Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Changing Perspectives

Two entire summers have passed without a single camping trip.  Thinking back on our last trips in 2010, our family has certainly changed a lot since then.  Our weekend was full of "Last time..." statements and opportunities to compare the kids, and our experiences, to those past years.  While humans tend to look fondly on the years gone by as "The Good Old Days," it was fun to see how the current days stack up.

The trip down to Moab(ish) was amazingly quiet as the boys were wrapped up in the books on CD.  Quiet anytime in the car is new to us!

The location was also new.  Neither Kirk nor I have ever been to Arches National Park before, so we were pretty excited to share that new experience.

It turns out we're still just as bad at following the rules as ever.  In the picture below, the boys are sliding down the side of Pine Tree Arch.

But actually getting in trouble with the rangers was new.  Turns out our site wasn't a site after all.  In fact, we had several violations.  But the very kind ranger only wrote us up for the cheapest infraction.

Now that the boys are bigger, so is their desire to put sticks in the fire.  I am anxiously awaiting the day when their common sense might catch up.  I fear this day may never come.

Daddy is still chief carrier of all things sleepy.  Sadly for Daddy, the sleepy things weigh lots more.

Dylan has promoted himself to Chief Navigator, at least when arrows are involved.

We still use the same cobbler recipe (thanks, Jay & Raini), even though only 60% of the family likes cobbler.  Turns out this particular 20% liked it well enough for everyone.

Our backpack options have certainly changed.  Kirk got mocked on the trail for sporting this particular pack; mine was Buzz Lightyear.

We still try to use the trail to teach as much as possible.  The last time we hiked the Southern Utah redrock, Adam was 18 months old and learning the words "up" and "down."  Dylan practiced the same concepts but in complete sentences.  "Now we are going up?"

Mom no longer has to read all the signs.  Adam was given the post of Chief Sign Reader whenever possible.  However, I should have reconsidered having him read the warnings about dehydration; he ended up knowing all the right symptoms to be certain he was exhibiting.

Cheesy Balls of Goodness still reign supreme on our menu!

Mom has a new partner for adventure.  Adam and I hiked an extra quarter-mile to get to perch high up in this section of Partition Arch.  The next day, we enjoyed the natural water slide (also known as a slippery part of a waterfall) we found at Mill Creek.  It was fun to teach Adam my personal rules regarding adventure: think of the likeliest worst-case scenario.  If you can live with that - go for it!

Water at our campsites is still a MUST.  We were lucky to get to camp near Onion Creek.  Ankle deep at its deepest, it provided hours of worry-free fun.

We still get dirtier than any other family out there.  The red sand of Southern Utah made Dylan's face match his hair!

Okay, make that THREE new partners in adventure.  We enjoyed running down the sand dune located conveniently across the street from the Arches entrance.

Daddy is still the pack mule.

But at least he has more help around the campsite!

In fact, the older boys loaded all the firewood themselves.  I think we can get used to that!

The boys still love their Gatorade.  They drank little else for three straight days.

Daddy missed the four-wheel drive of our old Ford but didn't miss the unreliable brakes.  But after listening to the truck work hard to top every hill, we may put a tow hitch on and take Mommy's V6 next time.

We still proudly celebrate "owies" as a badge of courage.  Dylan collected the best one sliding down a patch of slickrock.  Considering he hiked nearly six miles by himself over the course of the weekend, he certainly deserved his badge. 

Our old trailer is no more.  We borrowed one from Grandma Tess for the trip, and we now know about a few conveniences we can't live without.  Our next trailer (someday) will have a working light and some astro-turf to throw in front of the door.

The trail of hikers now extends one more brother back.  They often hiked in this exact formation, equally spaced little heads exploring the skyline.

The trip was great.  A much needed time to reconnect after a busy few years.  And definitely a chance to gain a little perspective.

Ha ha... see what I did there?  A little perspective?  


Kris said...

So glad to hear that you guys made it out camping again this year. Arches is a lot of fun. Makes me think about our past camping trips with you all. We are hoping to get out this year as well (we haven't been since Brielle was two) but it's trickier out here with the intense heat in the summers because of humidity.