What do you think of when you hear the word paradise? Do you think of lying on a beach in Hawaii? What about taking a cruise to Jamaica? Before, when I heard it, that’s what I thought about, but now I see myself just kicking back and relaxing in a state park. This past summer I went camping for the first time. It was a different but amazing experience. My boyfriend’s family invited me to go along with them to Turkey Run State Park and join the whole family for the weekend. I agreed to go along. It made me realize that sitting on a beach somewhere is not the greatest paradise to me. Sitting around a campfire and making popcorn over the fire, that’s the real paradise.
The week before we left for Turkey Run State Park, we began packing. It may seem early to you, but people who camp know there is always something you forget to take with you like your swimsuit, some foods and snacks you really enjoy, or even enough clothes to last you through the whole time. Although we started packing a week early, there were still things we noticed we forgot when we got there, like the camera. We had to have my boyfriend’s brother bring it to us.
Some girls would not enjoy spending their day in the woods, but I love it. The second day of camping, I got to fulfill my childhood dream to ride a horse. I absolutely loved it. I already love being in the woods and on a horse, that made it even better. My boyfriend, Mike, and his mom went on the trail ride with me. After we got back to the stables I had no problem getting off my horse, Buck, but I only wish I could say the same for Mike’s mom. Let’s just say she almost fell off. Overall my first horseback ride was a great experience.
That same day we went hiking. Mike, his cousin Kevin, and I were always ahead of Mike’s dad, aunt, and uncle. After we got on the trail it began to rain. Although we were climbing lots of wet and slippery stairs and rocks, the rain made it relaxing. The sound of all the waterfalls on the trail kept me going on. I have always loved waterfalls. Along the trail we did see a chipmunk. I had never seen a real chipmunk before then. It was really cute. There were times when I went off the trail to climb rocks and other obstacles we ran into along the trail and either didn’t succeed or got injured while succeeding, but I had lots of fun doing it.
Also on that day we were planning to go tubing down the river but I started to rain. There was also a bus load of people, who were going down to the river that tipped over in the parking lot at the loading docks where they get in. Some people were injured but it was nothing serious. Because of that, we were not allowed to go down the river at that time.
We decided to go tubing the next day. As we were getting ready to go, the adults went to see how fast the rivers current was going and how high the river was. After they got back, we all jumped in the back of the truck and headed down to the river. Mike’s family said it usually takes three hours to get down the river. This time it only took one hour and a half, the river was flowing about ten miles an hour. It was awesome because right as we would come close to hitting a bank or a tree, the current would throw us the other way. It was really hard to get out of the tube when we got to the docks because the current kept pushing us farther down the river.
After we went tubing, we began packing up to leave. As we were packing there was a football team that was rushing us like crazy. We tried to tell the park about what they were doing, but they said that as long as they were not on our camp site it was fine. What they did not know was the whole time they were parked all along the streets and on other people’s camp sites. They even started setting up their tents on our site which made Mike’s mom very angry. She even started yelling at the people setting up tent. That was the only thing that went wrong the whole weekend.
Through my whole experience camping, the best part was the getaway. Every night and day I spent camping, there were no worries about what had been going on back home. I really enjoyed spending time with Mike’s family and just relaxing. Overall it was the best vacation I could ask for.
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