Saturday, April 14, 2012


Interesting few days surrounding Michael's birthday.  For his birthday he wanted to go camping.  We had bought sleeping bags, a tent, air mattress etc. over Christmas, but hadn't used them yet.  So on the recommendation of a local ER doc we went and checked out a park called the Devil's Den just South of Fayetteville.  It looked wonderful and we booked a tent site next to a pretty little creek.

The big day arrived and we loaded up the truck and took off.  The campground was mostly empty as it was a Tuesday during the school week.  We unloaded and got to work.  I'm glad Sarah and I work well together as the tent and camp site went up without a problem.  We got almost everything ready and then decided to head out on a hike.  When we returned we would set up the fire, cook some dinner and then get the air mattress set up. 

We did the Devil's Den trail.  1.5 miles with some small hills.  Takes us past twin falls and we all know that Sarah and I are suckers for a good water fall.  Things took a turn for the difficult pretty quickly.  Max didn't want to go on a hike.  Michael didn't want to go on a hike either, but realized it was inevitable and at least went quietly.  The fussing and tears started.  We pressed on anyway.  There are some neat geological features here where layers of rock have collapsed upon each other and left behind unusual shapes and crevices.  Many of which had fun names like, 'Imp's Leap', 'Devil's Theater' and the like.  Probably named by the imaginative young C.C.C. men who developed the campground years ago.  Eventually we reached the twin water trickles that they called 'Twin Falls'.  Apparently they are dry most of the year and the only reason we got to see any water was because it rained the day before.  Oh well.  We reached a cutoff where it was only a hundred yards or so to the camp site and Sarah took the boys back while I hiked over to the truck and drove it back. 

Then it was dinner time.  We went back and I started the fire, with Michael's help, while Sarah prepped the food for cooking.  That night was roasted hot dogs with beans followed by roasted marshmallows and S'mores.  This was a family first as none of us had ever had S'mores before.  Turns out we like regular roasted marshmallows better than S'mores anyway.  By this time it was getting pretty dark.  So we started getting ready for bed.  There was a high chance of rain with lows in the 40's.  We had the rain fly on the tent.  Then we went to blow up the air mattress and learned our night wouldn't be as comfy as we thought.  Turns out you need a regular outlet to blow up the mattress.  The built in air pump doesn't take batteries. Turns out we would be sleeping on the ground that night.  Sleeping is a huge exaggeration.  Between the thunder, rain and hard ground we managed around two hours of broken sleep. 

We were up with the sun the next morning.  Except there wasn't any sun.  It was still rainy and overcast.  Everything was soaked which made a morning fire more difficult.  So, on two hours sleep, the decision was made to call it a day and go home.  We slowly packed everything up and got on the road.  Back home we let the kids, who slept better, watch a movie while we took a nap.  All in all we called it a successful camping trip with some lessons learned. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Some days I just don't want to write anything.  Or do anything other than just do nothing.  A long stretch of 3-5 days of working 12 hour ER shifts will do that to you.  Doesn't matter, I still need to write something just so that I remember how to structure an idea into a sentence. 

So, something occurred to me today.  I try to keep this blog about RV stuff and travel nursing stuff and maybe even a small note occasionally about the kids or family.  I had it stuck in my head that the audience for the blog would be most interested in that type of thing.  Funny huh.  The audience.  There are maybe one or two people out there who are reading this with any regularity and I am probably related to them/you in some way shape or form.  Sure, some potential employer may read some of this someday, but it doesn't matter as I find it hard to believe I would ever say anything here I wouldn't say at work.  So, in that vein, I'm going to open it up a little here and start writing and talking more.  Hopefully if I take some of the restraints off, I will be willing to write more.  We will see.

So, this post is one that is my first public declaration that I want to run a Tough Mudder.  This is a run/race/obstacle course that takes place over a 10-12 mile course and it is designed to test your mental and physical toughness.  You can learn more at their website  Pretty cool stuff.  I watched the Moustache Man's training video on the site and have been somewhat inspired.  I am regularly exercising and running.  There are a bunch of steep hills around here that suck now, but will hopefully help me when the time comes. 

As for the normal stuff, my Mom came down for the weekend and brought my nephew Nicholas.  We had a good time and introduced them to Thai food at a really good local place.  I was only off one day while they were here, but I hear today's Easter festivities were nice.  The kids hunted eggs and Sarah tells me there are good pictures.  I will investigate further later. 

We are also looking for a terrarium or pet of some stripe for Michael for his birthday.  He is pretty sold on the idea.  Hard to keep pets in an RV.  Sigh.  Kids.