Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Our last adventure on the way home, was to stop at Uncle Spike and Aunt Barb's house. They raise horses, and are up to 54 horses right now. The kids were so excited to see them all, it seemed like they wanted to see every single one. Uncle Spike is my mother-in-law's brother, but we don't get an opportunity to visit with him and his family too often. It was nice to be able to see them.
This was the main event of our trip. My husband has been backpacking into Crater Lake throughout his life. It's one of his most favorite places to go, and for the past year he has been planning this trip to take us to see it. We went with his parents, and Jake, (one of our nephews), his brother Scott, his wife, Tausha, and their 3 boys, the youngest being 18 months old. We have been preparing for this trip for a while, which is one reason we went to Fossil Springs a few months ago. But while Fossil Springs is 4 miles each way, Crater Lake is a 7 mile hike each way. I was really worried about my physical condition (you know, LAZY!) but it turned out not to be too bad physically. But the weather really kicked our butts. On the way in, it started getting cloudy and dark and we were worried about hail, which has caused hypothermia to one of Mike's brothers about 12 years ago. So when it started to rain and hail, we stopped at the last bunch of trees before the top. (Did I mention that the top is the Continental Divide where it is too high for trees to grow?) Mike and Noah hiked up a different way because of where the cars needed to be parked and we were supposed to meet him at the top before we finished hiking into the lake. When the rain and hail stopped, we decided to start hiking again, but soon after it started to rain. Kassi's hands were getting so cold and she wouldn't do anything I told her to keep them warm, so I just scooped her up and carried her, trying to keep her hands between the two of us. I had a small glimpse of what pioneer mothers felt like as they were traveling across the plains. To me, it wasn't an inconvenience, it just needed to be done. I didn't feel like complaining about it (which is a big deal for me!!) I just did it because I loved her. It was a great feeling, because I didn't feel exhausted or winded, I probably could have done it longer if I needed to, but my father in law had called Mike on the radio, and Mike came down from the top and was able to take her the rest of the way to our lunch spot. After lunch, the rain cleared up and we continued into the Lake. I was so proud of my kids. Everyone hiked without complaining even though they each had to carry a pack that was 1/3 of their body weight, course I think Noah's was a little more than that. Kassi of course, wasn't carrying anything, but she led the way to the Lake hiking all by herself, telling stories and singing songs as she went. We went into the lake on Tues, and didn't come out till Thurs. We had a whole day in there to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It really is a beautiful place. The hike out was alot more trying. I hailed on us even harder, and there was a thunderstorm where we had to set up our poncho club (we strung our ponchos up like tarps in the trees) and waited for 2 hours. It was finally looking better and when we got to the top we were so hot, we were shedding all our warm clothes and ponchos. But soon after we did that, of course the rain suddenly came down hard, we were too close to the cars to stop at that point and just threw our ponchos on and kept going. My kids were real troopers, and didn't complain the whole time, it was like one big adventure for them. On the way out, they even stopped to play in a snow bank on the side of the trail. My husband is my idea of a hero, on the way out, he went to the cars first, and drove closer to the trail, left his pack and came back to get his mother's pack for her. He even carried Kassi on a couple of occasions. What a guy!!! I'm real surprised that my body didn't have any long term ill effects, and quite proud of our family. It was a good bonding experience.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
We went to the Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. The sand dunes are soooo big and there is a disappearing river that meanders in front of them. We were lucky that the river was running when we came. It wasn't there just 2 hours earlier from what people were telling us. The kids played in the water and sand. A park ranger even came and gave the kids a geology lesson about the sand dunes formed. They had so much fun. Mike and his brother, Scott, took Noah and Devon to the top of the sand dunes. It took them a long time to get up there. They were very hot when they got back down to us.
After the sand dunes, we went to a pool that is heated by a natural hot spring. Unfortunately, it 100 degrees outside and the hot water wasn't too refreshing. But I can imagine how nice it would feel on a cold day. Course the weather changed on us really quickly and our 100 degree weather turned into a hail storm within less than an hour. But we were done swimming by then anyway.
Monday, July 23, 2007
We have been a very busy family this summer. July 13th we went to Colorado, for a long vacation. We started out our Colorado vacation by going to the Wilson Family Reunion in Mancos, CO. My father-in-laws mother and brothers and sisters plan a reunion every 2 years where they find a place to go camping together. Of course their idea of camping is that everyone brings thier big camping trailers. Well, that works for me!! Some of Mike's uncles brought quads and motorcycles. To say that Noah was in seventh heaven was an understatement. Kassi met a friend while she was there, Emma actually lives in Apache Junction, AZ so we may have to get them together again. We celebrated 2 birthdays up there. My nephew Jake, and Mike's Grandma Wilson. It was nice to visit and to watch the kids have so much fun.
The end of June, I took the kids to El Paso, TX to visit our good friends The Jesters. The kids had a really great time. We even had a birthday party for all of them because Kassi had insisted that she was going to have her birthday at Lainey's house this year. They got to go swimming, and play together. It was crazy with 8 kids in one house, but they had a great time. Ruth and I each made a circle journal. Circle journals are something your supposed to pass around in your circle of friends and each contribute to each month. Well Ruth and I each made one out of envelopes which fold accordian style. Each month we will make a postcard type scrapbook page for each other that will fit inside the envelopes. Our theme is "Then Sings My Soul", meaning we can make a card about anything that inspires us. I'm a little behind, I only have a few more days left to make the one for July and send it to her. Check out my slide show above to see some pictures from our trip. We were so busy there, that I didn't take too many pictures.