Friday, August 26, 2011

Camping, August 2011

I had taken a week off for a long camping trip, but everything was all turned around due to Granny and Grandpa both having surgeries within a week of each other. So, the camping trip turned into “I’m taking a week off, anyway. Let’s just do some fun stuff.” And we did. We decided to go camping, but it was pretty spur of the moment and much shorter than a week. Getting everything together without much planning is not something that we do well, and we found ourselves getting really impatient with each other and with the kids. We really need to PLAN.

Anyway, we asked if we could use dad’s camper because Peanut had a cold, and we didn’t want it to get worse. That thing is quite the rattle-trap, but it did keep us warmer than if we had been in the tent! It was the boys’ favorite part of the whole trip. In, out, in, out, in, out, climb up to the bed, climb down, up, down, up, down, open the door, close, open, close…..

We went to our favorite spot in Fairview canyon, and since we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, most people were packing up and leaving. It was nice and quiet. We stayed until Tuesday. We got there so late on Sunday that we didn’t really have time to do much but start a fire and make some dinner, but on Monday morning, we were up very early to go fishing. On the way to the ponds, Bub had “Mimi, the finger” out talking to the boys. Mimi asked about fishing, and Meatball explained it like this: “You just rod it out, hook the fish, and swishy it back in.”

We were the only people at Potter’s upper pond for almost the entire morning. I didn’t think that it could happen, but fishing with 4-year olds is harder than fishing with 3-year olds! Cast out, reel in, out, in, out, in. We could have been casting into an aquarium filled with starving trout and wouldn’t have caught anything! Those poor fish didn’t have time to even see the bait, let alone eat it! But, whatever. The boys had fun. In his own words, Peanut was determined to “rail [reel] it out there, and then rail it back in when I catch the fish.”

After we tired of this, the boys and I hiked around the pond so that Bub could actually fish. It was at this time that she caught three. Coincidence? I think not. We walked and talked and talked and talked. Meatball’s poor stuffed dog, Baby, was a dirt covered mess at this point. The live dogs had a great time, especially Sadie. We came to the pond overflow drainage (we called it a ramp) and ran up and down it about 50 times. I think that was their favorite part of the “hike.”

After we finished our trip around the pond, we all moved to the lower pond. This turned out to be a very bad mistake because it smelled like pig poop. Literally. Sadie waded/swam through the worst part of it, and later REALLY stunk up the car. It was awful. Jake said later that there is something wrong with the lower pond because, well, it reeks and fish are dying. But, only in the lower pond. Doesn’t make any sense. When we got back to our campsite, I actually had to take Sadie to the stream and give her a bath; it was that smelly - like pig poop!

No matter what we were doing, the boys wanted to go back to the campsite. I think it’s because that’s where the “mountain house” (dad’s camper) was. There was also some really great dirt to play in.

When we did get back to the campsite, Bub went to the stream to clean the fish. She saw some other fish in a deep part of the stream. We decided to go down there later so that the boys could throw some rocks in the water. Bub decided to toss her line in a few times. It was here that she caught the biggest fish of the entire trip. Easily a 15” brook trout. Nice. Grandpa will be enjoying it very soon. Peanut was all about throwing the rocks, but Meatball was more interested in the current; he kept throwing grass and flowers in so that he could watch where they would go. They are so different….

When we returned to the campsite again, we picked lots of wildflowers and set them in a coffee cup on a stump by the fire. They really added to the ambiance (ha-ha). Later, Peanut was playing in the dirt, and Meatball was trying to see if he could re-plant some of the flowers and get them to grow. He would make a mound of dirt, stick a flower in, and water it. Cute.

Uncle J, Aunt J, and cousin Bill came up to roast hot dogs, and the boys loved playing with their cousin. She tolerated them, but she’s 11 and ready for grown-up conversations (or so she thinks – I think that she needs a new dolly and some sparkles for her hair – she’s growing up too fast!)

Not only did Peanut feel pretty crummy and grumpy during this trip due to his cold, but Liz was also not top form. I forget that she is getting old (11?). It really bums me out. So, we tried to let her take it easy. I think that she was rather pissed about it since “taking it easy” means that she had to stay in the camper for a few minutes at a time. (Really, she didn’t miss anything except some trips to the outhouse, but she thought that we were off on an adventure without her…)

Something that was pretty cool, though, was the fact that Sadie started gathering firewood with us. Spontaneously. All on her own. Really! We were picking up kindling, and she just started picking up little sticks and following us back to the campsite. She’s NOT an idiot! Hurray!

The next day, we got up and went fishing with Uncle J. The first thing Bub did that morning was ask Peanut if he felt OK. He said yes, of course. “No, really. Are you feeling sick?” she asked. Peanut’s response? “Mom. Does it seem like I’m barfing? No! I don’t think so.”

So, that was that. We went fishing on Uncle J’s boat. THAT was fun! Three grown-ups, one pre-teen, two pre-schoolers, and two dogs – and EVERYONE was well behaved! Of course, the boys were sick of fishing after about 10 minutes, and Peanut bossed everyone around by telling them that HE was the captain, but whaddya’ gonna’ do? Bub caught a decent fish and released it. Uncle J caught a sucker, and we all made fun of him (snicker…). Then, someone of a very young age had to potty, so we had to go back to shore. It was about this time that the boat started behaving poorly. We decided to call it a day. We said goodbye to the REAL captain and his first mate, and headed on our way home. The boys were crashed within 30 minutes.

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