .
and he never got sick ..
I had to smile when I gave him a goodbye kiss and the scent of chocolate puff wheat was still on his breath.

Best place for a busy little boy ..
.. . strapped on the back of his daddy.
Little farmhand with his favorite Uncle Stu ..
Future high dive Olympian .. .
(wish you could hear his giggles)
Coldest swimming hole. .
Our kids all came up for a bit.
We loved having them .. .
Stuart's best back flip off the bridge ..

My three favorite men in the world.

The most popular woman in the campsite. . with Charlotte's doughnuts.
They were amazing. .

The best meal over the open fire.
The best idea camping in cold weather since camping was invented.

The guys best attempt to hunt us dinner .. .
Kathy appreciated their efforts but made us Anneliese's Salmon recipe
with snap peas in a garlic butter sauce and risotto. . .
Cutest couple on the lake. .

Best looking fisherman ..

The moment I stopped and marvelled at God. . .
it might have just been a rock .. .
but I just stood there and marvelled at his creation.
How anyone could spend time in such an amazing place and not be touched by the wonder of it all .. . is beyond me.
I missed you all .. .
I wondered how things were in your lives. . .
and I'm glad to be back .. in my house. . .
where it is warm. .
We had a wonderful time with our friends .. . and our family when they came up. . . . .
Have a wonderful day my friends ..


  1. Great re-cap of 'our' holiday. Your pictures are great, and they tell a story of a great week. Glad we could be apart of it. Kathy

  2. Welcome back Lovella. Love all the photos and highlights of your trip. Yippee for the tarp! That is so funny that the little one helped himself to the puffs!! glad he didn't get sick :0)

  3. A story in pictures...I certainly enjoyed that!
    You sure eat well when you're camping. Next time I am sneaking along :)

  4. Wow what a camping trip..the best even in the rain! Your photos are wonderful Lovella.
    As Rachel said 'you do eat well' on your camping trip but why not, isn't that the highlight after all??
    I'm making donuts for my g'kids today..

  5. One more thing..the book you read on your camping trip..would you give it a good review?

  6. Lil Farmhand's food forage has created fodder for family storytelling for generations to come. It might just become a yearly tradition: make the stuff, hide it, and see how long it takes him to sniff it out...

    The bird photo is magnificent. Enlarged it looks like a japanese brush painting. The rock is gorgeous too...I love how photography allows us to marvel at such things in a new way.

    So glad you had such a marvelous time!

  7. Your camping post was fun to look at and read. Thanks for the peek into your family fun. My, what delicious food you all prepared...that's my kind of camping!

    I so agree with you in your last comment...and that rock truly is marvelous! I love the pattern.

  8. Thanks, Lovella, for allowing us to "come along" with you in this way. A nice little trip this morning . . . but my heart goes out to the family of the young man.
    Nice to have you back.

  9. That was the 'best camping story in crummy weather' that I've ever heard/seen! It looks like you had a wonderful time despite less than ideal weather. The meals look rather gourmet for camping...and I love that your little farmhand helped himself to dessert!

    How was the book, Lovella? I saw it on the newstands and thought of you.

  10. You folks know how to eat well on a camping trip. I'll have to take a page out of your book - our idea of campground eating was KD and PB&J.

    Thanks for "bringing us along" I enjoyed it.

  11. What a great way to highlight your week. Your photos are amazing! Is that a chipmunk rather than a squirrel in the dry woodpile photo? Whatever he is, he's cute! I agree with Jill - that raven photo is magnificent!

    The little farmhand's food "pilfering" is just a promise of the future antics to come! I'll bet he's going to be a handful!

    That rock has some interesting details...that reminds me of something I've heard once (and I cannot remember the source) about God being in the details. He didn't leave anything unconsidered when He created all of this. That is so comforting.

    Welcome back.

  12. Oh the book . .
    I quite enjoyed it. I read 4 books so now I have to think. It was about a girl who felt called to become a nun and gave up her newborn child to follow her heart. It is a sad story in a lot of ways but still a good secular read.
    What matters most to me is still a lot different. . .

  13. Best Blog Post of the Day!

    Welcome back!


  14. Fabulous post, Lovella....

  15. This was a wonderful mini-vacation for your readers...loved the format. Your little grand enjoying all that chocolate made me grin. Glad that he has an iron tummy.

    Great photos!

  16. Welcome home, Lovella ... I loved all your camping photos.. I will be looking at them all for real myself when I go for my duty camping trip this coming week-end! but I don't think my menus will rival yours ! I have a very good idea... why don't we co-ordinate our camping time next year and I'll come 'buy' my meals at your camp site ??

    They are calling for a mix of weather for next week end too.. so we'll see how we make out !

    Did you by any chance hike up to Despair Pass ? I'm determined to do it this year so that will give me a few different photo views so I don't duplicate yours !

    It sounds like you had an amazing time.. and your little ones are priceless !! I LOVED your little farm hand's ingenuity to fill his stomach.. true indication that he's destined to be an MAN !! smile

  17. What a great post! I have a renewed love of camping this year (I think because we have somewhere warm and dry to go if necessary)
    We love camping there and hope to spend many more camping getaways at that site. Maybe we'll see you there sometime?
    It sounds like you had a fabulous time. I enjoyed all the pictures. Especially the puffed wheat in the playpen. hee hee

  18. wow that sounds like a great holiday, i loved the way you captured it for us....glad you are all back safe and sound

  19. Good to have you back again.
    I recognized many of those oh, to familiar spots, and the tarps, and the fishing holes, and the crackling fires...A camping trip can not be complete without those little ones.
    I have that book in my collection also.
    Happy catch-up time once again.

  20. I loved the trip Lovella. You had a very well deserved time away and my do eat well on your trips...I want to go camping with you! Wow.

  21. Glad to see you're back. Love the bests in this post. Touching as usual.

  22. I've so been looking forward to your report on the camping!!! it looks spectacular! i'm thinking that if my husband could only go camping with you guys, maybe, just maybe he would be convinced that it is a FUN thing to do! Of course the FOOD makes all the difference! It looks like it was WONDERFUL!!! I'm so happy you had some great times! I could almost imagine what it was like. It's just so wonderful to be outdoors!


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