Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lovely Fall Break

I don't know how real bloggers do it.  I have a hard time keeping up with a few weeks of camping each year.  I have posts at home that I wrote during the summer and was going to post as soon as I got home, but never did.  I even think I have posts written from 2 summers ago that I never posted.  I guess I still will, as the purpose of this blog is mostly just a family journal.  Maybe real bloggers have faster WiFi.  The connection while here sucks, and home doesn't seem much faster.  Maybe next year I'll do better.

It's Saturday, Day 3 of our 4 day Fall break.  When you're used to camping for 2 and 3 week stretches, 4 days feels like a real ripoff.  It's been lovely though and the girls and I are so happy to be here.  Of course we're here all alone.  Kev works Wednesday - Saturday nights, so he pulled us up on Wednesday night, got us all hooked up, then drove straight back to work.  He'll come up in the morning just in time to help us break down camp and pull us back home.  He seldom gets to camp much with us, but he never complains about getting us up here and often rearranges his own schedule to work with ours.  He's sure a blessing to our family.

We've had a great weekend.  The weather has been glorious.  Cool mornings and nights, but days have to be hitting in the high 60's or low 70's and sunny.  The girls have reconnected with friends they made over the summer and have spent long days running, biking riding and playing.  We're in a gorgeous spot right by the river, with a huge climbing tree.  I can hear the cows mooing in the field next store.  I find that charming. 

Coalville's grocer still has fountain refills for 1 cents per ounce, bless their souls and hot dogs 2 for $1.  So each day we've ridden our bikes into town and gotten a 44 ounce drink refill and a hot dog for $1.  One buck even.  Are you kidding me?  That's practically free.  Then we eat at a cool stone picnic table across the street at the County Courthouse.  The girls think that's the best.
$1.00 lunch.  Not bad.
Lily said she could do these kind of push-ups all day long.

Another extra fun thing we've done is learned to play the game Clue.  I played it tons as a child of course, but had never taught the girls.  They think it's the greatest thing ever.  All the secrecy and mystery.  They even taught their camp friends. 

I've read some this trip, but I confess not as much as usual.  My cute boss got me into the TV series "Person of Interest" and I shamefully have spent several hours each day plowing through Season 1.  So exciting!  : ) 

I've also worked on Brinkley's Halloween costume some.  She's going to be the young Malificent.  Her horns are done, beside being painted, and I have her jewelry completed.  I've worked on the wings, but need to consult with Kevin on those.  They're tricky!

I almost forgot.  I got a new bike for my birthday and have been breaking it in on this trip.  It's been a hard transition for me.  I LOVE my old bike.  It's vintage (Kev says that's code for piece of crap) and really more my style.  It has a great bell and a darling basket and a rack.  I've loved it, but I finally had to admit that it's been on it's last leg for a while.  None of the gears work, a couple of months ago one of the brakes went out.  It does have pretty new tires, but Kev says they're worth more than the bike as a whole.  My new bike is modern and sleek.  When I got it it didn't have any extras, but Kev treated me to a new bell, a rack for the back, and a holder for a water bottle.  Really, the only thing missing is a cute basket, which is why I had to attach a rubbermade container on the back with zipties to hold my mug.  Gotta have a basket, after all.  I think I'm going to get a bright yellow one to match it's racing stripes.  It is a smooth ride and it's been nice to spend some quality time with it over the past few days to bond a little.  We may end up forming a lasting relationship after all.

As always, we wish we could stay forever, but reality calls and we're heading home tomorrow.  Not until night fall though.  Can't give up a few more glorious autumn daylight hours. 

Happy winter's sleep ya'll.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Week Bites the Dust

Night Games with New Friends
As moving day approaches in the morning, we’re all a bit sad to see this week end.  We have really really enjoyed being here at Coalville.  I used to look down on it a bit, but I think it might be my new favorite.  It’s been a quiet, fun week, filled with bike rides into town for 32 ounce refills, guacamole and candy, rides on the four-wheeler, visits from cousins, mid-weeks visits from Kev, running the river, playing in the river, and making new friends.  Just tonight the girls met up with a boy they’d met at the river earlier today and together with him walked around and recruited a group for night games.  Finally at 10:30 I called them in since I was tired and it was long past quiet time.  What a blast for them.

