Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy Campers

I never used to consider myself a camper. My family didn't really camp, so the extent of my camping was once yearly trips to girls' camp with my church group. I never really had a desire to camp, though, and didn't think I was missing out on much. Ryan and I actually bought a tent on super clearance at Target a few months after we got married (which was almost EIGHT years ago!), but we didn't make our first camping trip until Ryan's parents gave us a bunch of their old camping gear when Reed was two years old. And guess what? We loved it and we've gone semi-frequently since.

BUT. Miss Jae hadn't been camping yet. Ryan had taken the boys on a few overnighters, but I wasn't quite brave enough to face the prospect of a baby who generally requires a very specific sleeping environment yanked out of that environment to sleep in a tent, surrounded by other people. Last weekend, I got brave.

We decided to camp at Lovell Canyon, which turned out to be an excellent choice. It was almost a full 20 degrees cooler when we pulled up at our campsite around 5 p.m. The respite from the heat was glorious! And, unlike the campsites at Redrock, Lovell Canyon had a lot of trees and shade. The only downside was the lack of latrines or toilets of any kind, but I think I was the only person who minded that. In fact, as Ryan and I were unloading the car Asher came up to us and told us rather urgently that he had to go potty. Ryan told him to find a tree. Asher cracked up, did a happy dance, and got down to business.

When we rolled in, we were immediately swarmed by bugs, which was not pleasant. Luckily, they were of the non-biting variety--but still, by the time we'd finished setting up the boys and I had about had it. We decided to try a hike, where the bugs let up somewhat, then got back to our campsite and started a fire. Almost instantly, the bugs were gone. HALLELUJAH.

We roasted hot dogs and chips for dinner. Apparently everyone was really hungry, because we finished all the hot dogs we brought and probably could have used a few more! I expected to use 3/4 of what we had, tops. Lila was especially surprising--she ate two full hot dogs by herself!

We have a little Lila-sized BYU chair we bought when Reed was little. Lila loved it, so much. Every time she sat in it she smiled and kicked her legs, over and over. It was crazy cute. She was SO dirty from tripping over rocks so many times, but she was so happy! The boys entertained themselves for over an hour by lighting the end of a stick on fire, tapping it out, then drawing patterns with the smoking sticks. When it got dark, the sticks glowed and were super cool.

Finally, it was the moment of truth: bed time. We put Lila down first. She jabbered to herself forever, then finally fell asleep. By this point, the boys (whom we'd entertained by playing a random trivia game, then telling stories and scriptures stories to) were asking to go to bed. I was a little leery because Lila hadn't been down long, but we tried it out. Everyone went to sleep and it was amazing.

Ryan and I stayed up for a while talking and relaxing, waiting for the boys to go to sleep, then decided to go to bed ourselves. We were pretty cold by this point, so I put an extra blanket on the boys, then cozied in to my sleeping bag while I worried about Lila being cold. Luckily for me--or unluckily, as the case may be, she soon woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep. I didn't want her crying to wake the boys up, too, so I took her into the sleeping bag with me. I was at least sure she was a little warmer (it was really, really cold)--but I ended up holding her all night long. I didn't sleep much, but she at least did pretty well.

When we woke up (very early), we all cuddled for a while, then ate breakfast and packed up. We were home by 9 a.m. (Reed had a birthday party to attend later that morning) and spent a good part of our morning doing some work in the garage while the cuties rode around on bikes. We had such a fun time!

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