camping at Keen Lake

Thursday morning we woke up to a beautiful day. We weren't in a rush, which was nice, so we did some laundry, packed our bags, ate some lunch, then packed the car and headed out. It took us about 2.5 hours (plus a bathroom stop) to get to the campsite, so we arrived around 4. We chose this place because a friend gave it good reviews, and it looked really pet friendly. As with anywhere new, our fingers were crossed.

Check-in was a good start. Everyone was so friendly, and the gave us a map showing exactly where our site was and all the other fun campground amenities. We headed up to our site, the last in a row of no hook-up sites set a little apart (by request!), and started getting set up.

It was great. From our site you could barely see anyone else, and the sites around us stayed empty until Saturday! Even when someone did come to one of the sites Saturday, we were spaced enough that it didn't matter. Our site was large and allowed us a lot of freedom. We were able to let Daisy off leash (she is very good about learning her boundaries and staying within them, and not once did she stray away from us) and it was very relaxing for all of us.

The new tent (my big birthday present to Trav) was so much easier to set up then our old one, and very nicely made. After we got the site set up, and our sleeping bags arranged, we looked around for sticks for a bit, then headed down so Gwen could play on the playground by the lake. The lakefront, office/store, playground, and swimming pool were all together and about a 3 minute walk from our site. Very convenient, but far enough away. While Gwen played, Trav went and bought some firewood, then headed back to the site with Daisy.

We made a big fire, then cooked dinner and s'mores. Gwen loved the chocolate and the graham crackers, but didn't love the melty marshmallow.

Man make fire, hammer log!
That first night Gwen was a little riled up from the long ride in the car, the excitement of camping and getting to sleep outside, and the sugar of the s'mores(!), so we decided to let her stay up a little late to blow off some steam. Ugh, disaster! We all headed into the tent around 9, and she proceeded to pop up and down like a deranged jack in the box not matter what we said until we finally said we just weren't going to be able to come camping with her anymore unless she just. lay. down. already! Once we actually got her to lay down and stay still she was out within minutes, but jeez louise, that girl was nuts!

Friday dawned gorgeously, another cool sunny day. We headed to a local town that was having a large sidewalk sale event (all of main street's stores spilled out onto the sidewalks and offered deal, snacks, drinks, etc) to walk along the street and give the day a chance to warm up. Then it was back for some lunch and then some swimming!

Gwen looked amazing, of course. I rocked some camping chic, as my sandals had picked the first day of camping to finally bite it. Nothing like clomping to the pool in your hiking boots!

Trav took Daisy swimming in the dog section of the lake, while we hit up the slightly warmer pool.

Afterwards we headed back to the campsite. We read Gwen her new comic book (a sidewalk sale purchase), ate an afternoon snack, and relaxed for a bit before heading for a walk around the campgrounds. We found two more playgrounds and tried them both!

Bedtime that night went MUCH smoother as we stuck closer to her normal routine, skipped the s'mores before bed, and she had expelled a lot more energy during the day!

Saturday we headed out in the morning to check out Prompton State Park, which was just down the road. I hadn't looked into it before we arrived, and it was a lot harder to figure out their trails, but we found a shorter one to play around on. 

We hiked there for a bit, then on our way out stopped to enjoy the lake view.

There also happened to be a barefoot waterskiing competition going on! Gwen was enthralled.

We hit up a local BBQ pit for lunch, then back to the campsite for more swimming (Gwen and Trav), and relaxing (Daisy and I). Gwen and I went to the little arcade by the store, then came back and played cards for a while before bed.

Sunday it was time to clean up and head home. We'd packed up a lot of stuff the night before, so we dressed, brushed teeth, cleaned up the clothes and sleeping bags, then put down the tent. We got the car all packed and did a last walk through to make sure we had gotten everything (take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints!), and were at the office/store by 8:50 to check out and grab some breakfast to go. The ride home was easy, and we were home for lunch, with the whole afternoon to grab showers and do our 5 loads of laundry!!

Overall, it was a great mini-vacation. We enjoyed getting away, and reconnecting with nature. Gwen even exclaimed at one point that she wanted to live there. While the hiking wasn't as scenic as Rickett's Glen, we definitely enjoyed the extra amenities and the fact that there was more room between us and our camping neighbors. I think we'll definitely go there again.

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