I know next week will be fun too though.  We’re looking forward to Kamas Days with the parade and the rodeo.  And most especially getting to spend a few days with Kev.  Yay for his three-day “weekends”.  And yay for one more week of our camping adventure.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Special Visitor

Yesterday morning I needed to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things so we rode our bikes into town.  It’s amazing, but for a town as small as Coalville, they have two small grocery stores and a Mexican market.  One of the grocery stores is a very old fashioned looking market.  I even saw the guy in front of me pay on credit.  Like not a credit card, but store credit, just like in Little House on the Prairie.  The other store is ugly and very modern looking.  I like to go to the old fashioned store and get what I can.  Supporting them seems like the right thing to do.  Yesterday we ended up going to both.  The second store may suck for its moderness, but it ruled for its great deals.  Their fountain drink refills were 1 cent per ounce.  Are you kidding me?!  It just keeps getting better and better.  That’s 32 cents for a 32 ounce if you can’t do the math.  I was more than thrilled as you can imagine.  I was just super-bummed that I’d only brought my 32 ounce refill cup rather than my 64.  : )  They also had purses 2/$1 and little coin purses for 10 cents each.  The girls had a great time shopping.

There is a church across from the grocery store and as we were standing there, people started coming out in dress clothes, so I said to the girls, “Look, there must be a wedding or something.”  “Where, where”, they say, and of course they were fascinated, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bride.  We never did and continued to the Mexican market.  I’m addicted to their homemade guacamole.  It’s not cheap, so I go there every other day and just get a little, rather than every 4 days to get a lot.  I think I’m saving money that way, but I know I’m not.  As we were standing outside the market getting ready to go in Lily looked up the street and said, “Look, there’s a Limo!”  They both got really excited and Brinkley said, “Maybe the bride is in it!”  I looked up then and here, coming down the street, it a white hearse.  Apparently, rather than a wedding at the church, it was a funeral.  LOL.  I know a funeral is not a laughing matter, but I found the whole thing pretty hilarious.

The best part of the day was yet to come.  My niece, Brielle, has been in Utah working all summer.  She came up to camp with us yesterday afternoon.  She’s a fun, easy-going girl and is up for anything the girls want to do.  We floated the river – dodging cows, thorny bushes, fallen down trees, barbed wire, and sharp rocks - visited the horses, road the four-wheeler (I think that was her favorite), ate S’mores around the campfire, and played ladder ball.  We were all pretty exhausted by bedtime, but it was a fun, fun day.  We were so happy to have her and will be sad to see her go this afternoon!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Best Day

For some reason, yesterday was just the best day.  Kev tries to stay up late and sleep in, since he’s working nights and sometimes I sleep late with him, but this morning I got up early – well like 9am.  LOL.  I’ve been doing some typing for my Dad and I was able to get that done, plus type yesterday’s blog posts before he even got up. 

After lounging for a bit, we decided to walk to the gas station, which is like ½ mile down from the campground.  The girls road their bikes and Kev and I walked Tye.  Between the camp ground and the gas station, we pass a couple of fields.  Often there are horses grazing.  Today was no different.  There was a water hole near the fence and that’s where 3 of them were, cooling off and eating grass.  As soon as the girls walked up they started feeding the horses grass that was growing on our side of the fence.  It was clear that the horses had eaten as much of that grass as they could reach over the fence.  The grass was totally mowed down by them all along the fence line a couple of feet out.  So the girls started picking and feeding and soon all three had come over and were eating as much as they were given.  They were very friendly and beautiful.  I was bummed I didn’t have my camera.  We’ll go back today and hopefully the horses will be there and I can get pictures.
  We walked on down to the gas station and guess what?!  The July special is 49 cent drink refills.  Are you kidding me?!!  That’s practically free!  You know I’m going to be down there like 3 times a day filling up on my Diet Dew.

On Monday, while swimming in the river, the girls made some new camp friends.  They were excited to get back to the river to swim with them again and that’s where they spent the ENTIRE afternoon.  They explored all sorts of new spots.  This part of the Weber River is great because it’s not too wide, not too fast moving, and it has lots of little holes that are deeper.  They are loving it!

Kev and I just spent the afternoon reading and chatting and relaxing.

The best part came at 5pm when we decided we were going to run the river on our tubes.  We do it every year and Kevin DREADS it.  He hates the cold water.  He started griping as soon as I started pumping the tubes.  “It’s not even the hottest part of the day.”  Then when we got to the edge of the water and were ready to launch he declared that moment, “ the worst part of the entire year” if you can imagine.  LOL.  It’s pretty funny, though I have to confess, the water was absolutely frigid! 

