Friday, August 16, 2013

Camping Up Porcupine

We haven't been able to go camping all year because last year Bryce noticed that the trailer axle was causing the tires to be worn down quickly.  After doing some research and looking into prices, he decided that we either needed to sell it or replace the axle with a new one. Needless to say, Bryce replaced the old axle.  It was a huge project and it took all day, but it looks good and Bryce did a great job fixing it!

We were now ready to embark on our first camping trip of the year.  We decided to stay close to family, so we headed up to Porcupine, which is located south east of Avon and Paradise.  Bryce took Friday off of work so we could camp an extra day and not feel so rushed.
When he got home from work on Thursday, we got everything loaded up and headed up to Cache Valley.  We were a little worried about the weather because it was extremely windy and the sky was darkening with clouds.  A small rainstorm moved through Cache Valley right before we got there, but was gone within a few minutes.  It was clearing off as we headed up the canyon to the campgrounds.
We got up to the campgrounds around 7 pm.  We set up our trailer in the most perfect spot up there and then started setting up our camp chairs around the small fire that we built. We weren't sure if we were supposed to have a fire or not, so we kept it very small. Ty and Jocelynn came up for a few minutes on Thursday night.  Ty played with boys and they ran around the camp before it got too dark.
Paul let us borrow his kayaks but we needed to go get the life jackets, so Friday morning, Bryce got up early and headed to Smithfield.  He got back around 10 and then started cooking bacon, eggs, and pancakes.  We ate breakfast around 11 and the by that time it was warm and the hundreds of bees were out and swarming the food. The boys did not appreciate this at all.

Tawni came up to eat breakfast with us right after her soccer practice.  After she ate, she went on a small walk with the boys. Clayton woke up that morning and said, "I feel wet. Why am I wet?" He must have peed sometime during the morning hours (since he slept till 10) and he didn't even know it.  Tawni was kind enough to take all the bedding and pajamas home and wash them for us....another advantage of camping close to where family lives!
 On Friday we spent quite a bit of time shooting the BB gun with the boys.  Bryce and I enjoy it as much as they do. There was another camping area right next to ours that was completely shaded, so we took the boys over there to shoot. Clayton informed us that he wants a BB gun when he turns four! We better get another one soon, because one isn't enough for all four of us.
After we shot guns, and ate a little lunch, we got into our swimsuits and went down to play in the river for a few minutes.  We found a spot where we could stand in really shallow water on top of the rocks.  The water was so cold, it was almost numbing.  We took a few pictures and the boys walked around for a while.  Bryce and I had a hard time standing in the water for too long!
 After that, we took the kayaks and headed up to Porcupine Dam. The beach is on the east side of the reservoir, so we drove for about 10 minutes and then unloaded the kayaks.  The beach was not was we were imagining.  It was very muddy and sticky.  Bryce and Cooper got in the kayaks and headed across.  It was windy and they had to fight it the whole time, but they were able to go out for a few minutes.
Clayton and I went over to the small waterfalls and climbed up through the water.  The water was freezing cold, but refreshing at the same time.  The water was cascading down rock, so we could just climb right up the rock without slipping.  We saw a water snake come down one of the falls.  After that, we went back to the lake and Clayton went on a small ride with Bryce. 
Friday night, we went into town to grab some ice and a few items.  We let the boys play at Jocelynn's for a few minutes and then headed back to camp.  For dinner, we made walking tacos.  After dinner, Ty and Jocelynn came up for an hour. The kids ran around and jumped from rock to rock.  We had a small campfire and the boys roasted marshmallows and made smores!  The boys were ready for bed by 9:30 each night. 
 Bryce and I would sit out by the fire and just enjoy each others company under the stars. One of my favorite things about camping was waking up before the boys and getting a chance to enjoy the cool weather out in my camping chair.  I would take my scriptures out with me and enjoy the peace and quiet for a few minutes each morning.  I even saw a deer prance through the campgrounds one morning.
On Saturday morning, Ty and Jocelynn came up just in time for breakfast.  Afterwards, we got out the BB gun and bows so all the boys could shoot.  Bryce was able to spend some time shooting his bow as well.  After that, we headed into town to grab more ice and drinks, and then let the kids play again at Jocelynn's for a little while.  When we got back to camp, we ate lunch and waited for Paul, Steph, and family to arrive.
Later that afternoon, Jaden and Addey showed up with their BB guns and all the kids shot their guns for a long time.  I think this was their favorite activity of the day.  We also went back to Porcupine so the kids could kayak and play in the waterfalls.
For dinner that night, Jocelynn and Kyle brought us some Chinese food.  It was so nice to have them come up and spend the evening with us.  We just ate, visited and watched the kids play "Ghost in the Dark".  Clayton ran around with the kids like he was as old as them!  They all had a great time spending the day with each other!
 After the boys went to bed, Bryce and I sat out by the fire and talked for a long time.  The sky was beautiful and clear and the stars were so bright.  We even saw a shooting star or two.  We also saw some light flashing in the sky.  We weren't sure what it was until we headed back home the next day.  We realized that some dry lightning had come across the valley and had started some bad fires in Millville.  Its seven days later and the fire has reached all the way to Blacksmith Fork Canyon.  It's burned thousands of acres and they have firefighters from many states here to fight the fires! Crazy ending to a wonderful camping trip with our kids!
 Its always a nice thing to be able to do these kind of activities with our children.  Bryce and I value the importance of spending quality time with just our kids.  We feel it important that the boys also spend time together without friends, so they can build their relationships and learn to rely on each other.  We want that bond to be strong between them as they get older.  We are thankful for them and the time we have to make those special memories with them!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Boating on the 4th of July

On the fourth of July, we went out to Pineview to spend the day at the lake.  We took a shade canopy out and set it up for those who were on the shore. Cooper and Addey enjoyed their swim break!
I was able to ride on the boat, but not do any of the activities.  I enjoy the boat, but despise the loud music that they play.  When I get on the boat, I would rather talk to my family, then listen to loud, annoying music.  He made me not want to stay on the boat for very long.
Clayton loved spending time with his cousins.  Ty made sure he stayed on his bum most of the time.  They all watched out for him. He only tubed for a few minutes, but he liked riding on the boat and having swim breaks with Bryce.
He also had a fun time on the kayak with mom.  We didn't go very far, but he took me over to show me where some water runs into the lake.  He even paddled a little bit. He had a good time playing on the rocky beach and filling his shoes up with rocks. 
Cooper and Addey knee boarded together.  At one point, Cooper fell off  the front of his board and it took him a few seconds to come up.  This kind of scared him to the point of tears, but as he was crying, he said, 
"I want to try it again." He loved it and he did a great job.  I was really proud of him. 
Here comes the boat, loaded down with family! It ended up being a fun activity.  The lake started feeling up with boats and it started to get wavy and windy.  We headed back to Big J's around 5 to eat dinner.  We ended our day by watching the new Jackie Robinson movie. It was a great movie!