I had grand plans last week to make a short movie of our family adventuring experience across the United States. I had shot short video clips throughout our travel week. I even texted a musician friend of mine to see if I could use his instrumentals as music for my movie!
But when you’re doing family adventuring, you find that you actually have little time to make movies, especially for a novice film maker like me. I barely even had time to write a post about our family adventuring!
Last week was a whirlwind travel week for us. We left Colorado on Monday, after spending a lovely Sunday night dancing to Jason Mraz at Red Rocks Amphitheater. We were dog tired the next morning, but we had to trek it all the way across the states of Colorado and Kansas to spend the night in Kansas City, Missouri. We had booked a cheap Hipcamp spot (less than $15!) for the night, and slept on a grassy field amidst the crickets and coyotes.
The next day, we continued family adventuring eastward, making our way to Marengo, Indiana, a small town just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. Along the way, we stopped by St. Louis, Missouri to check out the Old Courthouse where Dred Scott (an enslaved African) and his wife sued their owners for their freedom, and of course made a visit to the Gateway Arch. By around nine o’clock that night, we drove into Marengo and once again pitched a tent at a Hipcamp spot, this time on a huge 60 acre homestead. The owner of the homestead had prepared a fire for us, and we set up camp next to his barn.
In the morning, we spent some time exploring the homestead. The owner of the property had once owned a school bus, which he had converted into a traveling home, and had traveled around the country following bands and festivals. When his school bus broke down on this property in Marengo, he decided it was time to settle in one spot. Since then he has turned the property into a thriving homestead, with solar powered electricity and gravity powered water. On his property, he’s built a barn, a treehouse where he lives, an outhouse, a tree web, and even a stage. Because he has so much acreage, he often holds festivals on his property!
The kids had a lot of fun climbing the tree web, which was interlaced across several trees, about twenty feet off the ground. My mom-brain instinctively wanted to keep them on the ground where it was safer, but part of the fun of family adventuring is letting the kids try out new and adventurous things. I eventually climbed up to the tree web myself, and was relieved to see that there was netting along the sides to prevent people from falling off.
After spending the morning on the homestead, we continued on to our final destination for the week: Washington, DC. Because of our extended time exploring the homestead, and multiple stops along the way for snacks and bathroom breaks, we didn’t get into DC until close to midnight. But it didn’t matter. By then, we were just thankful to be able to sleep in a comfy bed. It was a welcome break, after spending two nights on sleeping pads surrounded by the sound of crickets. You never really know what you’re going to get when you’re traveling!
The thing I’ve loved most as we’ve been family adventuring across America is getting to try so many unique and interesting things. The experiences that my kids have had so far, whether it’s hiking through the desert at Arches National Park, rocking out to pop music at Red Rocks, or climbing a tree web on a homestead in Indiana, will undoubtedly leave lasting impressions on their lives. I feel perpetually grateful for the opportunity to provide these experiences to them.
But really, family adventuring doesn’t have to happen in some exotic locale. It can happen right at home too. It’s honestly more about having that adventuring mindset, and being willing to allow your family to experience something new and different.
Are you ready for some family adventuring of your own? Tell me how you adventure with your kids!
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