Monday, July 21, 2008


Warning: Long Post- (For my journal keeping)

June 27-29, 2008
Damond and I always talk about camping. We both love it and always say that we need to take the boys camping. Thomas has only been once before and that was with his Grandpa. So we finally had a weekend open and decided that we should go camping, but then we'd say, umm maybe not. We were really dragging our feet. (damond was working on his application and I, well, I like camping, but I have never been in charge of camping) so I didn't/couldn't plan it. So on tues I made the decision. It was just going to have to be one of those things you just do and then see how it goes :) If the food didn't work out, Burger King was not that far away :D
At the end of June, we went camping up in Sedona. We were VERY LUCKY! All the websites and park rangers say come early. Sedona fills up real fast. So I took the advice. My brother drove up with me and the boys. Damond would be driving up with his friend Matt after work.
We left around 5:00 in the morning. I thought that was early. I had actually planned to leave around 4:00, but Diego didn't get here on time :) I thought that was early enough, but apparently I was wrong. Anyways, we finally get to Sedona and the first campsite we see says, "full". Oh no. So we keep driving, "FULl! and again Full." Our fourth site, I don't see a sign, but I passed the entry way and had to drive a bit before I can turn around. The car behind me did see and turned in. By the time I got back there, the car behind us had pulled into the only spot left :( So I rolled down my window and crossed my fingers, "Ummm, are you planning on staying here?" she kind of hesitated and answered yes. She then asked me if I was the Camp Director ( i forget what they are called, but they are the people in charge of the campsite). For a split second, I think about saying, "Why yes I am. You cannot park there. You must leave and go somewhere else" :) I know, bad, but I had a car FULL!!!! of camping gear and two children getting very restless. I was getting desperate. BUT the good part of me won out. I said no and moved on. We then passed a couple more sites, all of which said... FULL! :( We kept driving in hopes, but we were halfway to Flagstaff and Thomas needed to go potty and Alex was really needing a bottle. (which we could not find! ) There was absolutely no space in the car and we knew it would be impossible to find without unpacking the whole car. Not going to happen, so I let Thomas pee on the side of the road :( Gross, but no other solution. My brother then made Alex a bottle in a sippy cup. At first he refused the sippy cup, but then must have realized, he's not that picky or just that hungry! We headed back to Sedona and once again pulled into Bootleggers camp. The previous girl in the NAU car was leaving. I shouted, Yeah! Only to see a little paper, that upon further inspection said the campsite was reserved :( So once again, we left. But on our way out (on the last spot) is the reservation paper saying they only payed for one night and would be leaving today. They only had a small tent out and their cooler. They looked packed up... hmmm... Check-out for camp sites is 1:00. hmmmm... but no one was around, so I decide to drive to Cottonwood and check out some other camp sites.
We really wanted to be by water, so once we got to Cottonwood, Diego went to check things out. He finally returned to the car and said he walked forever, could hear the water, but never was able to see it. :(
So we head back to Sedona, praying that last spot would be open. I had called the Ranger's office and they told me that Campsite was first come-first serve. By that time it was 11:30. I was really worried somebody else would get there first!
We finally get there around 12:15. The campsite hasn't been vacated. I start to fill out the reservation slips and pay my money when another camper comes up to fill one, too. I ask her how the whole system works. She tells me that they only paid for one night and were now going to pay for the second night. "Crap!" That means I need to find out if the people are really leaving before I pay. :( So, I become the camping spot stalker! Thomas has had enough of the car, so I ask Diego if he would take him down to the water.
This spot was so close to the creek and it had a water hole to swim in, it was PERFECT!

(well, the camp sites were really close together and the spot we wanted was just below the highway, but remember we were not in a position to be picky :D )
I started asking around if anyone knew who the people at the end were. I was told a young couple, who had been seenwalking down to the creek. So there I went, asking anyone about this couple.
Eventually I went back to spot to wait and wait. Finally I see a young lady. She turned out to be the one! She told me they were indeed leaving, probably not till two and that I could remove her reservation slip and put my own :) She was so nice, I didn't want to remind her that check-out was at one :-) Stalking and perseverance always prosper!
So hurried to find Diego and Thomas so I could pay. As I started to walk down, my feet slipped out from under me. I tried to protect Alex, so I kind of turned which made me land on my arm and behind. owwwww :( Somehow I am always falling when I on trips :(
Diego and I then head back into town for ice and a few other items, like a bottle. (It was not to be found and we figured out that I probably left it on top of the car and drove off)
While at the store, Alex dumped almost a whole cup of soda on himself. The nice check-out lady gave the boys balloons. Diego and I both had to go back in for replacements. Alex popped one and then while INSIDE the car, we see it fly out :)
Finally, we got back to the campsite and set up our mansion. Barbara lent us her tent that fits 30 people, just kidding, but it really is HUGE! Once camp was set up, we went down to explore the water hole. It was FREEZING! So much for exploring :) Well, Diego and Thomas tried, but Thomas is no longer a fan of freezing water. Alex liked it :-)
After my toes fell off, we went back to the campsite and started dinner. I was quite impressed with Diego, the Eagle Scout. He makes a very yummy tin foil dinner. Thomas had a lot of fun playing with the flashlight and he loved the tent. He was really tired and even though he tried really hard to stay awake for Dad, he finally asked me to put him to bed. It was then that Damond finally showed up.
So, of course, once Thomas heard Dad, he wanted to eat "frashmellows" :) We taught him how to roast marshmallows, but he liked them plain.
The next day, the boys woke up real early. Damond got up with them and I tried to go back to sleep, but the ground was real hard and I had tons of bruises from my fall.

