Mountain Lake Campground {Summersville, WV}

Summersville is the place that we took our kids camping for the first time.
They were clearly tiny babies back then; had to believe how quickly they have changed.

Camping brings out magic of nature; Kensley has successfully taught Nolan how to build fairy houses this summer.
Rob enjoys chopping firewood.  Even when he goes camping to relax... he must keep himself busy.

One of the perks to homeschooling is being able to camp during the week and having the whole place to ourselves.  Our site overlooked the lake... but the view was quite different than in the summer months.
Around Labor Day, the dam is opened up for gauley season, exposing several feet of rock shoreline that is normally submerged under water.  Summersville Lake was constructed between 1960 and 1966 in order to help control flooding.  It is a largest lake in West Virginia and has over 60 miles of shoreline.

This was such a neat experience!  I honestly felt like an explorer with Lewis and Clark, discovering all sorts of rocks and treasures that had been hidden under the lake.

The pictures just don't do it justice; if you live in the surrounding areas I strongly recommend you visit Summersville Lake next fall

Kensley found a pet caterpillar which she named Yeti.
Thankfully her overprotective mother insisted that she didn't touch it.
We later found out that they are poisonous and cause a severe rash to appear all over your body.

Out of no where a giant storm cloud moved in and it instantly started to rain.
We took refuge in the camper; the kids had a little iPad time and we played some card games.

I.  Heart.  Stripes.  Big.  Time.
{and all of these adorable faces that are smiling}

One of my greatest Mother Moments was having the kids carve pumpkins while we were camping.
All of the mess was left outside... and the stink too!

The kids got a kick out of trying to throw pumpkin seeds into Rob's mouth; clearly Nolan got it figured out!



We were all so pleased with how well the children's pumpkins turned out!

The campground had several special fall events scheduled during the weekend.
There were certain areas where campers decorated their trailers and passed out candy.

We arrived at the meeting location and then it happened.
A crazy guy dressed in a creepy clown costume had a {real} chainsaw and would rev it up as kids passed in front of his site.

Totally.  Freaked.  Nolan.  Out.
And me too.

It just goes to show, like every other year we have tried to participate in Halloween,
someone always has to take it too far and suck all the fun out of it for the kids.

We ditched the Trick or Treating event and opted to go kayaking.
With everyone else at the event, we had the entire lake to ourselves!

Kensley.  is.  always.  reading.
Tween magazines are a favorite!

Again, it was so fascinating to see such tall sections of the rock exposed!  
We intend to return next summer and explore it again when the water levels have rasied back up. 
Rob and Nolan like you hang out and eat/spit sunflower seeds.

If you squint your eyes and look very closely, you can see Rob and Nolan in the kayak as well as Rob's truck in the background.

As you may have noticed in all of my camping posts this year, I've ditched using my real camera.

I love the quality much better, but always lugging it around and being protective over damaging it puts me in a funk.  
Using my cell phone has brought me a new freedom and allowed me to be more involved.  At the end of the day, capturing memories is what it is all about!

We wrapped up the evening by the fire; I made chicken pot pies in the hobo pie maker.
They were okay, better than a hot dog, that's for sure.
I try to do 98% of our meal prep before we leave home.
It makes meals come together quicker and leaves less clean up.  

These photos are terrible but very important.  I was Nolan's same age when I first tried coffee.
Same deal.  We were camping and I was curious and tried some of my Dad's.
Never.  Again.  In almost 30 years I have never had the desire to try it again.
Nolan was not impressed with it either; curious if he will try it again another time!

During our time at Summersville, we did quite a bit of exploring.
We visited New River Gorge, Babcock State Park, and Hawks Nest State Park.
Grandma Nancy had given us a Bob Evans gift card, so we treated ourselves to dinner one evening.
I had to laugh; we aren't "campers" and we even just the title of "glamping" a bit far when we dine out!

Our little explorers loved the freedom of nature... and being our personal tour guides.

Nolan discovered a dinosaur bone, or at least that's what he thinks.


Pauley, the flying squirrel, is still a favorite of Nolan's.

During a hike, Kensley spotted an orange salamander hidden in the leaves; her attention to detail continues to amaze me.

In the first photo, Kensley looks like my 8 year old self, and in the second photo I am actually pulling the camper.
Sure it was just a couple feet but I DID IT!
(I later actually hauled Arggie; makes me feel pretty invincible)

Mountain Lake Campground is a wonderful facility.
Besides your typical camping activities they offer a variety of other things to keep your busy.
(Put put golf and the resturant were already closed for the season)

At the main office, they have a giant jumping pillow that is free admission with your site rental.
Kensley wasn't so sure about it at first but Rob and Nolan enjoyed themselves.

Lately, Nolan has learned how to play checkers and is improving his strategies and winning more often.

We loaded up and drove to another near-by place ground for a picnic lunch before heading home.

Summersville Lake, just like Kanawha State Forrest and Salt Fork are places we had so much fun at we are already planning return visits for next year!

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