ten days of camping

Today I was shocked to find out that it was July 27th. The 27th! That's practically CHRISTMAS. I had no idea that we were that far into the summer already. I also was shocked to discover that Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert split up! When did that happen?! The calendar date and celebrity marriages are things you lose track of when you leave the world behind to go camping through three different states in the span of ten days time.

It also makes for a really sour Monday the day after you get home.

^^ Our first camping adventure was last weekend, as in the weekend before this past weekend, and wasn't that ten years ago? We joined some of our lovely friends at Franklin Basin that weekend. Have you seen the Aspens at Franklin Basin right now? The only thing that beats the Aspens at Franklin Basin right now are the Aspens at Franklin Basin in the Fall. Go hike white pine this late September/mid October and I'll gladly say I told you so!

Our sweet fun friends also have some very fun toys which they were oh so kind to let us play with. Jace was in motorcycle and four wheeler heaven out there. He is now adamantly set on driving his own dirt bike and so of course, we are over here trying to figure out what we could sell to buy one of those. Because what are kids for if not to give them everything they want? (just kidding! sort of.)

This was Beck's worst sleeping-while-camping thus far in his little life. I'm blaming teeth for it (I always blame teeth at this age) but he woke up crying and wouldn't stop crying until I held him, which is how he ended up sleeping in my arms the entire night. The last time B slept in my arms at night was when he was two months old, would you believe that? The tragedy! So although this left me terribly exhausted, it also left me terribly elated to have gotten such a rare baby beck experience. All night long, cuddled into the crook of my arm and snoring! My arm went numb ten minutes in and stayed numb all night long but I didn't even care. And then! The very next day the little nutter butter fell asleep in my arms while we were on a long and bumpy four wheeling ride in the rzr. No, you don't understand the true miracle of this until you understand what a very light sleeper our little B is! The lightest! (Again, the tragedy of a mother!) I never thought I'd see such a miracle as him sleeping through a long, bumpy, loud-engined four wheeling ride. It was the strangest thing and I loved every second of it.

^^ Next up was Massacre Rocks State Park in Idaho. This camp spot is lovely and rocky, while also very hot and humid. It's filled with bunnies and stink bugs and a large wide blue river to swim in. We took evening strolls on the "Snake River Trail" which had Jace telling us all about Snakes and how dangerous they are. We practiced riding the big bike without training wheels. We got rained into the camper on occasion, but that didn't stop us from cooking s'mores! (thank you propane stoves! they win some and they lose some.) We went on a very long bike ride through "the oregon trail" while Dan pulled both kids and the dog behind him in the burley. That's a very long bike ride in very hot, humid heat, while pulling 100 pounds behind him! Up hills! He's something else, that man. Beck fell asleep in the burley which again confirmed my suspicions that miracles do exist! (and I'm thinking that if we are in fact in the process of training a light sleeper to become a deep sleeper by staying so active, I'm going to write a book about it and become a millionaire. I'll keep you posted.) In this trip I lived on arizona sweet tea in the can (always in the can!) and peanut butter cup oreos.

This family time was truly lovely. Sometimes family time like these kinds of trips can turn stressful and hard, but this one was just this big sweet caramel popcorn ball of memories packed into a few days with my sweet boys, falling in love with all of them all over again.

^^ And to end our week of camping, we dropped the boys off at Gma's house (she is just the best!) and Dan and I took Rockie for the weekend to Pallisades in Wyoming. Pallisades is a stark contrast to Massacre Rocks. Instead of bunnies and stink bugs it's mosquitoes and chipmunks. The air is cool beneath the mountain of the tall pines. One night I even wore my winter coat!

The truth of the matter is, I would choose mountains and pine trees over the beaches of the bahamas any day. The mountains are my happy place. That kayak is my happy place.

You know how a chef will take a bite of food that someone else cooked and they'll haughtily start naming the ingredients as they taste them? They'll close their eyes and savor the food in their mouth, opening their eyes in between bites to declare "cinnamon!" and then "mmm, and a hint of nutmeg!" and "hmmm, is that marjoram I taste?" You know. I had such a moment one evening on the lake, while we paddled past some pelicans eating their dinner. I felt my kayak slicing through the water, the cool mountain air blew through my hair and with a soft, stupid smile on my happy face I closed my eyes. I smelled fish strongly at first, and then distinctly the pines above us wafted through. If I really focused I could decipher the smell of the actual river water, which is one of my very favorite smells at all. I could smell smoke from a fire on the hillside. Wood, but not the dense oaky wood, it was distinctly a sappy pine. I could smell my pup who was still damp from her evening swim. I could smell earth, the smell of dirt after a light rainstorm.

What we really wanted for Pallisades is to kayak the crap out of the weekend, and so that we did. It was relaxing, you know, without kids to attend to. Although I missed them terribly, as I always do. I started reading (and almost finished!) Amy Poehler's "Yes Please", which is so very good! Inspiring and funny, my two favorite things in a book. (and in a person, ironically!) We mountain biked a few times and I felt brave and strong and fast. We saw bald eagles and watched the sunset from the lake. It was like a large slice of banana cream pie after a steak and shrimp dinner. Just a lovely, sweet ending with a huge scoop of hypothetical whip cream.

Life is good and I'm trying to remember that as I'm back to the office and doing loads of laundry and wondering what the heck we are going to eat for dinner tonight. I'm back to the real world while secretly planning our next adventures in my head.

Life is a sharply dissimilar sometimes and I love that about it. You go from high adventures to paying bills, kayaking to washing dishes, eating oreos to doing a tea cleanse. They are all very needed in their times and places and I can't get over how beautiful life can be because of it.

How many days are there until the weekend now??

Derp, derp.

Happy Monday friends. It's almost over! Get out there and get you some!

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