Monday, July 25, 2011

Life's Lessons Locations - 3rd in a multi-part series

Our first tent in 1978. We took Nathan

and went to Yellowstone Park and

Jackson Hole. And, yes, the

mosquitoes were so big I was sure

they were going to carry Nathan off!

I don't know why I've come to like camping so much. The only thing outdoorsy we did when I was growing up was mow the lawn. I had a traumatizing first and only year at girls' camp {that is definitely a story for another day!}. The few times we went to canyons when the kids were little, I worried and fussed over them trying to protect them from everything from getting dirty to falling in the water to getting bitten by something that could possibly carry them away. And then there's always the bathroom issue. One area where boys definitely have the advantage.

Gradually we did it more and more - a little longer each time.

It became an escape from the drama that sometimes developed in the neighborhood and a definite relief from the heat. Oak City Canyon is where my love of camping evolved. Amazing, too, considering the size of the Mormon crickets that habitat that place.

Then we got a camper. That's when I think my real addiction began. Then we sold it and upsized to a trailer. I was now totally hooked because we had a toilet and a fridge. We sold that trailer before moving to Tremonton. It took us a few years before we invested in camping again, starting with a camper and then progressing to a trailer and then to our current trailer.

Clear Creek, somewhere, some direction from Snowville {some distance} is a favorite now as well as Power House {closer}, which is where we camped this weekend. I found myself thinking of my camping evolution this last weekend while camping up Power House and so . . .

Here are the top 10 Life Lessons I've learned while learning to love camping:

1.  There is no such thing as an ugly camping spot. Each place has something to offer if you take the time to find it.

2. Limbs and needles from pine trees allow the heat of the moment to totally consume them; leaving nothing to provide any long lasting warmth. It's best to include more stable wood in your woodpile if you want a sustaining fire to take care of you.

3.  For every two beautiful butterflies that elude you, there will be at least one ugly mutated bug penetrate your personal space {i.e. mouth, nose, ear} without any invitation from you.

4.  Be careful what garbage you burn in the campfire. It may be what you roast your marshmallows over.

5.  Not only is it an unwritten rule that you should leave your space better than you found it – no matter how long or short your stay - you should also always be innovative and add something new to your camp facilities each time. This time we chose to add a clothes line to our already redneck site.

6.  Nature exhibits the epitome of adaptation. Just because a tree doesn't have the room to grow straight and tall, doesn't stop it from growing however it can and it certainly doesn't mean it isn't every bit as beautiful!

7.  Sometimes the trees give all they have. Sometimes they creatively find alternate ways to continue giving.

8.  Plan on getting rained on. After all, how else will you see the many beautiful and necessary facets of nature?

9. You can never be too prepared! It's always good to have a tool to match whatever job you may be put in charge of!

10.  Setting up camp is fun and exciting. Because of all the memories, packing it all up to head back home is emotional and tedious but inevitable.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Life's Lessons Locations - 2nd in a multi-part series

I guess there should actually be a #11 to the Life Lessons from Camping - No matter how frugal you pack, there will always be too much food {and not enough Pepsi Max}. And because of Lesson #11, you will need to hike to work off some of what you eat.

If the GPS on my phone can't find me,

should I be concerned?

Because I'm so directionally challenged, I stay pretty close to camp when I'm by myself but I enjoy walking around and marvelling at this beautiful world. I've always found it exciting to imagine what it was like when the pioneers came through the particular area I'm in. Did they marvel, too, or did they moan over one more stream to cross or one more mountain range? I probably would have moaned then but today I can't stop marvelling.

Hiking is most always a part of our camping trips. It's fun to see what's around you and find wild currants or awesome rocks or cool bugs or try and see the tops of the pine trees without tipping over backwards. I've been on a lot of hikes and more than my share of death marches but I wouldn't have traded any of them away. This last camping trip to Power House was no exception.

Adam and Nellie took me and the boys on a hike to some small waterfalls. Then they left and LOML came up the next day. After we ate, I asked him if he wanted to hike up and see the waterfalls. He was agreeable. That should have been my first clue - he was letting me think I was in control. Anyhow, it ended up being a lot longer hike than I planned on but it was so well worth it! Not only did we see some beauty all around but there was also the peace that comes with the knowledge we have of who created all of this beauty. Perfect way to end a Sunday!

However, I think the whole trust thing between me and LOML is in sore need of re-evalutaion! I did survive, though, so I guess I should let it go at that. Side Note: You know how some people are just so muscially gifted that whenever you're around them, you feel like you're in a musical? Well, I'm becoming the type of person that whenever you're around me, you feel like you're in a documentary. So, consider yourselves warned!

Well, thanks to Lewis {aka Me} and Clark {aka LOML} here are the top ten fourteen lessons I've learned from hiking:

1.  When hiking, it is important to understand {and heed} the warnings you may hear. Listen carefully for intonations as well as verbal and non-verbal clues. For instance, should you hear a harsh, “Put away the blankity-blank camera before you fall!”, it is best to do so. Immediately. Should you hear a gentle, “Give me your camera”, it means your dexterity is about to be tested and it needs to be documented. Comply at your own discretion. If LOML just whips out his phone and starts taking pictures, it means there's not enough time to ask for the camera because something noteworthy/embarrassing/painful is imminent.

