Holy Toledo!

We had a GREAT time camping, y'all! It was beautiful weather the whole time we were there and we can't wait to go back!

Thank goodness we decided to drive down on Saturday morning. The park officials told us that we missed out on a big storm Friday night that knocked the power out and had major winds! Our little tent would've been blown all over the place!

We drove down to North Toledo Bend State Park Saturday morning and after checking in, we ventured off to find our water-front campsite.

Which turned out to be more like a water-view campsite.

So, we weren't exactly able to dock the boat on the shore right next to our camp. No big deal! We didn't let that minor disappointment spoil our fun! The boat launch was only a short ride away and it's really not all that hard to put in and take out the boat. Nathan might say differently, though. After all, the only thing I do is back the truck & trailer down into the water and then park it once the boat floats off! Ha!

Anyway, we made short work of setting up camp (I promise I helped as soon as I put the camera down!)

And once the tent was up and the air mattress set up (so cozy!) we headed out to the lake for some fishin'! Neither one of us had ever been to Toledo Bend before and we were very pleasantly surprised. The lake is HUGE!! Seriously, when you're in the middle of the lake, it feels like you are in the middle of the ocean! I don't think the wind ever stops blowing and those waves can get mighty choppy! It's beautiful and scary all at the same time. Here, let me show you...

Does that not look vast to you? Notice the choppy waves in the foreground? Yeah, I still feel myself rockin' if I sit still too long! I also liked that there was a good mix of classes along the bank. I didn't get any pictures of them, but there were huge mansions right alongside a row of trailer-house camps. No discrimination on these waters! Ha!

Toledo Bend is one of the largest man-made lakes in the U.S. and has over 167,000 miles of shoreline. And, on some unknown mile marker, I caught this little guy...

He's a medium-size Blue Gill. Nathan says they're good to eat but my first catch wasn't quite big enough to keep. Oh well, he was fun to catch anyway! And, I've even gotten brave enough to take my fish off the hook by myself! Those fins are sharp and more than a little intimidating, ya know!

When I got tired of fishing, I took a camera break and caught these little cuties sunbathing on a log. There were turtles on every available surface; we even saw some swimming just under the water's surface! They must have ESP because as soon as I would spot them, I'd turn to tell Nathan about it and when I looked back...Poof!...they were gone! A few of them were pretty big, too. Almost a foot across, I'd say!

Saturday afternoon the wind kicked up pretty hard and we almost didn't think we'd make it back to the boat launch! We were sure glad we'd already made camp and took advantage of the cool evenin' to take a nap in our cozy tent.

When we woke up, we both REALLY needed to visit the Comfort Station (fancy name for restroom) and then we cooked supper, over a fire of course! We like to eat good when we go camping, no plain old burgers and hot dogs for us! Here's my Sweetie patiently waiting for the charcoal to burn down. We had grilled corn on the cob, barbecued chicken drumsticks, and fried potatoes. Yum!

The next morning, we got up at 5 a.m. (yikes!) to cook breakfast and get out on the lake before sunrise. Actually, I surprised myself because it wasn't really that hard to wake up. Maybe the full to bursting bladder had something to do with it. The only thing that I'm not crazy about while going camping is that you usually have to walk a good ways to the bathroom! My nurse's bladder has a hard time with that!

Let me tell you, it was SO worth it to wake up early and get out on the lake. Just look at this gorgeous sunrise...

And my Sweet Boy and our puppy in serious concentration mode...

Sunday was another full day of fishing. We threw out a lot of casts but only got a few bites. Here's a couple that didn't get away...

We had the best time this weekend just hangin' out with each other and following our own timetable. My Sweetie is the best fishing coach, he's so patient and always encouraging. I love learning new things from him! Fishing is a love he's had for a whole lot longer than me and I'm so thankful that he loves to take me with him. He says fishing with me is his favorite thing to do and I have to say that I cherish each time I get to go out on the water with him too. There's something so peaceful and relaxing about throwing out a line and watching the water dip and sway.

It's even more relaxing if you keep a 5-gallon bucket handy for "emergencies." Yes, I had to do #1 in the middle of the lake on a steadily rocking boat! Thankfully, I had a jacket to tie around my waist and God kept all the other boats away until I was decent again. Whew! That was a funny experience!

I hope y'all are having a great day! I leave you with a picture of our goofy puppy. He loved the cool sand at the campsite and I guess it loved him too!


  1. How fun just to get away, you and the hubby! I'm so impressed with the fish you caught and the beautiful pictures you took!

  2. You are so funny! I love to read your stories. :) :) :)
    Sounds like lots of fun!! You took some really pretty pictures too. Looking foward to seeing ya on Thursday. :)

  3. How fun Ashlie! I would love to go to Toledo Bend...you didn't see any snakes there did you?? If you say yes, I won't go! ;) So hopefully you didn't. I love the fishing pictures. You are Nathan are so cute! Hope to see you on Thursday night!

  4. Somebody please tell me how to add pictures like this to my blog...whenever I add a picture, then type, then add another picture, they all end up lined up at the top, not separated by journaling like yours? How?

  5. I think it's great that you guys are making a tradition of doing stuff together now. That way when you have kids you will still remember to have those special date times together.

  6. I'll be down there in a couple weeks doing my share of fishing. Toledo is a great place to get away and do some relaxing. I'm glad ya'll had fun.

  7. Oh it looks like you guys had a blast. We didn't end up camping. We just fished for two nights. I love the picture of your hubby and kid in the sun rise. That is so neat. I am thinking that we might try and take Ollie out there this summer.

  8. That looks like so much fun! I sure wish I could go.:)

  9. We'll definately have to make a trip down to the Aunt and Uncles camp with ya'll. You get a great view, great fishing, and a close toilet :)

  10. Ashlie,
    WOW...sounds like my kind of a weekend. We LOVE to go camping!!! We have been fishing and camping out at Toledo Bend many times. It is a very nice place to go and enjoy the weekend. Ya'll need to go to Arkansas and do a canoe trip together. We did that a couple of years ago and camped out. It was so much fun! Thanks for sharing your story. It was a great story. I almost felt like I was there...wishful thinking!!

  11. P.S. I LOVE that picture of the sunrise! Great capture!

  12. looks like a great trip!!! years from now, you will look back on these days and love that time together. :)
    Oh, and I LOVE that picture with the sunset and Nathan and the Dog fishing!! you have to blow that one up and frame it!!!

  13. Ya'll are definately going to have to make a trip to the Aunt & Uncle's camp with us-I'm still amazed by it and I've been there 100 times. Plus, I'm sure the bathroom is a lot closer than your previous experience! :)

  14. It looks like you had a great time. The sunrise you captured really was beautiful.


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