|The view from laying in our tent.|
We went to the cave and checked it out first. It was nice and cool inside which was a wonderful escape from the heat! Carter had a blast rock climbing and Elise did some climbing of her own. Both kids had an absolute blast. It wasn't until we were up on top of the area during our hike that I realized how high we actually were. It was crazy but beautiful! Carter found a bird's next inside a hole on the side of the cave which was neat to see. Then we headed over to the Nature Center for me and the kids to check out while Ty paid for our campsites. Elise saw a sno cone place and we felt she deserved a sno cone for being such a big girl on our hike. She didn't ask to be carried at all and climbed rocks and everything! After sno cones we went inside the nature center and got to see the snakes being fed. One of the rattlesnakes was actually eating a rat while we were in there. After he swallowed it all the way down he started rattling at us to warn us away. The kids were so impressed to see it eat. We headed back to the campsite because mom and dad had arrived. We helped them get set up a little and then went to packet pickup to get our stuff for the race that night.
The kids did a little swimming while dad and I sat in camp chairs and watched. Our campsite was a short little walk down to the water which made for a beautiful view and easy access for swimming and fishing! Then Ty built a fire so the kids could roast hot dogs for dinner before the race. The rest of us waited until after the race to eat and enjoyed all the food they had after the race for runners! It was a crazy good spread! Ty and I rinsed off in the showers after the race and then we all roasted marshmallows before bed. I always have a hard time falling asleep after evening races and this was no exception. I laid restlessly for about an hour before reading a bit and finally drifting off to sleep. I woke up about half an hour later at midnight because I had to potty, thanks to all the fluids I took in to stay hydrated before, during, and after the race. I couldn't find my shoes so I put Ty's on and about fell getting out of the tent because they were so big. Then I couldn't fall back to sleep so I read for a while and finally fell back to sleep around 12:45. I woke up a few times because it sounded like someone was walking around in the gravel by our tent. It wasn't until the morning that I found out it was a raccoon who scavenged in the trash sack my parents left out because they forgot there was trash in it. I was surprised the kids slept until 7am. I woke up at 6 because it was bright in the tent and was sure the kids would wake soon but drifted back off to sleep until they woke up. I was surprised to wake up feeling relatively well rested after the night of sleep I had!
When we got up I headed out for an easy 3 mile run while Ty and the kids went down to the water to fish and play. I got back in time for breakfast. Ty made a fire and the kids wanted to roast marshmallows. I figured marshmallows weren't any worse than doughnuts for breakfast so I okayed it. We had a guided cave tour at 9:30 so we got dressed and ready. The park ranger who gave the tour told us lots of interesting information about the outlaws who used the cave as well as the rocks and nature around us. The kids were really good listeners and did a great job during the tour. Elise was pretty worn out from the day before so we traded off carrying her pretty much the entire time. She cracked me up that morning, wanting to wear her new Halloween dress Oma and Opa brought to give her. One of the ladies on the tour with us mentioned it was the perfect dress to wear while being in caves since it had ghosts on it. One of my favorite parts of the tour was seeing where Jesse James had likely written his initials. They don't have proof that it was actually him but it dates back to the time he would have spent there and they were made the way he always signed to show he had been somewhere which was neat. We also saw a spider that caught a lizard in its web. It was much cooler than it had been the day before. It even started to rain a little while we were up on top and it was really beautiful to watch the rain coming down on the trees.
|Marshmallows for breakfast.|
|A guy who had a net out came back for his fish and let Carter hold one.|
|Enjoying our guided cave tour.|
We went back to our campsite to break down before the 2pm checkout and had lunch. Then we went back to the Nature Center so my parents could see it and the kids picked out special rocks in the gift shop. Afterward we played miniature golf which was way more fun than I expected. Carter actually had a blast and between turns would go practice on the next green. Elise played a couple holes before she gave up and started running around playing which was fine because we were the only ones playing. When we were finished Oma and Opa treated everyone to sno cones, smoothies, or frappes from the sno cone shack. I was disappointed to realize Ty beat me by one stroke, dad beat him by one, and mom beat dad by 3 so Carter was the only one I beat! I really thought I had a chance to edge Ty out, darn it! We headed out after miniature golf and stopped off at Porter Beach Barn on the way home. We tried a peach sundae and a peach pie which were both yummy, Ty and I shared. Carter picked Cheetos and Elise picked a blackberry pie. They were miniature pies that were about the size and shape of a turnover. We had such a wonderful time that we were already planning our next state park/camping adventure on the way home from this trip! Ty and I both agree that Robbers Cave State Park is overall the best state park we've been to so far. It had gorgeous views, fun hiking, rock climbing that the kids could enjoy, a nice swimming pool, miniature golf, lake swimming, a nice little Nature Center, and other activities we didn't have time to do. We are excited for our next camping adventure!