Beau has been in process of putting together and organizing the stake Boy Scout camp that is going to be held in August. Because of this he has been trying to find a place that will be large enough to hold all the boys, have room for the activities, be at a place with water and timber so they can build and float their rafts and that is not going to be crowded by every other camper out there. His friend suggested a place were he went when he was a boy scout and it sounded pretty good. The only thing is that was 3 1/2 hours a way. They needed to actually go there, check it out and determine whether or not it would work so they could continue to make plans and do all their arrangements.
So it basically had to happen this last weekend. He wanted to know if I was up for a camping trip (which at the time I really wasn't.) So he made arrangements to go with his friend and they would take all the kids leaving me home with two days to get everything done that I possibly could with no children. I was so looking forward to it. The day before the camp out, I thought, "What if Sam can't go?" Do I send him still with all the kids. He really needs to get this done. But kept thinking no, if Sam can't go I need to go. It's not smart to send him to some place high in the Uintah's with 3 kids under 5 and no other adults. What if something happened to him... all my kids would be stranded up there with no one. What if one of them fell and cut something open, how is he going to keep them calm, keep them from bleeding and drive down from the mountain. It's just not a wise thing to send him alone. I had the feeling I would be going. I was right. So Friday we set off on our adventure. I won't even mention that it had a 20 percent chance of rain and that it's been raining for the last 2 weeks here.
So we followed google maps, and headed off, packed up with the kids all excited. We made it through all the major towns and started branching off to the unknown roads. Google was directing us to get there, since we had no other directions. Well at one point we were supposed to turn off on to "turkey tracks".... That would pretty much describe it. Huge ruts, (just created from all the rain) one really rough road and we knew we still had about 38 miles more to go... I kept wondering how we were ever going to make it out if it rained in the night. This would be one big mud pit all the way down the mountain. Well to our luck eventually the turkey tracks ran into a ...
paved road. What? A paved road?! Why haven't we been following this the whole way up... were did it start from? That gave Beau hope after all. Maybe they could bus all the boys up, that wouldn't be happening if it was going to be the turkey tracks all the way up. The scenery was sage brush and cedar trees which I will admit that I am not a huge fan of. I am from Wyoming... (we definitely have our sage brush.) But I grew up in the beautiful part. I am an aspen and pine fan... When I think camping I think aspens, pines, the woods, not flat sage brush land.
I kept joking to Beau that the snow covered mountain in the distant is where we were headed. Kidding him that google's satellite shots showed him pictures from past years... this year it was still covered in snow. I wasn't too far off. :) The higher we climbed the more beautiful it got. I started getting my aspens, the sun was setting and it was a gorgeous site. A beautiful view below. It not until moments like this that you realize how much you miss nature after being in the city for so long.
We ran into some wildlife laying admist all the aspens with the setting sun making the aspen glow. There were about 20 or so, and we just sat and enjoyed them, snapped some pictures and let the kids share their excitement. I also joked to Beau as we were climbing that at least I wouldn't have to worry about Bears in the cedar and sage brush area if that was where we were going to be camping. He said yeah they won't be around here they only live in deep timber. Well by the time we got to the camping spot we were IN deep timber. I admit. I'm a chicken that way, and nervous. (Only because last summer there were 2 weird incidences with bears here in Utah, one kid being dragged out of his tent and killed. Can you blame me?)
It was also fun to notice the thermometer in our car dropping the higher we climbed. We left Provo with it in the high 70's. The higher we went up the mountain it went to 68, 52, 48, 43.... I'm thinking we were going to be having a freezeree instead of a camp out.
But we made it. We found our camping area... it was soaked in water. Spring run off and the ground was saturated with so much water from the rains. We were lucky to find a spot that wasn't too wet to pitch our tent for the night. Caitlyn was loving it. All the things to touch, see, and play with.
The only down problem with going while it had been raining and was still wet, was there was no dry firewood anywhere. The only time we had a roaring fire was when Beau drenched it with lighter fluid.. other than that it was a small flicker. The kids that it was great to see it flare up with he squirted more on.
We made it through the night after wondering if anyone would sleep because it was so cold and we had forgotten extra socks and blankets. Amazingly they kept each other warm and with enough maneuvering we were able to wrap them up pretty good. I slept light all night... kept wondering if the kid were freezing, kept having dreams about kids having food in the tent and thinking... hey get that out of here... that will attract bears! What has happened to me. I became a mom and a worry wart at the same time.
See that serious face.... She a couple of weeks away from being one, but this girl is walking and acting like she is already 18 months or older. She's learned to throw tantrums from her siblings... and she's an observer and a thinker. She honestly is contemplating something here. I love that look she gets.
This is one of the beautiful meadows next to the camping spot, it did turn out to be a gorgeous beautiful place.
You can't go camping without leaving with some sort of collection. I loved seeing my kids just go and play. They ate it all up, they were enthralled with everything, they were in heaven. The only time they were not too happy to be around was when they got too cold, but I have to give them credit. They did awesome on this camping trip.
What can I say.. sometimes I just have to snap pictures of the guy for myself. That smile and those crow feet will get me every time. Add a black coat, and a little mountain ruggedness and I fall in love all over again.
The only other wild life we saw... the kids thought they were so great. They'd follow them around they'd squeal when they spotted one. Boy we really need to get out more.
A hike through the deep timber to the other side of the lake to check out the huge meadow they were thinking of setting up the boy's camp. Some time to play in the mud, throw rocks into the lake, pick our ways through swamps, streams, and the spring melt.
We came home exhausted, yet refreshed from enjoying the quiet outdoors. I'm really glad I went. It was good to spend time as a family. It was good to smell the pines, hear the birds, feel the breeze. It was good to get a little cold and feel alive. It was good to exercise on a hike. It was good to realize what a beautiful world God created for us.
We left thinking we need to do this a lot more often.. Every other week... get up in the mountains for either camping, hiking or dutch ovening. We have a few friends that we owe a camping trip to... You up for it Cantrells and Denny's?