fort worth family photographer - Mineral wells with my kids
Jun 23, 2016 | By: Braly Studios
Finally I mustered up the nerve to do something I have been wanting to do for years. Take all four of my children camping by myself! Being a photographer my hours are non conventional, and unlike my husband its not out of the norm for me to have multiple days off during the week. So I did it, I put my anxieties aside and I did it and you know what... it was amazing.
We own an air conditioned camper that I'm not quite brave enough to drive. So this trip I booked a shelter at Lake Mineral Wells state park for just one night because Texas summers are dangerously hot. We as a family have camped since my children where in diapers, and because Lake Mineral Wells state park is a short one hour drive from Fort Worth we frequently camp at this park.
These shelters are screened in with electricity and water, and are perfect for the family who wants to camp but do not own either a tent or a camper. To make the stay more comfortable we bring air mattresses, fans, or if your visiting in the winter, heaters. Our goal for this trip was to spend the day swimming so we opted for shelter number four. We loved how we felt secluded from the rest of the world at this site. The best feature of the site however was a hidden little swim hole a very short walk from the shelter. We spent the entire day swimming in our own personal lagoon. My 16 year old daughter, who was less than thrilled to go camping even asked if we could possibly move in and stay forever so I think they had fun! The heat was a concern of mine but with us swimming and the fans cooling the shelter we never felt over heated. Of course drinking tons of water, applying and reapplying sunscreen is crucial.
After the sunset a bit and the temps cooled into the lower 90's we hiked our favorite spot at Lake Mineral Wells state park, the Penitentiary Hollow. The Penitentiary Hollow is a must see. You hike down natural rock stairs into what feels like a fairy-tale world. The Penitentiary Hollow is made of huge sandstone conglomerate bluffs very popular with rock climbers. Not only is this location breathtaking, my children also love climbing on the big rocks, and exploring the caves. Every time we go we spend hours exploring the Penitentiary Hollow and still are not bored of it. The stairway down into this location can be a little scary for the kids and there is a lot to be cautious about in this location so good tennis shoes are important!
The camping experience doesn't end with nightfall. Some of my favorite memories are of us star gazing, chasing fireflies, sitting by the fire, sharing stories, and of course smores! My youngest, Micaela who is 9, really impressed me. She built the fire by herslef, we never taught her how, she figured it out by watching us all these years! My children really bond while we are camping. They come together, help each other out, laugh, and truly enjoy each others company. This is by far my favorite aspect of our camping trips. After they went to bed I was sitting by the fire waiting for the flames to die down and just listening to them in the shelter. They where giggling at each other's jokes, reminiscing about the adventures we had that day and even though I was exhausted my heart was full and I knew this was a day my kids would remember for the rest of their lives.