Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Days

Everybody needs a post of random summer fun days. This is ours.  Lake Owyhee Reservoir is about an hour away from us in Ontario.  The drive takes you through farm fields, hugs the Owyhee river, and then goes up and over the dam.  It's such a lovely drive until you get over the dam and it turns into a cliff hugging one -way road.  I have a stomach ulcer by the time we park, but thankfully the day we went there were no Ford F-250's towing their boat behind (that always makes me hold my breath and close my eyes).  In fact, we had the lake all to ourselves.   

This little rocky shore looked like the perfect place to skip rocks after our picnic, and while we had a great time the spiders were a little disturbing.  The rocks were crawling with spiders!  Seriously.  They were quick stone colored spiders that avoided us as much as we wanted to avoid them, but it was pretty gross.  Every time you took a step or picked up a rock you could see a handful of them scatter.

It wasn't really very warm in the water, but that didn't stop Joe.  It never does.
Joe got some great photos of a lizard he and Rosy snuck up on.  

Lizard and Rosy.

Rosy and Lizard.

Not pictured is the adventure Rocky and I went on while Joe and Rosy were hunting lizards.  
 We went climbing across some rocks and found a little shore and private beach accessible only to those in search of a landing with no spiders.  We found it and it was a memorable time.  He is the funnest 3yr old to go adventuring with.
Our picnic at Lake Owyhee was a top 10 memory of the summer!

We do a lot of running through the sprinklers.  

On the 4th of July as we were waiting for it to get dark, there was a neighbor kid up the street that literally couldn't wait one more second!  At 7pm, when it was still light out he invited us up to his driveway.  I have never seen such preparation for an amateur fireworks display.  He had a diagram that displayed where each of his fireworks went and in what order they were to be lit.  He was a great host for the evening!  Rocky was nervous about the loud ones.
and decided to take a back seat to the production at one point. 

Rosy was not sure what to think of it at all.  She held on to dad the entire time. 

We've been lucky enough to see Aunty Ashy a few times this summer already.  Now that she's moved back from North Carolina and is only in Utah, it's fun to call her up and tell her to come visit for the weekend!  Rocky loves her, and her long board.

Baker City, Joe's hometown, throws a Miner's Jubilee in July.  It used to be a big gold miner's town  so I guess that's where they get the name.  I LOVE IT.  We have been 3 times so far and even though Joe had to work this year I took the kids to the parade.  I don't know what it is about it.  Maybe because there was nothing small town about where I grew up, and we didn't have parades or acts of patriotism like this. The music and the flag and the kids scrambling for candies is so fun for me.  

These guys aren't twins, or even related.  They are Joe's good buddies from high school.  Too bad he had to work!  

This girl was a cute little thing that day.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Irreverent Camping

The other night, Rocky was staying up late and we watched a comedian on Netflix who said that "Hiking is just walking where you can pee," Rocky responded by saying "Hiking is just walking where you can pour water on your head."  Rosy was a little disappointed when she found out that it's not as easy for girls to go hiking. 

 She sure did try though.
 Remember when camping was so relaxing and refreshing.  You just sit around poking the fire, listening to the water as it meanders down the stream, and snack on chips and soda-pop.  For the 4th of July we decided on going camping, we went to my favorite camping spot up at West Eagle Meadows in Oregon.  It is so beautiful and secluded.  Growing up, it is where I gained the greatest respect and love for the outdoors.  It is where my father first explained to me the correlation between Cain and Sasquatch (who apparently resides in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, according to some familiar experts).  It is also where me and my brother Ross first discovered the hidden joys of high mountain, early morning swimming in a glacier fed stream, with our birthday suits.  Like I said they are hidden, some day I'll find them but until then I'll keep lookin.  On our trip, we didn't even see a single soul until the second day (I will unveil my frustration later).  Until then let me describe the difference between camping and camping with a one and three year old.   
 Rosy loved the outdoors, she enjoyed exploring the meadows and relaxing in the grass.
 Is that mischief in her eyes?
 She looks very cute as she plots her next move.
Rocky also took a love to fishing, and always got so excited when he got to reel in the line and put pink fish food on the hook.
Now, what you don't see in these photos.  Mosquito's, a million of them, all with the soul purpose of finding that spot right by your eye and on your neck by your ear where the skin had eluded the repellent.  The mosquito's were swarming poor Rosy, but luckily they were stonewalled.  Next, Rosy running as fast as she can towards the fast flowing mountain stream (Rosy is not too fast yet, but she is very persistent and her timing is impeccable).  Rocky loved to fish, but what he loved even more was to see how many times he could wrap the fishing line around anywhere else but the reel.  I spent a good portion of my time "fishing," untangling.  But luckily we had two poles, so while Daddy was taking time messing with one pole, Rocky could get busy "fishing" with the other pole.  It was just a very dangerous circuit you could get into fishing with a three year old with two poles.
 Rosy and her Mom with striking similarities.  Leave it to them to make camping look so good.  Sleeping while camping is another story.  We were so excited to put the kids to bed early and finally enjoy some peace and quiet in the beautiful Eagles.  But camping and going to bed early should not even be in the same sentence, it just sounds wrong and Rocky and Rosy knew it.  They stayed up with us, and had s'mores (well we forgot the grahams, but luckily Rosy and Rocky both only like the cream filling in oreos so I had oreo smores, delicious) and banana boats with rolo's, and don't worry I did not knock Sarah's banana boat over into the ashes, it maintained it's banana boat integrity.  Rocky did fall asleep on my lap sitting around the camp fire, and after some Advil PM's I wasn't too far behind.  Sarah woke me up after she cleaned up around the camp to go to sleep in the tent.  She waited til late that night to exact her revenge on me for making her clean the camp by herself in the dark.  That night while me and the kids were sleeping, we were stormed on, with thundering and lightning and rain.  If you are observant you will see that there is no tarp or cover over these tents, also what you can't see is that my shoes were sitting just outside the tent.  So when I woke up at my usual camping time of 3 am I woke up to a sleeping bag covered in rain and soaked shoes, but not to worry it was a good 45 degrees when we woke up, so no harm done really...
 Rocky made mom and dad very happy when he took an instant love to shooting bows.  He got so excited every time he was able to loose a shaft. 

