Sunday, December 2, 2012

I'm on a mission--Camping 2012

See? I really am on a mission to blog more. This August I did something I'd never done before, and in turn afforded my children an opportunity to try something they had never done....CAMP. Now if you know me (I mean really know me), I was raised by a father who taught me that roughing it was staying at a Holiday Inn. We took maybe two trips my entire life, and one was to Minneapolis. Yes I'm serious. 
We drove five hours to Silver Bay, MN, an hour northeast of Duluth, along Lake Superior. Our friends, two families and neighbors had this trip in the works, and had tried to talk us into it for a few months. When we realized that Ryan had no football, Thad could get work off, and that Bonnie was willing to let people lend us a tent, friends would provide the stuff to cook with...well how could I say no?
It was.....the best decision ever.

 Brady enjoyed using his flashlight to see the starts. Doesn't everyone stargaze that way?!
 We took a ski lift to the top of a spot in Lutsen. So beautiful. The kids loved it. Brady did not. Like not at all.
 At the top of the lift were bobsleds to ride down. That was the fun part. The kids went twice.
Well, most of the kids. Brady decided once was enough, so he and I stayed down and he hung out with his buddies and god parents.

Then we took a gondola to the top of another spot. The view was incredible. We had lunch...nothing to write about as far as lunch was concerned, but more fun exploring.
It baffles me that these girls have been part of one each others' lives since the older girls were two. I have pictures of little Lucy holding newborn Olivia in the hospital.
 These guys used to play all the time. Ryan is a year older, and they've grown apart, but they enjoyed being together.
 I love this picture. That is classic Brady...
 The next day we went to a few state parks and enjoyed hiking and waterfalls.

 I can't write enough about how wonderful Ryan was to have around. Okay yes right around this time he lost his cool with me over something, but he bounced back quickly.
I always worry about Ryan when we do this stuff. I expected he'd think this camping thing was lame, be bored, etc. He is a pretty private kid, and he doesn't show anyone much emotion.
I asked him a lot, and every time he said he was having fun. And boy did he take care of Brady. He climbed steep embankments with Brady on his hip. He taught him to throw rocks in the water. Ryan just takes such good care of Brady.
 And this is our family. It was not easy getting us all on that darn slippery rock, but we did it, again thanks to Ryan and Thad.
My pictures vanish from this point on because I was crossing a waterfall with Ryan, and I slipped on some rocks. My shoes went down stream, my purse was submerged, Brady was screaming, I was laughing, my family was laughing, and then Ryan held out his hand to help me. I can't convey how slippery it was.
But we made it. It wasn't until I got all the way across the water that I realized that a) My phone was in my soaking purse and b) it was too late to salvage, c) my connection to the "real world" was dead. Like deader than dead.
It was worth it. It was worth it to be soaking wet the rest of the day. It was worth feeling my socks squish in my shoes while we went from place to place.
It was all worth it.
Camping was worth it.
We have asked for a tent for Christmas.
My kids love, love, loved Disney World this summer. But I think that camping was equally, if not more, memorable.


ABCDH said...

One of the places we camped at this summer was right outside of Alex - we should plan a trip to meet up next summer! It's a good half way point.

TBRKO said...

AJ that's a great idea!