Category Archives: Camping

Roaring River March 2014 (Part 2)

Welcome back for part 2 of the Roaring River State Park trip report. We spent most of Friday and Saturday at the Roaring River Trout Hatchery and around the nearby streams. This area is awfully nice and the kids really enjoyed it. I’ve added some pictures to the Roaring River State Park Gallery showing the kids feeding the fish and enjoying the hatchery. The river is fed from a spring near the hatchery. You can see the spring pool and gorge in the video below. Like most of the videos we post, this one was taken with a GoPro Action Camera using a DJI Phantom quadcopter. The video is uploaded to our YouTube Channel and embedded below:

 

This area is pretty awesome for kids as they have trout food vending machines near the hatchery and the trout just go nuts when the food is thrown in. The kids truly didn’t want to leave. I ended up waiting for two to fall asleep in the radio flyer wagon before putting them in the car.

I did not get a chance to fish with the kids, but there were plenty of people there to fish. The state park seemed to be a popular campground for trout fishermen. As the sun was going down on Friday we did get a chance to watch them stock the river after 7pm. I was amazed at how many and how big the fish are that they release around the hatchery. The ranger doing the stocking was releasing full nets of trout at intervals along the river. The kids enjoyed watching that as well.

The kids enjoying a local playground.

The kids enjoying a local playground.

On Friday, we also had a chance to spend a little time in Cassville, MO. We had to make an unexpected trip to Wal-Mart. This was our first trip of the season, so I guess forgetting a few things in ok. I desperately needed some snacks for the kids. Since our site was near a water faucet I grabbed a longer water hose as well. To be honest, since Mom did not make the trip, I cheated and fed the kids there as well. Popcorn chicken comes in handy some times. I also took the time to take the kids to a local park in Cassville. It was a little cool, but there was energy to burn after dinner. They enjoyed themselves and it was just what we needed before heading back to camp for the night. It didn’t take long for everyone to just fall asleep where they were laying once we got back to the trailer. That is how I know it was a good day.

Well, please check back with us in a week or so. I’ll final report will be on our half day trip to the Promise Land Drive-Thru Zoo in Eagle Rock, MO. I did not use the quadcopter there, but we did have the GoPro on the truck windshield for a great point of view thru the zoo. Hope to see you back soon and enjoy your camping adventures!

Chris

Finally Made Reservations!

Ziva'a CarI’m excited about the fact that we finally made reservations for our first camping trip of the season. We are going to Roaring River State Park in Cassville, MO at the end of the month. The site we have reserved will be easy to get into which is a plus for me on the first trip of the year. It will also provide plenty of room for the kids to ride their Dune Racer. From the pictures it looks like there will be enough space for them to ride a nice big circle within eye site. Which is a big plus for mom and dad. There is also plenty of trails, creeks, and a fish hatchery. Now we just have to hope that the weather will hold up and we won’t get anymore snow or ice. Really looking forward to a nice long weekend. See you on your next adventure!!

Chris

And this is how it all began…

As I said in my post on the “About The Camping Dad” page, my childhood memories are filled with fun times on camping adventures. I grew up in South Louisiana and some of my fondest memories involved family camping at Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, LA. We started as tent campers when I was very young, eventually moving up to a Coachmen pull behind travel trailer. My dad pulled that camper all over the south. Our summer vacations were never boring and I was always eager to go on an adventure.

Now that I have three kids of my own, my memory was sparked and the camping bug got me! Our home base is Northwest Arkansas and there’s a reason it’s called the ‘Natural State’. There are too many camp sites to list but, we spend a good deal of time at around Beaver Lake and  Devil’s Den. One search on Recreation.gov showed me there were miles of adventure waiting for my family just hours away, so Chantal and I headed out to the local Camping World to see what they had to offer.

We looked at several new and used models. I was nervous about towing something too big, but it was important to both of us that we have enough room for the five in our family plus our two very large dogs. (Grom a Great Pyrenees and Thrall a Hound Mix). We had one other very special requirement, our son Asher, is 2 and has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. He currently needs a bed on the floor due to paralysis. Most of the used models either didn’t have the features we needed or the just didn’t  have the space.

When we walked into the 2013 Keystone Springdale model 303BHSSR we realized that the floor plan was perfect for all of our needs.

303bhssr

Two additional features made this the trailer for our family; the rear bedroom/play area, and an outdoor kitchen. The interior play/sleep area is the perfect nighttime entertainment area for our kids. It includes two futon type chairs on the floor that fold out to beds, two bunk beds, and an entertainment center that holds books, a tv, etc. The outdoor kitchen includes a small fridge, a sink, two burner stove, and enough counter space for a coffee pot. We walked into this trailer and felt right at home, any reservations I had about pulling and parking such a long trailer were going to have to be dealt with because this was the one.

We signed papers, had my tow vehicle prepped and we were off to find adventure. No instruction book, very little information, not even a hose to connect the water! We parked our home away from home it in storage, and thought, “what do we do now!?”

That was a almost exactly one year ago and we had 2 months to prepare for our first adventure. I spent those months searching, studying, reading, and plotting anything that would help me create memories for my family and I. I’m no expert, I have exactly one year experience. I have created this site to pass along my lessons and share our adventures. I will be adding links, checklists, pictures, and any other information we have found helpful along the way. I’ve have begun with one of my first lessons, How to Level Your Travel Trailer, which you can find on the Helpful Information page. I will do my best to post regularly, and once spring arrives I will be off to find new adventures so look for new posts. I will post reports from our trips including information and reviews on campground, activities for the kids, recipes we have tired and enjoyed and lots more helpful information.

I want this blog to be where Dads and Moms can talk about their adventures and share ideas with one another. A place to find everything from how to level your trailer and trouble shoot common problems to activities for every age. Informative, fun, inspirational and family oriented.

I am glad you have found our little home on the web, please make it your own as well. Feel free to comment and interact on subjects that interest you. If you have a request, idea, or feedback please mail it to me at thecampingdadmail@gmail.com. Thank you again, and now let’s go find our next adventure!

Chris

Coming Soon – The Camping Dad

Coming soon!

Help is on the way for family campers looking to have fun, adventure and create memories! My name in Chris Miller, my family and I live in Northwest Arkansas. I began my research out of necessity, I created this blog after I thought, “maybe other people jumped into camping with little experience and less knowledge, just like me.” I decided to share what I learn as I go along in hopes of making the journey less research intensive for those who read this. I will discuss a variety of topics that I have and will discover as I learn about them. Some of my first posts will be about camper set-up, favorite gear, family fun, favorite places, but the content will grow as I do.

Much of the location content is going to serve people in the Ozarks and central United States, but all friends are welcome. We would love to hear about camping experiences outside of our region, as our children grow we plan on branching out farther from home.

Come back soon to see my introductory post and join me on this new adventure. In the meantime if you have a topic or anything that you would like to see discussed please email me at

thecampingdadmail@gmail.com

Thanks,

Chris