We ate breakfast and walked down to the creek. Alex and Thomas loved playing with the rocks and water. There is no better toy than rocks, dirt, and water :)

We walked back up and Diego and Matt were Still Sleeping! They eventually woke up and we headed down to Slide Rock. I had never been before and it was really cool, but ICE cold! Thomas fell right off the bat (I don't know who he gets that from) and that plus the cold water, just did not entice him. Can you tell?

He did like walking on the rocks. Alex loved it ALL.

I wonder why little ones don't care about cold water? Thomas used to be like that... I wonder what changes?
I eventually slid down the rocks. It really helps if you just submerge yourself.
Damond, Diego, and Matt went cliff diving. They said it was really cool. Unfortunately, I didn't go that way, so no pictures :(
By the time, we left, there were alot of people. So we thought ten was a pretty good time to get there. Though next time, we might try to eat lunch there.

We eventually went to the water hole again. It was still freezing. I dove in and I almost went into shock, brrrrrrrr :(
There was a little cliff you could jump off at the water hole that the boys liked. Damond eventually convinced me to do it. I like cliff jumping, but the last couple of times I have done it, my ears start hurting real bad. :( So no more cliff jumping for me.

What a handsome fella!

Look at his toes... he loved it, but the coldness made his toes curl :D

I just told Thomas that he counted 123 way too fast for me to jump
I was being a chicken :)

I made my first dutch oven cobbler. It turned out pretty good. I was quite pleased :D
Thomas loved just about everything about camping. He got to throw rocks in water, there was tons of dirt to get dirty in (and believe me, he got dirty!) There is one picture where he is absolutely covered in dirt from head to toe. (He did Dirt Angels... front and back)
Diego found him a really cool stick. He was very sad to leave camping. I am really glad that we made ourselves do it and now I know that I am capable of camping. It was a much needed family weekend away :)

(I think Alex got really tired of us putting him in the playpen, so the evening we got home, he started walking :D )


FarFam said...

How fun! Don't tell Dean, but I hate camping!!! I told him I would go with him, as long as there was a bathroom near by. He hasn't taken me up on the offer, so I am safe so far!!! Cute pictures...yay for Alex walking...nothing is safe now!

Kate said...

So many great photos! I loved reading all of the camping details.

Joan Koplin said...

LOVE camping! I have a great spot for you for next's just east of Payson about 25 Woods Canyon Lake. It is GORGEOUS. I don't think I will ever camp in Sedona again after our experience at Woods Canyon. The campsites are much bigger and more spread a part...and you still get the water feature (the lake). Sedona is just always crowded (can't believe you got up at FIVE AM!!!)
SO glad you guys had fun :)

Anonymous said...

You are a good sport for braving a camping trip! I love me a good campfire. We've missed out on all of that stuff this summer. Maybe next year!
I think the Air Force is a great branch of the military and for school purposes it would be awesome, but yes, as a wife with kids I was always hesitant. Good luck with making the decision. I know it's not an easy one!

cfarar said...

Cute pictures. Looks like you guys had a great time. You better of been able to just relax while camping with three guys! I love camping cause Darren takes care of everything and I just keep my eyes on the kids. You had one guy for each kid and the other to do all the camping stuff-right!:)

Adriana said...

hahahaha :)

I guess for the most part it was like that, except one wasn't that helpful :)

Mary said...

You are a way dedicated camper to have packed all your stuff and children up by 5 am!

What a story just getting a campsite! You definitely get the Mom of the month award.

Aren't kids the funniest? That's so funny that Thomas wasn't about it but little Alex was all in! Kids are such a crack up. Memories made.

Alice said...

What a fun weekend trip. I can't wait to taste that cobbler.

Thorsons said...

Good for you! I miss camping. I just don't have the guts to do much of it with the kids. I think the hardest part is my kids don't go to sleep until the sun goes down and then wake up at the crack of dawn! Now that we are in Oregon I think we will attempt it more often!