This Summer was PACKED! It seemed like every weekend was taken up with some event or another. That is, all but 1 weekend! That weekend became sacred, NOTHING could touch it, it was all ours!
Speaking of PACKED!
1 MINI + 4 People + Camping gear = TIGHT!!
We rented a roof rack and packed ourselves in! I SO love this car. Otherwise I may have been annoyed! Honestly, how can you be annoyed when you still average 40+ mpg, fully loaded, going up a canyon?! You can't! It just makes you love the car all the more! :)
Plus, look at that cute little cluster of people! Do they look upset about their close quarters....Nay! I say they do not! They were pleased as punch for the trip ahead!
It has been a LLLOOONNNGGG time since this girl has seen the inside of a tent! Not that I don't like it, it's just that...um, well.....I am spoiled. I like sleep. Tents DO NOT beget sleep! Unless you are 11 & 6 & then you sleep like a rock on the rocks! Lucky little farts!
Have I told you that my daughter is actually a daughter of the mountains? See the shoes on her feet....oh yeah, there aren't any! What is with her?! Trying to keep shoes on her while she was at camp was IMPOSSIBLE!
She is a different kid, when we have her in the outdoors. Hiking, camping....anything! It's like she ages a few years. She is suddenly totally grown up and filled with adventure! I'm sure that just like I feel the ocean is part of my soul, she feels that the mountains are part of hers. And I like it!
One of our....ok, the only REAL scheduled event, was to hit the Minnetoka Cave.
Aw, now isn't that precious?!
We joined a group of young boy scouts. Just us and them. I gained some real appreciation for the men that lead the 13-14 year old boy scouts. By the end of this little adventure I was CONVINCED that I would rather pluck my arm hair out one by one than have the privilege of surrounding myself with fifteen 13-14 year old boys on a regular basis. That's why I am all the more grateful for the men that do it!
The cave was super cool!
Mallory, only because of her passion for any sort of wilderness, seemed perfectly fine with the dark confined space of the cave. Disneyland rides in the dark....SO TOTALLY OUT! Even the storybook ones! Caves littered with animal bones and guano! TOTALLY IN!
We all liked the cave a lot. The best part......
One of the boys leaders taught us a lesson.
While we were in the center of the cave the lights were turned off. This is typical of a cave tour. They want to show you that you can't see your hand in front of your face. It was so dark that your eyes would never adjust. There was not a trace of light to be found. Someone turned on a small light, they talked about how the light chases away the darkness. Where the light was, the dark could not exist. The Light in our life is Christ.
That was such a great lesson and I am glad that our kids were there and listening.
Then came another part. The lights were out. We were told to find the railing so we could find our way. I thought I knew the way to the railing. It was only a few steps away. I started to take my first step. The darkness was so consuming that it made me question direction. Did I REALLY know which was to step? It was so confusing. Then there was Mallory. Now she was scared. Not full on crying by whimpering. She didn't want to move. I bent down and reminded her of the story of Lehi's Dream. If we can get to the railing, we could hold tight and find our way out. The railing stays right with the path the whole way out of the cave. We knew the path was clear and safe if we held on to the iron rod.
We took a few steps and found the rod. I carried Mallory & we talked about the iron rod being like the gospel & the scriptures and how just like holding tight to the railing and following it, we knew we would get out safe, if we stay close to the Lord through the scriptures and following the gospel, we would get back to our Father in Heaven....and our Dawson! If we let go, we would be lost!
If the power had gone out and our only option to get out was by holding to that railing, we would, because we would all know that if we let go, even for a second, our senses were so confused by the darkness, that we wouldn't be able to find our way back to it, without help! And in fact, the possibility of being seriously injured was almost guaranteed.
I thought about how, logically, I wouldn't let go of that railing, if the power was out. I would cling to it, as if my life depended on it. Nothing would get me to let go! Well, it just so happens that life DOES depend on it! If we let go, the chance of getting lost is guaranteed! The only way back, is by the help of others.
There is NOTHING this world has to offer that would persuade me to let go of my Eternal Perspective! Our son & brother is waiting to receive us on the other end. That is something we KNOW. I hope my kids will always remember the lesson we learned that day! Mallory has brought it up a few times since then, I think it made an impact!
I LOVE this picture! IT totally reminds me of THIS POST.
We had so much fun just chillin back at camp! Ryan & Jake gathered fire wood & Ry taught Jake how to start a fire using flint & steel! It took a while to get a hang of it. He got a little frustrated, but he didn't give up. That is when success is the sweetest! He was SO proud of himself! We were proud of him too! Maybe I will send him to be on Survivor and live out my dreams through him! :)
Now THAT is a fire! :)
Every night the mosquitoes would swarm and we would seek refuge in our tent! The sun was still up, so we would play games for a couple of hours. Phase 10, Skip Bo, Go Fish....it was actually quite a bit of fun. Likely because Mallory would get super hilarious every night. We spent most of the time laughing at her tactics. She is a loon! :)
Then when bedtime would roll around we would try to fall asleep while Jake & Mal pestered each other into exhaustion. Good times.
Our goal for this trip was NO PLANS, NO CLOCKS. It was awesome! When the sun got up, so did we. When the sun went down, so did we. It was SO relaxing!
We spent an entire day vegging on the beach! All the sand & water we could possibly handle!
It was perfectly relaxing!
Mallory was in heaven! It was fun to watch her little wheels turn as she thought of something else she wanted to do in the sand.
She was determined! I could see her idea swirling around in her head.
She made sand castles, then rivers, then buried herself, then started over again! All day long!
Ry & Jake played frisbee for hours!
It was fun to watch them laughing with each other over the crazy throw or the insane diving catch the other made!
I spent the afternoon swimming, floating, sitting, basking.....it was all just glorious!
As I scrolled through all of the pictures I realized that this may be the only one I am in. Hmmm....maybe we should hire a photographer to go on all of our trips with us, just to prove that I was there with the rest of them! :)
After the beach we decided to drive around the whole lake and then stop in town for a shake.
Such a fun day! Such a fun trip! If you haven't been to Bear Lake, you should totally go! It is beautiful and SO much fun! Definitely a favorite weekend this Summer!