Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Summer Camping Trips

This summer we only went camping twice. Because of Aaron's canoe trip to Ross Lake we didn't have a lot of vacation days to go for as long as we would have liked. So we packed as much as we could into the time that we had and ended up making some great memories.

Wish Poosh Campground (Cle Elum, WA.)

This was mostly a stopover campground to break up the trip. We were on our way to Idaho, chasing the sun, because the forecast that week for western Washington called for heavy rain. So we chased the sun all the way to Sandpoint, Idaho.

We stayed at Wish Poosh for the day and left the next morning to continue our drive. Although we weren't there for long we enjoyed our time and had a lot of fun. We also checked out another campground nearby named Salmon La Sac. Aaron had camped there as a kid so we took a drive and walked down to the river where we hung out for a while.

Memories from Wish Poosh:

- Bow and Arrows. Jacob and I found a bent stick along a trail that looked like a bow. So we used some string and made it into a bow and found a stick for an arrow. I was impressed with how well it turned out and before long all the boys wanted one so we searched the woods and trails for "bow shaped" branches and straight arrow sticks. I could hardly believe how much fun they were having with their bows and arrows. They carried them around everywhere. They had so much fun aiming and shooting at things. They all shot really well and kept them entertained all day!

-Catching a squirrel. There were several squirrels and chipmunks in the campground and the boys wanted to try and catch one. So we set up a pot with a stick and line, baited it with Sun Chips and waited. We never actually caught one but they came pretty close. It was funny when it was Ben's turn to hold the line. We told him not to yank it until we told him but when we told him we had to whisper it so the squirrel wouldn't get scared. We kept saying, "Now, Now, Now!!!.....Pull it, Benjamin, Now, Pull it!" He just replied in a somewhat confused way, "Now? Yes? Can I pull it?" which we all emphatically replied, "Yes Benjamin PULL IT!!" But by then the bait had already been eaten and the little critter was long gone. It was so funny

-Hide & Seek. Our campsite was backed up against a little forest clearing with stumps and fallen logs and we all played a few games of hide and seek back there. The best part was when it was Aaron's turn to seek. He found Benjamin (who was only about 6 feet from my spot) he walked right past me . I was laying on the ground in some underbrush next to a fallen tree. I couldn't believe he didn't see me! It was a lot of fun. (:

-Big Kids in their own tent. This was the first time that we had all the kids in their own tent. In the past we have all crammed into a 6 man dome tent but as our family has gotten bigger it has become pretty tight. We got a glow stick for each night and put it on the ceiling of their tent. It was so cute to see them in there all lined up with their sleeping bags.......Ahhhhh, I thought this day would never come. No more being kicked in the face, stepping on each other and trying to fit a port a crib inside a dome tent.

Camping in Sandpoint, Idaho

My sister Megan and her family live in Sandpoint. They set us up with a great campsite right on the lake. You can only get to it by boat so she lent us theirs and we headed over to this little peninsula right on the water. Here's a picture of our site.

Memories from Sandpoint

-The boys fishing. Aaron packed the tackle box and each of the boys fishing poles. On one side of the peninsula the water dropped off pretty quickly and got really deep. The boys had so much fun casting their lines and trying to fish. They didn't have any luck the first day (or the whole time for that matter) but they were so diligent in their efforts. It was so cute! Jacob told us after the first day of having no luck that he was going to wake up at 6am the next morning and go fishing because that's the best time to fish. True to his word at 6am (before the sun was even up all the way) we heard the zipper on the kids tent and when we looked out we saw Jacob in his pajamas and sweatshirt out there fishing.

-Skipping Rocks. Aaron is an amazing rock skipper. I however feel pretty great if it skips 3 or 4 times. One end of the peninsula at our campsite had really soft sand but the other side had pebbles and flat rocks that were perfect for skipping. They spent a lot of time out there looking for skipping rocks and trying to out do eachother. I think the record was 11 skips.

-Feeding the ducks. Lauren was in my hair on the last day when we were trying to pack up camp. I noticed some ducks swimming by so I tore up a couple pieces of bread, sat her on a chair by the water and showed her what to do. She was too cute feeding the ducks, giggling and laughing uncontrollably when they would all swarm the piece of bread. Soon the boys joined her and enjoyed the show as well.

-Water day. The third day we spent the entire time in the water. It was so beautiful out and the water was so clean and clear. We made sand castles covered with pretty rocks and pebbles. The boys dug trenches and canals that filled with water. Megan came down that evening with Tyler and Tyssen and brought their ski boat with them. Aaron slolem skied out on the lake at sunset and after a while dropped his tow line and skied right up onto the beach by our campsite. I WAS impressed. Jacob and Joseph had fun on the ski bob and enjoyed their time with Tyssen their cousin who is a very cool little kid.

-Cousins & Sisters. I loved seeing Megan and hanging out with her. It is so great to have sisters and I feel so blessed to have a sister like her. She is such a hardworking gal! She has been through so much and has made a wonderful life for her and her family and I couldn't be more proud of her. Her life these past years have been a source of inspiration and a testimony to me of the human spirit conquering the trials and challenges of life. I love seeing our kids play together and was especially touched at how much Lauren took to her Aunt Megan. She is usually very picky about only snuggling with me or Aaron but she warmed right up to her Auntie and was having so much fun sitting on her lap playing peek a boo and giving hugs.

