We found Shelter 6 when we couldn't get Shelter 3 for Bella's birthday. I thought it was kind of sad. I had planned a Dora the Explorer birthday. The cupcakes were the right colors and the decorations were in theme. But the scavenger hunt and activities were not needed and left undone. Because, it turned out that Shelter 6 is right beside a wide, shallow creek. We didn't know it was there. And there's an open grassy area, and a rest room, and a drinking fountain. And even a cool hollow with large tree roots and hanging vines - a natural fort. In short, everything children need to be perfectly happy.
Later, we discovered that the trail just across from the shelter was an easy walk to another lovely part of the creek with stairs for access, and just up from that, an old waterworks that looks like a castle, with a waterfall dam, and above that a pristine mountain lake. Our new favorite walk.
We met friends there. We take hot dogs in the crockpot. We make fires in the shelter fireplace and make smores. We bring hot tea and cocoa.
Last night, we decided to try a rainy day at the shelter. I even thought maybe we'd try Shelter 3 again to shake it up a little. But Shelter 6 is our shelter now. The children insisted on it. The floors of the shelters were all wet. I hadn't expected that. And we hadn't managed to set aside wood in a dry place, so there was no fire, but it was a mild day. So we brought bags of freshly popped microwave popcorn and a thermos of hot green tea. We talked and the children played Pokemon cards at the table and even tested out the creek (yes, it was my idea, but they only got their feet wet ;) . And we breathed in fresh woodsy air. Then we finished off with a couple of rounds of Crazy Eights. It was a lovely way to spend an hour and a half just before dark on a wet day.
We can't wait to do it again.