Everything went great until we got close to the end of the run and I ran into a fallen tree.  No big deal, we do it all the time.  I continued down river about 30 yards when I looked down and noticed that part of the tree was still floating with me.  I reached down and realized that this huge, pokey branch had punctured my tube and it was still in it.  I didn’t dare take it out because I knew if I did then the tube would be flat in like 5 seconds.  I was game to just leave the branch in, plugging the hole and move on down to the end of the run, but as soon as Kev saw it he got cranky(er) ; ), and said the run was over.  So out we climbed.  And no worries - the tube is totally patchable .

The best part of the whole thing though, was we had to leave the truck down at the river where we got it, which means we had to go back for it.  Kev and I climbed on his four-wheeler, and first ran to the gas station for a refill (of course!).  I told him that businesses here must think that we are like “Summer People” that go and visit the Hamptons or some coastal touristy town for the summer.  Except our Hamptons is Coalville, and our beach cottage is a 25 year old camper trailer, and our shop keepers are 18 year old boys with cigarettes in their pockets and tattoo sleeves.  LOL.

I know I keep saying this, but seriously the very best part is yet to come.  When we got to where the truck was, Kev drove the truck back and I got to drive the four-wheeler.  Wahoo!  I’m amazing - just totally a natural.  : )

The night ended with Aloha Teriyaki Burgers (way yummo) and the girls running off to roast marshmallows and play night games with their new friends.  We finally got them herded home and in bed at 11pm.  Seriously, I think Kev and I have lost our minds. 

What a great ending, to a perfect summer day.

Kev has to work tonight and will be leaving this afternoon, so we’re really sad about that.  It’s 11:30am and he’s still asleep, which is good since he works all night, but I did just started frying bacon, hoping to rouse him a little.  Hopefully he’ll wake in his normal good mood, ready to run the river one more time before he leaves.  : )

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Camping Memories of the Old Days

Looking at the date makes me feel a little blue.  Summer half over.  Boo, boo and boo.  We don’t start school this year though until August 25th, so that means we have almost the whole month of August, which is really, really nice. 

When I first started this blog, my dad sent me some pictures of my family camping in the early years.  I really did get my love of camping honestly.  My mom told me that when I was just a baby and we were living in Massachusetts she and Dad would take us girls to the coast somewhere in Maine or New York and we’d camp.  Dad would drop off Mom and get everyone all set up, then he would go back home to work.  Sometimes he’d commute nightly and sometimes he’d just come on the weekends.  Sound familiar?
What a doll!!  Check out those socks.
I never look that cute camping.
I have a few very early memories of camping.  One trip was on the Oregon coast.  The reason this one stands out is because on our last day there, Mom was cleaning up and packing up and Dad took one last walk down to the beach and invited me to go with him.  I was clean and dry and Mom told me to make sure I stayed that way.  Of course as soon as we got to the beach, being a little girl and all, the water started calling.  I asked Dad if I could wade, so he rolled up my pants and I started wading.  Before you knew it I was waist deep.  I’m guessing that Dad and I both got a good scolding for that one.
Mom and little naked girl - oh, I mean, me.
Another memory is when we lived in Burley, Idaho we went camping to some sand dunes not too far away.  I remember climbing up those huge dunes and rolling down, sand getting everywhere.  I also remember lying in my sleeping bag and hearing coyotes howling at night.  One night in the middle of the night, my Dad got up and went out for something.  Apparently, he left the tent unzipped.  The coyotes started howling and our dog Bruiser, jumped up and headed for the door.  Well, my mom felt almost the same way about Bruiser that I feel about Tye and she was having none of it.  She says she flew out of her sleeping bag and literally tackled him as he was heading out the door.

I also remember camping at Bear Lake.  We met our family friend Carl Taylor there and we sat around the campfire and he told us the scariest ghost stories.  Then, of course, it was time to make that dreaded last trip to the bathroom before bed.  Without fail, every time us girls would go, on the way back, Dad would be hiding somewhere along the way to jump out and scare the bejeesus out of us.  This trip was no different, except this time it was him, Carl Taylor, and a white sheet.  You can use your imagination for that one.

