Happy Camper


We went up the mountain fairly early in the morning. It took us a little while to get everything packed up first. I followed Eva's van/camping trailer to the site and only had trouble when we slowed to a stand still on particularly steep inclines. We picked a nice spot and Stephanie helped me set up our tent and get everything organized. Our spot was just above the creek and very close to a meadow of wildflowers. Eva and I had matching hammocks and we set them up in an L in a little shaded area which quickly became the relaxation hot-spot. It was decently hot during the day, but not compared to Arizona, so we were fine. For most of the day it was Paula and Robert, Brandy's kids, Mom, Eva and Roger's family, DJ and Austin, Karl and his three youngest and Me and Stephanie. I'm not remembering what we ate for lunch, but for dinner we had Elk Steak and Buffalo burgers. I don't remember what we had on the side. The kids played some very elaborate games of pretend for most of the day. Mariah and Megean taught Stephanie how to drive the four-wheeler. Just before dark, Jared and Stacey's family, Katie and Kevin's family, Brandy and Mary arrived. We stayed up until about 2 am sitting around the fire. I took Eva's guitar and played back up to the good conversation and S'mores cooking fun. Kira and the kids put in plenty of sing-a-long requests such as "Twinkle Twinkle" which was very fun to accompany. Robert played a little, too. He is a superb guitarist and puts me to shame.


Babies wake up at 5 am no matter how late you talked around the fire. Stephanie and some others heard some kind of large animal outside the tents overnight. They thought it might have been a bear. For breakfast, we grilled up some pancakes, sausage, hashbrowns and had hot cocoa, coffee and OJ. We relaxed until about nine am and then a bunch of us went down for the Spring City holiday festivities. We made it just in time for the opening of the parade. There were some cool floats, a few horse (and lamb) - driven buggies, and we had a blast. Afterward, we met at Brandy's house. Brandy had a softball tourney so some people stayed down to watch. A carnival was in progress but the children outnumbered the adults so severly that we decided we could not properly supervise them so we didn't go. (At one point I and Chana were watching 6 toddlers and 5 younger children while the parents picked up supplies before we went back up the mountain.) Before we returned, Paula showed Stephanie and I their taxidermy studio. Back on the mountain for late lunch we had a salad with cooked cold chicken and ranch. The kids opted to roast hot dogs on a propane stove. Later, the girls found large leaves, made skirts of them, and made up a hula dance. The road was soft, powdery dirt and the many, many toddlers made dirt angels, sand castles, and various play for hours on end. We played games like crazy (in particular a redneck version of horseshoes called "Plink-Plink" that is played by throwing large washers toward a boards with holes worth different points. The idea is to get the washers IN the holes, but there is a large amount of luck involved.) Brandy's team won the tourney and advanced for five straight games in the heat. She took a ball in the arm as a souvenir. She, Robert and the others who watched her play came back up the mountain afterward. For dinner, we made four different dutch ovens of stew: beef steak, wild turkey, elk, and buffalo. The wild turkey was my personal favorite. Some of us girls took a walk for exersize. Stacey and I left everyone in the dust and ended up having such a nice talk that we went farther than we meant to. Katie came with a four-wheeler to help us find our way back because the sun went down and it was pitch black. We again sat around the fire talking and playing guitar. Everyone went to bed early (probably tired from the long day.) Stephanie wasn't feeling well (probably a combo of the strange food, massive amounts of sweets, and allergies) so we went to bed early too.


DJ made the fireman's famous omelet buffet for breakfast. It was incredible. He had every imaginable ingredient for omelets and we helped him get everything ready. Then, each person came through the line, picked what they wanted inside in a bowl and he fixed it to order. We also had hashbrowns and pancakes. I'm not ordinarily an egg person, but that was seriously the best omelet I have ever had in my life. I couldn't stop telling everyone. Luckily, more family straggled up the mountain to join the fun one by one keeping the grill on long enough for me to find room to have a second omelet (I have no idea how I made room for it, but it was so good, I had to.) Dale and Mary, Ryan and Lindsey's family, Candie and Taylor, Brandon and Jamie and Jayci, Brandi and Dillon came up. Just as they arrived, it started to rain a little. It was pleasant, though. There were several hours of overlap between families where most everyone was their at once. We got family pictures minus a few people who had either gone down the mountain for supplies or up the mountain on four-wheelers. Afterward, Mary and her derivatives left. Karl stayed for a few hours longer to enjoy lunch. DJ grilled up fancy cheeseburgers. I don't know how we ate them. Even though it was 4:30 pm, we were still pretty full from breakfast. Us young girls went for another post-meal walk, this time to the creek and wildflower meadow. It was so pretty. We stayed up on the mountain after Dale and his derivatives went down the mountain so I could go on a four-wheeler ride. DJ, Kathy, Ben and I went to a look out point and watched the sunset. I am such a thrill junkie and on the ride, I couldn't stop giggling when we would go flying over the bumps and hills, and Ben (who was driving) would hear me giggling and go faster and I would giggle harder... it was quite a thrilling ride. I took some landscape pictures. We got back to Eva's late and decided to leave her house later in the morning so that we could sleep in.

It took us until 2 pm to finish packing and readying the car. Good thing we decided that it wasn't that big of a deal if we missed the Grand Canyon on the way home. We drove pretty good time, but we got to the turn off for the Canyon (which is still an hour farther off the turn off) exactly as the sun was setting. We had great conversation the whole way home. I got tired as we got 100 miles from Phoenix, so I pulled off at a rest stop and took a quick nap. We got home at 1:30 am. Scott and Mark were at Stephanie's, so I got to hug Scott and Mark drove me the rest of the way home. I was so happy to see Mark that I stayed up for several more hours talking and catching up with him before I finally crashed and slept forever.
I woke up, ate lunch at noon and went back to bed for several more hours before getting up to get ready for work. I still haven't unpacked. I will post a bunch of pictures today or tomorrow (depending on how tired I am.)

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