Miller Time: The Miller's Family's Latest Adventure in their Quest to Visit All State Parks

By Brian & Lori Miller
The Miller Estate at Elmore
Our family enjoyed a wonderful weekend as we marked another State Park off our list with a camping trip to Elmore State Park. The first official weekend of summer offered us a little of everything weather-wise. We had a beautiful moon, some sunshine, warm temperatures and of course, a downpour which seems to be the norm this year.

We arrived on Friday evening to a lovely campsite. Clean and well-kept, we could see why Elmore was voted the Park of the Year! All the kids wanted to do, of course, was head down to the lake. Much to their dismay, setting up camp had to come first. They did help out (as much as little kids could) with setting up – things like unrolling sleeping bags and therm-a-rests. The second all that tedium was done, however, we were off to the lake. We were going against traffic since at this hour, most people were headed to their campsites for dinner.

Elmore was the picture of serenity, quite the opposite of our kids who had been car bound for the past 45 minutes. The water was so calm it was like a sheet of glass, reflecting the moon that was just coming up over the tree covered hill. Ripples and splashes broke the smoothness as our daughter ran down the beach into the lake. Despite the fact that it was almost their regular bedtime, the kids wanted to go into the water so we played there for a while. Bedtime? Who needs bedtime on the Summer Solstice?
Back at our campsite we discovered that there was a path leading down to a brook with a huge rock for the kids to climb on and explore. It was a very beautiful and private campsite, one of the nicest we have ever camped in (and after a cross-country trip staying at State and National Parks, my husband and I have tried out a lot of campsites.)

Morning comes particularly early when you’re camping with kids. We were up and on the playground by 7:30. Fortunately, other people with kids were too so I didn’t feel as bad about the racket we were making.  Sorry solo campers – we were you once, no kids, sleeping in, enjoying the peace of our campsite.  Ah, the nostalgia.

It’s a good thing we did get things done early because then came the deluge, by now a regular occurrence. This is the summer of bringing the rainforest to Vermont with recurring afternoon showers and the threat of rainfall every single day for weeks! We weren’t quite as prepared for it as good campers should be (especially considering it’s not like we didn’t know it was coming!) and had a few tense moments trying to provide a reinforcement to our tent to keep rain from seeping into our living spaces. We were only marginally successful but despite the rain, the kids didn’t want to go home. Shame on us for making the suggestion to wuss out and leave for a little rain! Good for our kids to stick it out!

Splashing in Lake Elmore
They were rewarded for their persistence. Sunday ended up being a great day for the beach and along with splashing around and building sand castles, we played some ice hockey. Yes, I did say ice hockey. Our son, who “skates” around the house in his “slippery socks” (as he calls them) made up an ice hockey game at the beach. It involved two goals marked in the sand and a Minnie Mouse inner tube that served as a puck, getting passed (kicked) back and forth across the ice (sand). Every few minutes the game would have to stop and our son became the Zamboni, sliding around the ice and cleaning it with the Zamboni (scuffing his feet over the sand to clean it off). Woe betide any who came back onto the ice before he was finished!

Meanwhile our daughter, the fish, was jumping around in the water, practicing swimming and turning into a prune. Thank goodness the water was a comfortable temperature otherwise we would have had a case of hypothermia on our hands. That would be me or my husband as our daughter seems to have an internal temperature several degrees higher than any normal human being’s.

Beach hockey
What campers without kids can say they spent hours in the water and played ice hockey on the beach? Few, I would imagine. We may have to wake up early and stay in the water until we start to grow gills but we have more fun and imagination than anyone else at the beach!

Thanks, Elmore! You deserve your Park of the Year status. We’ll be back soon for the third period of the game!


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