 I think he will grow into the bow.
 We used big cut wood for targets.  This is me getting the arrow out (Sarah took this picture to prove that I actually hit the target).  Sarah was the big winner of the bow shooting this evening.  Her first time shooting her bow in over a year and she hits it dead center.
 Sarah used some sound reasoning and dressed our kids in layers in the morning.  Here is Rosy's cute and warm morning outfit.
 We had the delusional thought of going on a five mile hike to Echo lake in the morning.  Rocky was very excited to go on an adventure until he found out that everyone had backpacks and he did not.  Then he shut down.  Here are some things that may or may not have happened on this hiking attempt.

1. Arguing with a three year old about why he does not need a backpack
2. Three year old standing his ground and not moving, much like his namesake
3. Angry dad giving three year old to the count of three to climb into a hiking pack
4. Three year old standing his ground and not moving
5. Very angry dad throwing the hiking pack into the woods scaring the Sasquatch who was watching close by eating popcorn and drinking soda
6. Three year old standing his ground and not moving
7. Very angry dad blacking out for a minute and shooting several rounds of .40 caliber off into the sky...
8. Sasquatch running for cover

So instead we hiked while carrying both of our kids for about a mile.
 Rocky was cold,
 Rosy knew the way,

 Good logs to rest on, and recover composure.

 After crossing a few streams, we came to one that we could not cross, and we turned around.
 Incidentally the 10 mile round trip turned into a 2 mile round trip, and that was a perfect distance.
 We didn't see Echo lake but it was still a difficult hike.
 After the hike, we cooked up some hot dogs and tin foil dinners and had lunch.
 Rosy was really cute and good at putting ketchup on all by her self.
 After fishing for a few hours I was convinced that stream was as empty of fish as the park was of people.  But, Sarah tried her hand at it and after only two casts, she caught the first and only fish of the trip.  She was very excited, she didn't know what to do afterwards, and the hook was stuck.  So with the kids and Sarah gathered around the table I cut the fish's head off and gutted it.  Afterwards, I thought it could have been more tactfully done.
 Me and Rocky decided to try our luck at fishing again, we failed at catching fish, but succeeded at getting wet and cold and tired.  This is Rocky hiding from the smoke and sleeping.
 Like I was saying earlier.  We were the only people at the campground until the next afternoon came.  There are some rules that are so basic that they do not need anyone to write them down, which are just expected.  For example, say you are a guy and have to go to the bathroom.  So you walk in and there are 20 urinals and only one being used, you DO NOT use the urinal on either side of the occupied one, you find one at a respectful distance. 

 The parking lot is completely empty, and these socially inept hikers parked right next to us.  We couldn't even open our doors without hitting their vehicle.  They are probably the same type of people you would worry about looking down at you in the urinals.  Now you all know a personal pet peeve.
Now some reasons why the 3 day, 2 night, camping trip turned into a 2 day, 1 night camping trip. 
1. We forgot chips and soda-pop
2. The kids both took long naps and were ready for an un-restful and un-relaxing night
3. We only caught 1 fish, not enough to feed all four of us (without chips and soda)
4. We saw a bear (on the way back)
5. My tooth was telling me that I should get a root canal
6. Someone parked right next to us when the parking lot was completely empty, and I don't like or trust anyone like that