January 2, 2021-Last Camping Trip of 2020 and First Camping Trip of 2021

(click for today's pictures)

Again we slept wonderfully well this morning. It was around 9 when Robby’s alarm went off. I am not too sure why he did set an alarm, but it was probably a good time to wake up. I am already a bit worried about getting me and my people to start waking up in time to do school this next week. Actually, I have just about convinced myself to take Monday off since I will have to wash and clean every single thing in this camper.

There will be quite a bit of cleaning because of this crazy rain. It has just left mud and wetness everywhere. Thankfully the kids are pretty good about taking their shoes up and keeping the camper clean. Traci’s steps are right in front of a mud pit so her place is pretty coated in mud.

Robby started making cinnamon rolls before he took his shower. By the time that he was out, the rolls were ready. And no, it wasn’t homemade rolls that he made, but they were delicious still. We were sitting on the table eating our breakfast when I first noticed the snow.

Now, I am a weather lover. I am also a snow lover, and some dayw I am even a rain lover. However, I am not a rain lover or even a snow lover when we are camping. The snow this morning was pretty heavy (or at home we would definitely say that it was heavy) yet it was mixed in with some rain.

After our little breakfast, we went over to the Crafts to sit by the fire which was already roaring. I believe that everyone brought wood plus they have foraged for more fallen logs to cut up in the woods. Robby did say that he probably needs some huge fire building lessons because these fires have been big and hot. Well, I guess all of that lighter fluid that started the fire a few days ago probably helped.

The kids played and made the loop quite a few times this morning as the snow changed to a drizzle and then soon stopped. We were starting to dry out a little bit which was nice. And let me say, my kids have certainly started doing a better job about staying out of the water and keeping dry today. Though I did walk right in the camper and set my foot in a pile of water on the step thus soaking my socks. I have let some people wear my extra socks so that meant that I only had one more pair. So I went to the “dirty but dry if you need to wear them again” laundry pile and found a pair of Graham’s long socks. I thought they would keep my feet/legs warm today, but they were the thinnest socks ever.

Soon it was almost 1, so I heated up some bagel bites in the oven. Robby really enjoys cooking outside, but in this weather it is just a little bit difficult. The wet has been more challenging than the cold. However, even though it probably did not make it above 35 today, it has not been miserable at all. Now I did have on two pairs of pants plus a long sleeve t-shirt, a fleece jacket, a hooded sweatshirt and a rain coat along with gloves and a hat. I don’t think that any was really miserably cold-for example Whitman did not ever even put on his big heavy jacket.

Now, at 2 we were about to start our hike that we had been planning since we had gotten here. The hope was that by today it would have dried out enough to be easier. However, the silly continuous rain yesterday along with the snow today didn’t help dry things out.

As we were about to leave, the biggest, heaviest snow started to fall. It would have been beautiful if I would have beeen at home. Or even if we would have just been hunkered down in the camper. I was starting to dread our little hike as Graham came in about in a panic.

Even though I clearly wrote to bring a hat and gloves, my big boys didn’t heed my advice. And even though I clearly explained that it would be cold, Graham only brought a sweatshirt for his jacket. He came in this camper about to panic-the snowflakes were beautiful, but when they hit something they would melt and it was just like rain. He knew he was about to get soaking wet-thankfully, he was agreeable to wear a rain suit jacket. 

Anderson was next to run in the camper looking for a hat followed by Reagan who was also looking for a hat. Soon though we were off on our hike-and even though the snow continued for the first little bit, we never froze at all and really, that snow was kind of pretty because it soon started sticking on the trees. As soon as it came though, it disappeared and we could almost see the sun when we came back to the camp.

The hike took us across the river and by the visitor’s center. We hiked by caves and near a ravine. Then there were rocks that we just had to step down-it was all a bit harder because of the rain and mud in some places, but everyone did really well. 

I didn’t even slip-I was just wearing my croc type shoes since my tennis shoes were completely wet, and they don’t have any treads on the bottom. Quite a few of my kids were wearing those types of shoes-apparently we all need hiking boots on next years Christmas lists. 

The hike was really neat and only a bit over 2 miles. When we made it back to camp, the kids started playing again while the adults started thinking about supper. We eventually fired up the outside stove to heat up the first night’s chili and made potato soup. I threw some cheese on some Hawaiaan bread and heated that up in the oven so we just had ourselves the perfect cold weather meal.

By the time that I had our supper dishes cleaned up, Casey was pulling apple dump cake off of the dutch oven, and a bit later Wes made popcorn and hot chocolate for everyone. Quite a few kids played games in the tarped tent tonight and others migrated to different campers to watch movies or play games. 

We have mostly had the little girls over here-you would think that that has been a problem, but they usually try to clean up before they leave and other than messy shoes, you wouldn’t even know that they were in here since they just sit and play games.

The adults stayed by the fire with some of the big kids and talked. We stayed outside until 10:30ish before picking up and heading in. A few of my folks wanted showers, so it took us a bit to get everyone in bed. Robby just told them that they had 5 more minutes, but I can already hear Graham breathing like his is asleep. This has been a big day-I wish every day at home was filled with a 2.5 mile hike!

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