Sunday, June 1, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Camping With Daddy!

Mommy didn't want to go camping, so Daddy is writing this post.
After having lunch with the twins at school, I checked them out early. Jackson's class all stood along the curb and waved goodbye to him.  He absolutely loved it!  Right after this he tells me he is the most popular kid in his class. 
We got all packed up and ready to go. 
With a DVD player in the car, a two and a half hour trip goes by fast, for the kids. 
 We went camping at Sherando Lake, a few miles south of Waynesboro, Virginia.  Several families from our ward were also there for the weekend, so the boys had a number of friends there in the same campground.  The weather was as good as you could ask for: 70s during the day and 50s at night. After we got our tent set up, we went to a snake demonstration.  I forgot to bring my camera, but they loved the snakes. Jackson asked if he had a python (he didn't) and something about whether a snake goes through metamorphosis, maybe it was something he'd heard about recently.  They all got to touch a corn snake and it was very interesting for them. 
There were a lot of bugs the first night, these big cicadas/beetle things must have been hatching.  When we were getting into the tent, one flew down Josh's shirt.  He broke out into a crazy, screaming/crying interpretive dance.  They were a little nervous going to the bathroom with all the bugs too.  Oddly, there were almost no bugs the next two nights.  Only when we got home did Josh and I find a bunch of mosquito bites on our arms and legs.
The next morning, we set off to explore on a hike around the lake. 

 The funny thing at this point in the hike was Josh had to go #2 but there was only an outhouse on this side of the lake, with one mosquito in the room.  He was quite the chicken about using that outhouse, but we finally talked him through it, after I smashed the mosquito for him. 

 Tyce was a real trooper.  He fell down and bumped his knee on rocks and logs several times on this first hike.  He did pretty good getting over it.  He had to learn that he couldn't walk over rocks and roots while looking back over his shoulder to talk to us. After this first hike, he didn't fall any more; he adjusted well to the terrain.

 Tyce got impatient with the twins always jumping off the trail to climb something or to go through something in the lake.  Here he is trying to get us to follow him and pick up the pace.

 After our hike around the lake, we went up to the overlook.  It was just under a mile, but quite steep and very rocky.  I was impressed with how well they were all able to handle it, especially Tyce being the youngest. It was nice to be able to do a hike without having to carry a child.

 After our hike, we went to the lake.  The lake has a nice sandy area where the kids could play.  They had fun with their friends from the ward, building towers, burying each other, and catching tadpoles.  The water was quite cold, so there wasn't a lot of swimming going on. 

 This was the perfect climbing tree right next to our campsite. 
 I brought all the bikes for the boys.  The twins had fun riding around a lot. Tyce hasn't really caught on to how to handle a bike yet.  We went to the other end of the campground one night and he ended up pushing his bike all the way back; it tried everyone's patience.  He doesn't trust his brakes yet, so he doesn't dare go more than one mile per hour.  At least he was happy before we started out.
 There are two lakes there.  This one is a little quieter; both are beautiful.  Camera phone pictures can't do it justice.

 They all wanted to go hiking again, so we set out.  I caught Josh doing the pick-and-flick Josh during a break. 

I got a little nervous with them playing along the edge of a 20 foot cliff; apparently none of them are afraid of heights. This is Tyce testing me.  After I told him to get away from the edge, he puts his foot over the edge.

 We had lunch in our secret spot, still on the edge of the cliff.


 There was some pouting on the trip. The card game wasn't going his way.  But I did bust his brothers hiding cards in their pockets during a game, so maybe he had a legitimate reason to be upset.
 The last night everyone got together for a potluck and the kids did some skits and songs. Tyce didn't know the words so instead he is showing off one thing he is good at.

 Bro. Bewley and Bro. Harris introduced me to the world of mountain biking.  This picture is not representative of the tough trail we took; it was the only stretch where we were off the trail and I could ride and pull out my camera.  I didn't do well at all on the way up, but I started to get the hang of it on the way down. It's a lot more fun than I thought it is.  I guess I've never done it on a good mountain bike and I can see how that makes all the difference.  One more hobby I wish I had the time and money for.
 It was a fun trip.  We missed Jenn a lot, but hope she had a good break from us.  I'm glad I was able to go with my boys. It is good for them to go without certain comforts and have to deal with bugs, though we had it pretty nice sleeping on inflatable mattresses and having bathrooms nearby. I suppose there will be other opportunities where I can take them on tougher camping trips to thicken their skin a little; they need it.  They probably enjoyed not having to take a shower every day.  They loved singing Wicked songs in the car when they weren't watching a movie.

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