Saturday, July 11, 2015

Up Madera Canyon

I love my new job, but it does mean fewer true weekends for our family. Our new goal is to make that time count,  so despite the threat of rain (and possibly lightning), we went camping up Madera Canyon. 
The weather was perfect
Colby insisted on helping with everything (his new favorite phrase seems to be "help Daddy") and Alice tried a variety of escape maneuvers. Her need for speed coupled with her lack of coordination (you can thank my half of the DNA for that) meant she fell so often that Robb and I had to literally keep her within arm's reach at all times. Even then she managed to fall off the stone steps of our campsite onto her head. It's amazing how much a little head-cut can bleed. We both thought she split her head open, but after cleaning her up a bit there were only two little graze marks.  On the bright side, her screams brought over a family of campers, the Jones, who turned out to be friends of ours from the ward.
We took the kids on a short hike. Colby grabbed a map and spent the first 15 minutes reading us the "instructions" before we convinced him to give us a turn.
Colby learned the art of peeing on a tree. He thought it was hilarious and as the boys walked back I heard Robb say "Yes, Colby. That's why it's great to be a man."
Our fearless leader
Colby's rock slide
Alice wanted a try too.
Colby helping Alice with her socks
That night we invited the Jones family over for blackberry cobbler (our first Dutch oven dish) and they had us over for 'smores
Once the kids were in bed and things were cleaned up and bear proof, we turned on a lamp for games. A few minutes later a beetle flew into the light. Then another. And when a 4-inch Palo Verde Borer (which can apparently chew through PVC pipe) thudded onto our table, we decided it was safer to sit in the dark.

The stars were incredible. Star gazing is my favorite part about camping in the dessert. There aren't as many trees and most of the streams and rivers are seasonal, but I have never seen so many stars before and it never ceases to fill me with awe. God's creations are glorious.
We didn't sleep much that night. A drunk man across from us kept a running conversation with his TV until 1:00ish and Alice insisted on waking up at 4:11. She crawled into my sleeping bag and for awhile I saw the benefits of co-sleeping. It's much more fun to snuggle your baby while she gently pats your arm than listen to her cry. But then she elbowed me in the nose and I decided to leave things as they are.
Robb and Colby made us breakfast while Alice and I went for a walk. The drunk man, also an early riser, greeted the morning by bellowing, "Good morning, Vietnam!" Then we packed up and drove home (with Robb trying to coast as much as possible because I forgot to fill the tank up before we left).