Every year (nearly), for as long as I can remember,
and even before I can remember,
my family has come camping at Tony Grove.
This is a place where my heart feels at home. I can walk around this campground and remember staying in almost every single spot. We have decades of family memories from this place.
Tony Grove is a place like no other. Secluded, quiet, a beautiful little lake, hikes and caves and pines and wildflowers and streams and the smell.
Oh the smell. It's that mountain/pine/forest smell but combined with the flowers and the plants and sage--it's completely unique to Tony Grove.
Our tradition is that as soon as we turn into the campground, we roll all the windows down in the car and just
Take a deep breath of that heavenly Tony Grove smell.
And in the late afternoons, the sun dips past the mountains and there are a few hours of beautiful twilight. It cools down and the light is soft and the lake water is like glass. We put on our jackets and start the campfires and sit with our camp chairs in wide circles while the night comes on.
The thing I love most about Tony Grove, though, is how I feel when I'm there.
At peace. In quiet. Away from the bustle and chaos of everyday life. The children are happy (and dirty!). The world is a simpler, more heaven-like place.
Surrounded by family, enveloped in memories, and oh so close to loved ones who aren't with us.