Camping At the Beach~

We love to spend time family camping so early this week we spent a night on site 27 at Winter Island,  the coveted first spot right next to the beach! It was wonderful to fall asleep on Sunday night listening to the waves roll in a few feet away. I think that this family was meant to live on the water. We love it so much! Here are a few of my favorite Winter Island photos. Needless to say, we had a good time!

IMG_2191 the view from our campsite…

IMG_2222the Winter Island lighthouse

IMG_2234What is this cool pole called? Maybe a peace pole?

IMG_2236The now hidden lagoon, it used to be part of a moat around the fort.

IMG_2243Looking north toward Beverly…

IMG_2250How the lifeguard chair is used after hours…

IMG_2251This kid is too much.

IMG_2256Seriously, he just cracks me up!

IMG_2262The sunset reflection, looking north.

IMG_2264and south, with the moon rising.

DSC02808The boys heading to the beach.
DSC02819One of our friend Casey’s creations. Still used and loved all the time, if you happen to see this Casey 😉 .

DSC02902Boats in the moonlight… one of my favorite things to do at Winter Island is to watch the boats come into the harbor at night. It’s so peaceful and quiet.

DSC02912Early morning fog at low tide…

DSC02918Playing on the beach in PJ’s is the best!

Camping is also the best (next to gardening 😉  )

Enjoy everything!

Michele

Awesome Camping, Right Here in Salem!

I love camping! This week I decided to pack the kids up and head down to Winter Island for a few days.  Winter Island is a city park that is an island (connected by a causeway) right on the ocean.  It has a few amenities like a very rustic bathhouse and a camp store but it’s really all about the beach, the water and a little bit of history.

We’ve been going to the beach there for twenty five years but had never family camped. I was amazed that I could be so “on vacation” this close to home.

Our campsite was wooded and spacious.

And  the  views are spectacular!

This is looking in toward Derby Wharf and the city.

The island was historically a fort and more recently a coast guard base.

Here’s a post about it’s history that was written by  Salem blogger Beth Melillo a few weeks ago:

http://connectshore.com/2012/07/03/winter-island-a-personal-and-public-history/

There’s always something interesting to ponder.

Was this building used to store munitions or was it used for holding prisoners?

We really need to research that and figure it out.

Here’s the old sea plane hanger…

and a view from the back with one of the Salem Community Gardens sites in the foreground.

There’s the old barracks. I’d love to see this building restored and used again.

My kids have grown up playing at the playground.We used to go down for an hour before lunch and nap time when they were little.

There are flowers blooming all over the island.

One of the former caretakers loved to plant things and his handiwork is everywhere!

Casey’s gardens make me feel right at home.

The kids spent lots and lots of time exploring the tide pools…

Here’s a close up of some star fish that they found.

My little guy spends hours out there.

We did have to watch out for the critters that came out at night.

There were ground hogs and wharf rats. One night a skunk wandered right through our site as I was tucking the kids in.

We knew it was time to head home very early yesterday morning when Michael caught a raccoon pulling a bag of marshmallows through this hole that he (the raccoon) had chewed in our tent!

A little duct tape to repair the hole is nothing compared to wonderful family time and views like this!

Whether you spend a few hours or a few days, Winter Island is a perfect place to relax and get away!