After a year of anxiety and constantly shifting “norms,” our Campsgiving trip was probably one of the most “normal” things we did in 2020. We didn’t have to change our Thanksgiving traditions because our traditions took us where we were safest, especially if we kept our masks handy whenever we were going to be meeting people. And while there was still anxiety about meeting up with family, the small size of our group and the consistent outdoor activity made for as safe of a gathering as we could have hoped.
In the end, we discovered a new park that had never been on our radar. The lake and swimming quickly made the park a favorite for both kids, although I admit that personally I still prefer either Lake Livingston or Huntsville for both fishing and hiking. But Lake Somerville has definitely found its place on our short list for when we are looking for a weekend getaway from the city.
As with most quick overnight stops at state parks, especially when the climate isn’t cooperating (and Texas this time of year is hot), we didn’t get to see as much of the park as we would have liked, but it is a nice enough park for most camping activities and we appreciated the overnight stop.
Capulin Volcano is definitely a worthwhile stop for travelers going through northeast New Mexico. If you aren’t towing a large camper, it is a doable stop on you way through the state. If you are, it might be worth a single night stay close by, just so that you can spend more time exploring and not worry about the extra load behind you.
Like a lot of mountain hikes, there is plenty of climbing to get to Alberta Falls, but once we got there, I was so glad that I convinced my family to take this one last hike. The waterfall is gorgeous and the climb to the top of the waterfall was scary but worth the view.
I am an admitted National Parks junkie, but the beautiful nature that blankets America’s landscape has multiple caretakers. The Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak are excellent examples of how nature can be preserved when local communities decide that it is a priority. Over a 24 hour period, our family got to be the beneficiaries of that prioritization, making this vacation stop an adventure that our kids will not soon forget.