Second Beach Campsite, (near Forks, Washington)

This place was incredible but it did not come without a lot of effort and sacrifice......

First of all just to get down to the campsite you had to backpack 3/4 of a mile into it. Aaron and I both had our REI packs on and were each carrying an ice chest. We loaded each boy down with their own pack and sleeping bag and Aaron carried Lauren on his shoulders and I carried an extra bag/pack on my arms. It wasn't long before Benjamin gave out and I was carrying his pack too. By this time Aaron was long ahead of me, (his plan was to go get his stuff down there and then come back to help me) and I was seriously humbled by the load I was carrying. I like to think of myself as tough, and I know that I am, but this hike (carrying all that gear) kicked my butt! A guy who passed by me offered to take some gear off my hands and normally I would have said I was fine but I WASN'T so I appreciated his generosity. I told him my husband was down the trail further with the rest of our kids and he would undoubtedly be hard to miss.

We finally made it down the trail only to find that the beach was completely fogged over and there was about 25 feet of logs stacked 10 feet high that separated the trail from the beach. So after climbing over logs and lifting up little ones we found our "campsite." I was NOT impressed. It was pretty but very primitive. Really all it was, was a clearing in the woods next to the beach. No running water, no bathroom, no picnic table and no where to cook meals. So Aaron made a fire pit and put a grill over it for cooking. We had a shovel and T.P. for our bathroom, and a freshwater stream about 15 feet from our site that we used for cooking and drinking water (Aaron bought a pump-style water filter for his canoe trip this year which came in very handy).

Anyway, if the sun had not come out the next day I would have voted to pack up and find another place but as you can see the sun DID come out (the next day) and it was just too beautiful to leave.

Memories from Second Beach

First of all I just have to say that we have the best kids (I know I'm a little biased) but I just have to say how impressed I am with what troopers they are and even more so how creative their little imaginations are. I absolutely loved how they kept themselves entertained . They were always busy doing and playing things and never once (on any of our camping trips) complained about being bored. They were always so cute and happy and it made things so much fun.

Running races on the beach, snow angels in the sand, kelp whips and race car pictures, looking in tide pools and chasing the waves. I love remembering their fun little ways.

-Surfboards. I don't know where they got the idea from or what started it but the boys started collecting pieces of driftwood that were shaped like "surfboards." They would get so excited when they would find a cool one and before long our pockets were full of them. Benjamin would sit in the sand and race his surfboard (pretending that the sand was water) doing turns and jumps over mounds of sand. They would also take them down to the little stream that fed into the ocean and drop their surfboards at the top and watch them race down to see whose was the "fastest."

-Chopping wood and gathering Kindling. The boys found an old paddle board laying around and used it to chop up a log for kindling scraps. They each took their turns "chopping" the wood and felt very proud of their contribution. Benjamin was a beast when it was his turn, with eyes bulging and pieces flying. It was pretty funny.

-Surfing. Aaron propped a big piece of driftwood across a log to make a teeter totter for the kids. Jacob used it however to practice his "surfing." It was kind of like a teeter totter but he would be up there twisting his body like some hot shot riding the waves. It was too cute. Too bad these boys live in Washington and not California.

-Helping their little sister. To use the bathroom we followed a little trail back into the woods. To get onto this trail there was a steep part that you had to climb up. Lauren had no problem following her brothers and climbing up the steep part but on the way back she would stand at the top and make a little girly moan for help. One of the boys was always right there to answer her beckoning call. Not surprisingly it was usually JoJo that would come to her aid and carry her down. It was so sweet.

-Seeing a Bald Eagle up close. One evening when we were walking down the beach to look for starfish, a bald eagle landed on the sand and began eating a crab. The boys were so excited and began slowly walking closer to it. The eagle was HUGE and looked like the size of a small turkey. We got withing about 20 feet of it before it flew away. It was truly incredible to be that close to such an amazing bird.

-Nelly our dog. We didn't know that dogs weren't allowed on the beach or on the trail for that matter, but what were we supposed to do with her when we had driven 3 hours to get there? We kept her on a long leash in our campsite and she was pretty sad. Lauren would frequently go up to her and give her hugs and loves. Poor Nelly.

Random pictures of the boys playing in the water and exploring a cave at the other end of the beach.

This place was SO beautiful. We took a long walk down the beach (about a mile and a half) and found a cave and some breathtaking rock formations. It felt very reminiscant of our days in Hawaii and I confessed to Aaron that this was the most beautiful beach I had ever seen......and that includes 6 years of living and traveling to all the islands in Hawaii. What a beautiful place.


Tiffany said...

Looks like a great family trip! Camping is so fun.
It was so good to see pictures of Megan. It has been way to long since I have seen her.
Your kids are so cute!

Randi said...

I loved reading about your camping trips! Your kids are so cute and it looks like you had lots of fun! Isn't camping great? It is seriously the best way to create lasting family memories!

Mary said...

Beautiful pictures! The camping all sounds so ideal, even with mishaps!

Tiffany Jones said...

You amaze me!

Shannon said...

great pics!!