 2.  No hike worth going on is downhill both ways. hike is downhill both ways.

3.  If the grass is not trampled and there is no visible trail,

it is okay to forge your own trail. Keep in mind,

if you forge a new trail, someone is sure to follow,

assuming you knew what you were doing

and where you were going.

4.  When you are given a set of walking sticks for Christmas,

you should take them when you go hiking. Every

time you go hiking. Even if {especially if} said hike

is prefaced with, "It's only 1/4 of a mile up the road."

5.  Just because the grass is trampled, doesn't mean it's a trail. Just because it's a trail, doesn't mean it goes somewhere. Just because it’s a trail and goes somewhere, doesn’t mean you need to go there, too. You don’t have to take every path leading off of the main trail.

6.  Being able to go from, "Wow, cool, you found a way up there?" to "Oh, my, what have I done and how do I get down?" in a matter of mere minutes proves you're on a trail worth being on!

7.  Be prepared to learn things about your hike coordinator as

well as yourself. I learned that I am actually married to the missing

link - he is more monkey than I thought!

8.  Obstacles are everywhere. Nature doesn't let them stop

its course.

 Like I said, obstacles are everywhere . . . but must I really go through the tree????

9.  Have faith. There's always someone who has

been down the path before you and is willing

to give you a hand. Double check to make sure

their feet are firmly planted!

Above the waterfall.

Below the waterfall.

10.  There is always more than one perspective to every view. Be willing to embark on the adventure to see the difference!

11.  It is best to be specific when saying, “Look!” while pointing

in a particular direction. It is guaranteed that even if everyone

looks in the direction you're pointing, something

different will be seen by each set of eyes.

12.  There are lots of balance beams {aka bridges}

in place to cross the crevices and get where you

want to go. Some natural, some manmade. It was

always said "straight and narrow" but no one ever

told me it might be wibbly-wobbly, too.

13.  Never lose your sense of wonder and amazement at what

you may see and never forget who created it all.

14.  Uphill or downhill, generally speaking {unless you’re hiking in circles} you need to remember you still need to turn around and hike home. Rich rewards await you there!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Creek Ran Through It . . .

. . . And they ran through the creek! What fun to play in freezing cold water! It was a small creek and not running as fast as it was when LOML and I came for a ride up here in June. I was looking at some old pictures, though from 2007 and 2008 when we've camped here and I think it's at least twice as high as it was either of those times. But it was handleable and the kids had fun. It even got hot enough the one day that I got brave and stuck my feet in for a few minutes.

Garrett wasn't sure about it. He kept wondering if it would be warmer another day but he was content to do what he felt safe doing. Colton was kind of a daredevil. He at least wants to try things once and then decide if it's something he wants to do again or not. Nellie was in the middle of it all with them while Adam kept his distance.

Looking for the best spot to get in and start walking

Yup, it's cold.

Colton joins Garrett at his comfortable spot.

Garrett didn't like the water so much when it

kept creeping up higher and higher so Nellie

had to carry him back to the low water.


Might as well make a slip into a full-fledged swimming

experience. After all, we did add a clothes line to our campsite.

Colton dipping his head in the water.

Colton has got to be numb by now.

Garrett wanted to dip his head in all by himself but I was

afraid he was going to tip all the way over.

This morning we went on a hike to some waterfalls {which I later learned from LOML is where the old generator used to be which is why this place is called Power House}. Colton wanted to catch a butterfly so bad and the higher we got, the more plentiful the big monarch-type butterflies were. While we were wandering around the falls area, we saw this butterfly on the ground. We prodded it and tried to spook it into flying away but it wouldn't move so we figured it must be injured. Nellie took Colton's hat and helped him gode the butterfly into it. Colton asked about closing the hat up somehow so the butterfly wouldn't get away. Both Nellie and I, almost in unison, said, "Oh, there's nothing to worry about. That butterfly had plenty of chances to fly away and didn't so you don't need to worry . . . . about . . . him flying . . . away". And the butterfly took flight and was gone. Still trying to figure out why he let Colton catch him in the first place. Maybe he needed an adventure to go home and tell his friends about! How he narrowly escaped being captured by the humans!

Amber brought the kids up for lunch and to play for a bit.

They boys had fun running from one tree to another and

up another one and down another. They could have gone

on for hours and hours

Aspen would have appreciated all the adults

more if we'd have left her alone to her

own type of exploring but it just wasn't

going to happen the way she wanted.

And then Amber and her kids left. Then we fixed supper. And then we ate supper. And then Adam and Nellie and the boys left. And then it was just me. And it was really quiet. I like it to be just me now and again but there's an adjustment period when there have been other people and then they leave and I'm alone.