Maybe we're crazy.
But, I can at least take comfort in the fact that I'm the least crazy adult in this picture.
This wasn't my idea, nor did I immediately agree to go. I was smart enough to hold out until I was promised a bag of licorice (whoo-hoo!) and Woo promised to make life as easy as possible for me.
And if you gloss over/selectively forget/don't count one kid throwing up in a tent just as kids were settling down for the night, and another kid's nose gushing blood while settling down in a tent the next night, and one tiny kid losing a shoe (never to be found again), and one kid peeing in a down sleeping bag, and each adult carrying a full load plus a baby on the hike in and out, and one kid tripping over backwards into the fire pit (which was thankfully out), it was a pretty good time. (Thanks for all the heavy lifting Woo!)
When I told the kids we were going camping with their cousins, they all jumped and cheered.
Moses: Mom! You're the second BEST mom!!
(I still haven't figured out who he thinks the best mom is. Someone who would take him camping every single week, no doubt.)
Seconds later, I heard Ruby run out the back door and yell to our neighbor and the entire town by default, "Mr. Jacobs! We're going camping!!"
We went to Clegg Lake in the Uintas again. The hike in and out is only 1.5 miles, which in theory should be easy for a bunch of kids and three adults carrying a whole lot of stuff.
The kids all carried their own sleeping bag, a mat, one or two full water bottles, spare socks and underwear. I don't think it was easy for anyone, but they all did a great job. (Moses and Herbie doing an excellent job especially.)
Ruby had a bit of a break down near the very end, and I carried her backpack in. When we got to camp, I opened it and saw a full gallon of water on top of all that other stuff. Wow, Ruby!
The hike in was hot and rough for a lot of the kids.
Linus said, "I never want to go camping here ever. again. Mom!" But, he changed his mind as soon as we got to the campsite.
He was reminded of all the other times he's been camping, "Mom, last time we went camping, I heard a tree pass gas."
Which is always a rollicking good time, of course.
I told the kids to put on the worst clothes they had. All on her own, Ruby channeled Grandpa with her t-shirt, tennis shoes and pleated dress pants. Her pants were unfortunately too big for her, but she effectively solved the problem with a set of bungies.
Chemistry lab --- here we come!
I know I'm supposed to save on-the-potty or in-the-tub pictures to show first dates, but what about this one? Brandt has the best hair, but Herbie has the best pants.
Penelope wore an old pair of pants that has been worn by each of our kids. They now have four large holes in them, and they'll never make it to Archie. This makes Woo sniff a little bit.
We brought Penelope's little potty and she was a champion using it. It helped to have even more kids be impressed and talk about it every time she used it.
Apparently no one escapes morning face while camping. All the kids started laughing when I brought Archie out of the tent.
Moses: Archie looks like a dad! Archie looks like a old man, Mom!
But Archie is still very adaptable and is a great camper. Having him fall asleep next to you or on you is so sweet. Woo almost wouldn't leave because Archie had fallen asleep on his chest in the hammock, just as we were packing up to go.
No legos, no blocks? No problem. Moses built a car out of several logs and large pieces of bark, a house for a pet out of more wood, and all the kids spent hours hitting a giant log with clubs to hollow it out for a canoe.
No pencils, bottle caps or other trash to collect? No problem. Ruby found a stash of old bullet shells that she carefully collected, placed in a ziplock and packed out. I'll throw them out as soon as she's forgotten about them (tomorrow).
Moses and his trick stick-through-the-head stick.
Maybe we should get him that pocket knife he's always asking about?? Anyway, I was very proud of him.
For most of us (????) the hike out was a lot better. We had less water and less food. It was overcast and cool. The little kids fell asleep almost the second we started driving, and we drove for an hour or more before we stopped for lunch.
We always get stared at anyway (something about all those kids ... ), but a completely filthy, disheveled family with a bunch of little kids makes people stare even more.
There was actually another family in the restaurant with six kids in the same age range as our kids, but we were stealing the show.
It was so bad that even the kids were noticing it.
Ruby: That lady's staring at us.
Woo and I: We know, Ruby.
Ruby (her face lighting up): Maybe she's a spy!?
Me: If she is, she's not a very good one.
Ruby, who fancies herself to be something of a spy herself, thought this was very funny.
We returned home on the 24th to a flag in the front lawn put out by the scouts. The kids were thrilled.
Moses: It's the Grand Ole Flag!!
(Does anyone sing that song anymore?)
Anyway, we're relaxing now around these parts. Hope you all had a great week!