Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lots and Lots of Dirt!!! - *updated with pictures!!

*Sorry all the pictures are posted first - it is just too complicated to put them throughout the post. For this reason, I most likely will be switching back to my wordpress account. No positives as of yet but a lot of probables!! :)

On Sunday August 8, we went to my parents house for a inpromptu family dinner. Saturday night my parents called and asked us to go over with the rest of the family for dinner following Katy's baptism. I was so grateful they offered because I had wanted to do a meal but finances had not afforded it!

It was fun to sit and visit with my family for a while. While there my brother told us he was going to their property in the Uintas (East Fork of the Bear area) on Wednesday for the weekend and he asked us if we wanted to join them. OF COURSE we wanted too...we just weren't sure if we could make it all fall together right and have the money to do it!

We talked and arranged and figured it all out and decided we could do it (my parents helped us a bit with the gas). We borrowed Ben's parents 4 wheelers and we headed up in a truck caravan with Bret, my parents and us.

What an amazing few days we had!!! We left on Wednesday August 11. When we got up there and finally got into our beds for the night, we watched bats flying over and swooping down to eat bugs. I LOVED that it was nice enough weather that no rain cover was needed on the tent. The stars were INCREDIBLE! It was so amazing and we had so much fun lying there watching the shooting stars and bats!

The next day Ben and I got up and started breakfast. After we had breakfast finished up, we loaded up all the 4 wheelers and headed off for a fun day of adventure in the Uintas. I suggested we take everything for lunch and have a picnic along the way (since one of my in-laws 4 wheelers has a bunch of holding compartments on the 4-wheeler...carrying the picnic was pretty easy).

As the five (5) 4-wheelers headed out with all 9 of us on them, I knew we were in for an adventure! As we drove down the winding, bumpy dirt road we saw the first adventure - several deer in the field...even some fawns! The kids were ecstatic! We continued on and up, through river beds and incredible forests and landscape!

I think the funnest place along the trail was the bridge we crossed over the wide river (I think it was the East Fork of the Bear). There is just something about water in the mountains and how it cascades down...LOVELY!!

We ended up at Lilly Lake. What an amazing beautiful spot!!! It was 11:30 and you could see huge fish jumping all around the lake. There were lilies growing along the banks and duck families could be found swimming through the lilies. The girls (Katy, Elyse and Addie) were CONVINCED they needed a lily flower to take home. Bret and Ben worked on it for a while and I ended up out on a rotting log in the lake with wet feet fetching the lily flowers!

The girls LOVED watching the fish swim up and stare at them. Seriously - the fish would swim up close to the bank and sit there and watch us like, "What are those creatures and why are they not in this cool, refreshing abyss?"

After spending some time enjoying the lake, we headed back to the river where there was a picnic table. Lunch was fun and the girls LOVED the river and sandy banks. Everyone enjoyed sitting and talking while taking in the beauties around us.

When we got back to camp, we started the dutch oven dinners and loaded up the 4-wheelers with the guns for some target practice. During this time my mom also decided to teach each of the girls how to drive her 4-wheeler! Oh how the girls had soooo much fun. Katy got REALLY good at driving those machines. She almost had the roads memorized and knew where she could gun it and where she needed to lay low on the accelerator. What a smartie pants! I guess we will have to go and get the ATV license for her!!

Dinner was amazing, delicious and fantastic! Bret and Nat did an awesome job. Bedtime came on a lot earlier on Thursday night than it did on Wednesday! I set an alarm to wake me up at 1:00 am so I could watch the meteor shower and I was out! When the alarm went off, I could have sworn I had only been sleeping for 10 minutes..even though I know it was more like 3 1/2 hours!

The next morning I got up and started taking down camp. I rolled up all the sleeping bags and got the mattresses all put away while Natalie cooked breakfast. After breakfast was over, Ben took down the tent and then we headed out to play on the 4-wheelers for a bit. We saw some deer again and then went down to the lodge and I bought each of the girls an otter pop.

After playing some more on the 4-wheelers (including Dustin's little one)...we decided to roast some hot dogs then get headed home. The hot dogs were delicious!!! Each of the kids wanted to ride the little 4 wheeler so Bret put them on a little 4-wheeler path. Katy did ok the first time but the second time she got distracted (something was hurting her leg) and she bent over while still driving and well you guessed it - she crashed!!! She didn't get hurt really...just some scraps but she was scared plenty! I took her back on the 4-wheeler and we checked out her leg. As she told me about her crash, she turned to me with her eyes wide and said, "It was a good thing that tree was there to stop me!" I held back a laugh and smiled and said, "Ya it was a good thing it wasn't a standing tree...just a log!"

Being the mean mom I am, I made her get back on the little 4 wheeler and drive around the circle as I ran next to her. I didn't want to end the trip with her scared of the little 4-wheeler.

After her turn was up, I hoped on Dustin's little bike. After a couple solo go rounds, Lyse and I drove the circle a couple times. Ben hoped on his parents red 4-wheeler and my mom was on her green one with Addie. We played follow the leader in a figure 8 for a couple go rounds.

The kids really did have a blast! It was so hard to finish it up and load the 4-wheelers up. We decided to have Ben drive the trailer down while I drove the girls down on the 4-wheeler 1 last time. The kids were all super sad when it was over and the 4-wheelers were loaded on the trailer!!

Aunt Nat asked Katy if she would come up again and Katy said, "Ya can we make it real soon?". They LOVED it up there. Getting Lyse to eat was nigh impossible because she was just having too much fun playing in the dirt, getting dirty and enjoying the outdoors!

I love camping! I love that we got the opportunity to go up and enjoy a couple days! It was so much fun and honestly it was fairly cheap (my parents helped us with the gas)!!! We filled up the 4 wheelers and truck before heading up and then filled up the 4 wheelers again before returning them (that was $8) and the truck was returned with more gas than it had when we borrowed it. I was amazed that after riding those machines basically NON-stop for 2 days, we only went through $8 in gas!!! Seriously, I was amazed that after the initial purchase of 4-wheelers...they are pretty cheap machines to operate and enjoy!! One day I would LOVE to purchase some of our own!!!!

Today I am a bit sad that summer is almost over. Camping for the summer is most likely over. This next week will be spent getting back into routines since school starts on the 24th (the week after next). While I am excited for summer to be winding down, I am extremely sad!!! It has been an amazing summer filled with adventures in the mountains! I am so grateful we have had these opportunities all summer long!!!!

I also learned something while on this little get-away...I LOVE to hike!! As we were riding 4-wheeler up to Lake Lily I thought a lot about how the scenery was passing by so quickly and I realized that I love to hike trails and spent time enjoying the scenery passing while also getting some exercise! Who would have thought I would actually enjoying hiking more than 4-wheeling in mountainous terrain?!?!

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