***warning, another long blog***
My dad came into town last Saturday and he left for home today, a week later. We thoroughly enjoyed his visit and had a wonderful time but I must say I am beat from the experience. There were two purposes to this trip, other than to visit his kids and super adorable grandkids. The first was to work on the yard and the second was to take us all camping. As I sit here typing I know that once I try to get out of this chair I will be fighting the effects of rigor mortis. The plus side to my exhaustion is that I probably lost at least 2 pounds and gained a couple muscles, or became aware of their existence, ouch. With the help of my dad, my sister Erin, my bro-in-law Bill, Chris the man, and of course Becky the weakling, we finished our yard projects with success.
The fun part of this visit was the camping and all of the extras that come with adventures in higher elevations. Not that digging in dirt, actually it was mostly clay and rocks, isn't fun, but getting dirty through good clean labor isn't as fun as getting dirty because one of your children had sticky hands, rubbed them in dirt and then wiped them on your clean shirt.
We decided to go to a camp ground called Tony Grove which is near Bear Lake. Wow! It was beautiful! After a nauseating drive up the canyon it was well worth it to look upon a mountain covered in aspens, pine trees, and wild flowers (which I believe are illegal to pick, oops. Well you tell 7 kids under the age of 6 not to pick flowers and see what kind of result you get).
Just up the road from this camp ground is a lake which, of course, was made for skipping rocks and falling into. Chris was trying to teach all of these seven under 6ers how to skip rocks but, unfortunately, in the process one of his apprentices stood up right as he was demonstrating the release and skip movement and got pegged in the head. She, Alyssa, survived after a good cry and a piggy back ride from the assailant a.k.a. master rock skipper. He is penitent and will no longer allow apprentices with sudden standing up tendencies to crouch in front of him during said demonstrations.
That night I only got up 3 times to go to the bathroom which was better than some. With a deflating air mattress and a TWB (teensy weensy bladder) I had many opportunities to gaze up at the stars in the oh-so-clear sky. Besides seeing the Milky Way, I saw a few constellations with the help of my bathroom buddy, Chris (who wants to go to those nasty holes in the ground by oneself, eeewww!?)
I somehow must have gotten enough sleep because the next day we took a hike, and not just any hike, it was more like a trek. Lets just say that my toenails still hurt and one of those newly discovered muscles, the Gastrocnemius, made an appearance. We went around a mountain, up a mountain, down a mountain and then to a lake guarded by two large peaks called Gog and Magog. We couldn't tell which was which but they were both quite foreboding. Our 8 mile hike ended and I was so exhausted that once I stopped and sat down I couldn't get up for at least half an hour, even after Chris rubbed my feet (he's such a sweetheart).
After the camping came to it's wonderfully dirty end, we completed our vacation by staying in a time-share condo by Bear Lake. I love running water and flush-able toilets! To finish off our trip we drove up to a big cave called Minnitonka. Driving with several children in a car can be quite grating on one's highly polished patience, not that I have such a thing, but it can be for those of you who might and need the forewarning. We decided to switch it up a bit by putting Erin's daughter Danztel with my sons Reed and Isaac. It was so wonderful! Reed is 6 and Dantzel is 4. The two of them talked about dinosaurs the whole time. Reed had a bunch of plastic ones and a big dinosaur map with pictures all over it. Reed was like the absent minded professor with the beautiful girl telling her all about the size, nature, and eating habits of each beast, not even realizing that he my be boring her to death. Fortunately, the beauty of this travel companion was her interest in the subject. Only, she took a different paleontological view when the dinosaurs she was holding fell in love, started kissing and then dancing to the music I was playing in the car. Reed just looked at what she was doing with half a grin, raised eyebrows, and a slow sideways shaking of his head. Girls.
The cave was great! 40 degrees, lots of steps, stalactites and stalagmites, dripping water, and a very informative tour guide. We found our way out, then our way home and back to our own wonderfully comfy beds, ahhhh....cave and dinosaur free, well except for those romantic ones.