Tuesday, May 31, 2016

First Camping Trip of the Year

From my super clever title, you've probably inferred that this was our very first camping trip this year! Good work.

We'd been wanting to camp for a while, but one thing or another after busy season kept us home. Then, there was this really, really hot week. We didn't have any plans or obligations Friday or Saturday. Thus, we knew it was time to CAMP. The kidlets and I got everything loaded and ready, and as soon as both Ryan and Reed were home we set off!

When we pulled up to Lovell Canyon, there were a few signs directing wards to turn off. These signs made us nervous, because we realized that some wards would be having their fathers and sons camp outs and that there was a good chance we might not find a spot! Luckily, though, out of all the wards--and there were many--camped out throughout Lovell Canyon, none were in our favorite campsite! Yay. Just a side note on Lovell Canyon: we love it, because there are big shady trees and the campsites are spread out. It does not have any form of toilet. Lila went potty three times while camping and managed to pee on herself every time. We are working on this.

Our first order of business was setting up the tent. The kids did all the pounding of all the pegs and did a marvelous job. As soon as we had the tent up and the car unloaded, the boys set off on an off-road bike ride while Lila and I took a walk. Lila and I ended up collecting a bagful of BBs and bullet shells. Casings? Shells? I don't really know. After the boys' ride (that Asher did not enjoy) Ryan taught the boys how to use a hatchet, because apparently I hadn't brought enough firewood. Luckily, there was a fallen tree not too far from our campsite. And we had the hatchet.

The boys wanted to see what Lila and I had seen on our walk, so we set out on another walk, again finding many, many treasures. At one point, we found an old garbage barrel and water softener someone had used for target practice. Ryan started picking up huge boulders and chucking them at the "targets." Each time he found his target we were awarded with a terrific clanging sound, which the kids loved. When we were rocked out, we went for a walk through the dry river bed. I think this river bed is only full in the event of a flash flood. Anyway, there had been rain the week before we camped, so the river bed was full of green, which was fun.  We explored the dry river bed for quite a while before we were all pretty hungry and ready to go eat dinner!

After dinner (sandwiches, because we're fancy like that), Ryan taught the boys how to cut a fallen tree into a bit of firewood since someone didn't load enough firewood into the car (me). Then they had a tutorial on building a lean-to fire. No one is scared of fire except for me, so they were all making me nervous, but I mostly tried to not watch. Instead, I wandered a few feet away from the campsite to get a better view of the gorgeous sunset.

Usually, we make s'mores when we camp. But, since we've been trying to be healthier and make better decisions as far as sugar goes, we decided to try some other campfire related healthier treats. The first involved making a tinfoil pouch, filling it with popcorn kernels and a bit of oil, then holding the contraption over the fire while constantly shaking it. The popcorn didn't pop for quite a while, and when it finally did, we opened the foil to discover the popcorn had burned! (Boo!) We tried again and again had unsuccessful results. Happily, our other dessert worked quite well. We cored apples, sprinkled cinnamon all over them, wrapped them in foil, then let the apple-foil packets rest in the hot part of our fire. Fifteen minutes later we were feasting on delicious baked apples and wishing we'd brought more!

Eventually, we put the kids to bed. They went to bed rather quickly (hooray), and Ryan and I stayed up and talked around the fire. It's so nice to have a conversation without being interrupted every few minutes. Our kids are big-time interrupters. Finally, we went to bed, too. Sleeping is the worst part of camping. I was warm except for my nose, which was sticking out of my bag and hooded sweater and was absolutely freezing. I'm such a whiner, but I seriously couldn't fall asleep because I was so cold! Then Lila woke up and was super disoriented and wouldn't calm down. I decided just to take her into my sleeping bag. She fell right back to sleep and kept my nose warm. Win-win. The next thing I knew it was morning! We breakfasted, packed up, and hiked in Redrock.

Yay camping. Yay us.

I always include embarrassing pictures of Ryan, so thought it would be kind to include an embarrassing picture of myself. You're welcome, Ryan.

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