We managed to go camping this weekend, barely. And we had everything we needed, barely. We can only improve from here, and since there are plenty of campgrounds nearby, we should have lots of practice.
Before we left, I'd read everywhere that we wouldn't be able to find a camping spot in Shenandoah National Park if we got there after work, but we did and were happy with it. It rained quite a bit, but we were happy for the giant tarp and bungee cords that I did remember to pack.
It was fun to go to a national park again. I missed them in Kyrgyzstan, and they always make me feel like a little kid again, especially when we go to the visitor centers. The park is close enough that we can go there often.
We want to try Mathews Arm campground, and some other friends recommended Loft Mountain. But we're hoping to do a little of the Blue Ridge Parkway next time. It was also fun to use the dutch oven again. When we're a little better organized, I'm planning to try naan in the dutch oven over the fire. I have high hopes for that system.
We also hiked to Dark Hollow Falls. We picked it because it was the shortest hike in the area. The climb back up wasn't fun for the four-year-old (440 feet in less than a mile), but he made it. And the falls was cool.