The summer has once again gotten away from us. Most weekends are spent catching up on work and projects or working for other people. Josh has been lucky enough to find a few cabinet and finishing jobs to keep us going through most of the summer, along with the help of his research assistant job at UVU. Thus, even though we wanted to go camping a gazillion times with the boys this summer, this is the first time we have been able to do so. Instead of doing our usual for Pioneer Day this year (staying up way late and watching the fireworks over the Spanish Fork Rodeo from the back of our truck), we decided to take the opportunity to head up the mountain. Josh had just spent some time up Twelve Mile (near Mayfield and Gunnison) with the young women in our ward, and sparked the love we have of the area - so that's where we went. We found the PERFECT spot just below Spinner's Lake, tucked away from the road so we could have our privacy, and far enough from the main crowds of the mountain to maintain that we'd have the best camping experience possible - yet it was still close enough to some of our favorite spots to visit.
Here is a view of our camp - plenty of room and fairly level ground.
This is the view of the road from our campsite. We hardly ever saw or heard anyone - it was awesome!
The boys were great sports helping us set up camp. Quinn is getting so big, I don't know what to do with him.
The campsite had recently been vacated, so the grass was all flattened, making a perfect area for Declan to crawl around and be a big boy following his brothers everywhere.
He kinda loves being mobile.
The boys "helped" us set up the tent. (ie played peek-a-boo with each other)
As is a tradition of ours, we set up Josh's mission hammock in a shaded area between the quakies, complete with a rock to step on for us shorter folk who need the extra help. Everyone LOVED playing on the hammock. I just wish I could have had a quiet time to sit and read in it, or something.
My boys (all 4) are so silly!
Declan got a kick out of being able to see through the holes in the hammock. He'd giggle up a storm every time.
And this was the view while laying in it.... ahhhhh
...nap time was a struggle the entire time...
Because Logan was usually tired from lack of good, routine naps, he carried his puppy around or found other means of cuddling and finding comfort.
Unbeknownst to me, Logan's "Batman Cape" made it on the trip. He found it, put it on, and ran around saying, "I'm Batman!" ...including when the flock of sheep came near our camp.
Declan and I spent a lot of quality time together while the bigger boys had adventures. He thought Mommy in a hat was just too funny.
I was a genius and made this way of keeping Declan secure during mealtimes or around the fire when we were tired of holding him and pulling sticks out of his mouth.
He actually really loved it. It made him a big boy!
Speaking of dinner times... I was so prepared, had made lists and everything - and still managed to forget the hot dogs for our hot dog dinner. OOPS! Luckily I had packed enough bread and cheese, so I improvised and made grilled cheese our first night there. I was ready to swear and break down in tears - but it all worked out!
Evenings were magical each night we were up there. The sun would set over the lake just next to us, the boys were happy, we'd go on a short walk after dinner, and just enjoy the cooler air and beauty all around us.
We also got some great pictures I'm most likely going to print out and put on our walls at home.
We are professional fire-builders, and even Quinn and Logan helped gather wood and keep it going.
...There's just something awesome about sitting around a camp fire.
We had seen these tracks (not sure of what) on the trail to our campsite, and were reminded to be watchful of all the dangerous animals that could visit us. We were not disappointed, either.
As we were settling down for the night, the food and trash locked up in the truck, Josh looked over and saw something coming into our camp. We shined a light on it and discovered a fox! We kinda freaked out, not knowing what to do with a wild fox. Josh got the shotgun and tried to chase it away, but it was adamant to get any scraps left behind. So we took the boys into the tent and let him have his way with the campground (knowing if he found anything, it wasn't from us because we had just cleaned up). We were nervous about it, but extremely grateful it wasn't anything bigger or worse. Next time, though, we are bringing our dogs, trained or not.
The next day, we visited the Camel across from Twelve Mile Campground. Quinn loves it, and Josh loves the fossils we find up there each time. It's like he's a studying geologist, or something ;)
He actually found this huge solitary coral - which are supposed to be pretty hard to find, and very rare this size. He's excited to take it to his professor for closer examination.
The boys loved using Josh's rock hammer and looking for cool rocks. I think they are all so cute and awesome to be taking after their daddy!
Declan and I hung around, fighting over keeping his hat on.
On the 24th that night, since we couldn't do fireworks, we had a silly string war, and played with glow sticks. We all had fun playing with each other!
Whenever Quinn got bored, we started him on scavenger hunts looking for plants and things that were cool, often lending him our camera to document his findings. Josh and I were also in love with taking pictures of the pretty scenery and flowers, so it was just a natural thing for Quinn to do as well. Here are some of the pictures from those nature adventures.
Look at the ant on this one! Quinn rocks!
What do you call these, because the name I grew up with is rather derogatory, though I had no clue about it until I was much older.
Our last day there, before we finished packing up and going home, we took our little raft out on the lake. The boys loved it! Though it made my arms rather sore afterwords...
Declan hung out with me in the shade of the truck while the bigger boys were rafting.
Logan hated waiting his turn.
I briefly took Declan out so he could see what all the fuss was about. He thought it was pretty cool.
Whenever Quinn was left behind on shore, he practiced skipping rocks. Josh is a pro. Me - not so much.
This was Logan picking up the tiny shrimp and throwing them back into the lake. Basically he was just playing in the water, being his usual awesome self.
On our way down the mountain, we were greeted by this little two-pointer buck, velvet still on the antlers. Seriously one of the greatest vacations we have ever taken as a family. The boys can't wait to go back :)