Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July weekend

Mom, Dad, Josh and I went up Thursday night to get a camping spot. We thought we could get one in Bennett Springs which is near Lake Cleveland and a little lower in elevation so it's not so snowy or muddy. Well, we tried it and any spots were tent spots and wouldn't fit our pop up tent trailer or Dad's extended cab full bed truck (that doesn't QUITE fit in the driveway). In fact, in Josh's words via Dad, some IDIOT parked two cars in the turn about and we ALMOST hit them as we tried to turn around :). It's funny the things that kids pick up from adults. Thursday was some of Dad's best driving ever and he didn't even swear once! We tried to go up a little higher in the mountain and the road to Lake Cleveland was still gated closed. Ever tried doing a three point turn on a mountain highway with a truck and a trailer? It was crazy!

We finally stopped at the parking lot where people go snowmobiling in the winter and since there was a nearby restroom we set up camp for the night. The next morning we got to sleep in and had donuts and hot chocolate for breakfast. Yum! Then we packed it up and drove the half mile to the Lake Cleveland gate. They opened up Thompson Flats and Lake Cleveland at 12 noon and we were in line at 11:50 am. Mom was anxious to get a good spot and we were the only ones that went on to Lake Cleveland so we had the place practically to ourselves for the Fourth of July :)

Josh was adventurous and went exploring and later he showed me an easier path that I could take. He was very considerate and helped me up the path and held my hand when things were rocky so I wouldn't loose my balance. The hike was still a little difficult for me, but, boy!, was it worth it. We found this beautiful glen with wild flowers and a little pond. Josh told me that he thought it must be a bird preserve because of all the birds and that probably no one had EVER been there before. It really was beautiful.

Later after Tricia got off work, Chris and Tricia joined us for dinner. Mom cooked dutch oven chicken and it was so DELICIOUS. I can't remember the last time I had dutch oven. Chris was at Girl's Camp on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so she taught us some new games like Ninja. You get one move and try to hit the person's hand to your right. And that person gets one move to deflect. Then everyone freezes. Playing ninja is HIL-AR-IOUS! I also brought a box full of card games and we each picked a game to play: Uno, Old Maid, Go Fish, Zonk, Authors, Quiddler, and Skip-bo. One of the other things that Chris did at Girls Camp was to shout, "This is the best day ever!" It was the first thing you were suppose to do when you got up in the morning and when something was difficult. It's surprisingly fun and effective and a fun way to cheering you up.

On Saturday morning, Mom made us sausage and eggs and hot chocolate and cold cereal. And since we got rained out of finishing our s'mores the night before, we lit a fire and ate s'mores. What a breakfast!! Josh talked Chris and Tricia into taking a little hike so he could show them his favorite spot. They must have got on a different trail, though, because an hour later they reached the highway and the turn off to take you down into Lake Cleveland. They came back tired, but what a view! I joined them later for a walk down to the lake, past another little pond and a babbling brook. I just couldn't get over how beautiful and how green everything was.

We decided to eat lunch and then pack up and head home so that we would have time to clean up and go to the movies. Of course, we made such good time coming down the mountain that the girls were even able to squeeze in a nap and I watched DVR. Chris, Tricia and I went and saw Transformers in the new digital theater. We even got popcorn and candy so it was quite the show :). I really enjoyed it even though it was a little long (about two and a half hours). It made me laugh and it scared me a little, so to me it was perfect.

It was hard to edit which pictures from the weekend to attach. Actually, I should say it was hard to choose which pictures NOT to attach since I took over a hundred between camping and the Fourth. sigh. Good times! Here are the finalists:
This was the "Best Trip EVER!"

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