Once we moved to Texas when I was in the Fifth Grade, I don’t remember much camping, but I do remember camping at Virginia Beach a couple of times once we moved to Louisa, Virginia, always in that same old canvas tent that you see in those earliest pictures with my mom.

When my parents moved here to Utah, they sold that tent (or perhaps gave it away), which by that time was mildewed and quite the mess.  That was a sad day for my Dad though and if I know him he still laments about the sale of that tent, even today.

Our Day in Pictures

Ready for swimming!
Tiffeny's Terrific Camp Store
- all items 10 or 25 cents.
How awesome is that!
Sisterly love and ice cream.
New Friends.
Swimming together now.  Night Games would come later.

Not too much has changed. I think they need new life
jackets though.  : )
This spider built it's web on our awning arm and
had a feast on the moths that flew around our party lights.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Our Old Guy Tye

Tye has become such an old guy.  Seriously.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  His mellowness is nice.  He has always been pretty energetic.  But I hate what it means too.  He’s really aged in the past year.  Normally when we camp I’m constantly hopping on my bike, grabbing his leash and off we go on a ride/run.  If I ever left without him, he’d be quite put out.  This year though, he’s very hit and miss.  Sometimes I take him and he’s pretty into it.  Often though, he’s just so slow-moving.  I’ve gotten so I mostly just walk him and ride on my own.  He still loves being here though.  He lays in the shady grass and sleeps like the living dead.  He’s an oldie but a goodie!  We can’t imagine our camping trips without him.

He's burying his bone after gnawing on it for a while.
I seriously can't stand the cuteness!

A Day Back Home

Kevin got back to the campground sometime between 4 and 5 am Sunday morning.  He’d worked until 3am and came straight up.  It was super fun to see him, since we hadn’t since Tuesday night.

Unfortunately we didn’t have much time for lounging and visiting, because it was moving day.  We’d been in Woodland for a week and it was time to move onto Coalville.  I’d done some packing up Saturday night, so we finished up and began the caravan about 30 miles away to the Coalville Camperworld.  Even once we got here and set up, there was no rest for the weary.

Kev had volunteered for an extra 6 hours of work that night.  There was a special event in Ogden and they needed some officers for crowd and traffic control.  I had planned on going back to town for a few hours on Tuesday or Wednesday to do some laundry and restock our food a little.  Since Kev was going back that evening, I just decided to go with him.  He dropped me off at the house, dressed and headed into work.  The girls and I spent the evening doing laundry, some house and yard maintenance, and I even posted a couple of blog entries.  : )

We had thought we would drive back last night, but we weren’t sure what time Kev was going to be home.  We really didn’t want to sleep in our beds at home though, so I just kept the girls up.  FINALLY, at 12:30am, Kev got home.  Then we had to get the car loaded and Kev had to get some stuff together and I was waiting for a load of clothes in the dryer.  We finally left the house and got on the road at 1am.  Well, since we are on vacation and since it officially wasn’t Sunday anymore and since Kevin had just gotten off work and 1am is his new lunchtime, we decided to hit Wendy’s for Wendy’s Late Night!  We are normally the king and queen of early bedtimes for the girls, even in the summer.  I don’t know if it’s because of Kev’s weird work schedule, because of the girls are getting older, or just the circumstances of the summer, but our good sleep schedules have been shot to heck.  The girls think it’s the best ever!  I guess we’ll start worrying fixing it in mid-August.  Right now, we’re just having fun. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Almost Moving Day

Today is our last day at the Camperworld in Woodland.  It has been much like any day.  Reading, games, and swimming in the river.  The girls actually discovered that they LOVE the game RackO.  We’d played it Thursday with my Mom.  She’d been Lily’s tutor and when I sat down to play Lily this morning, she beat me three games straight.  Thanks Mom.  Brinkley won games four and five.  Finally, I won the sixth game, so I could quit and go read my book.  : )  The girls kept playing though forever.  They’re in love with it.  At dinner when we played Old Maid Dice and Phase 10 Dice they would have still preferred to just play RackO.

They also swam in the river one more time.   As soon as Lily arrived, and before I knew what was happening she had Tye in the river floating down with her.  Needless to say, he was very unimpressed and the next time they tried to pull him in he fought hard and won.  
Go Tye!
Work It Brinks!
River Rats
Trying to get Tye BACK in the river.
No Way!
Well, maybe just for a wade.  But I'm not swimming!