Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Camping

I had an awesome weekend this Labor Day weekend.  My parents recently bought a new tent trailer.  They have been looking at them for quite some time and finally found a perfect one for a good price.  So we took it out camping to Anthony Lakes for it's maiden voyage.  Since my brother is home again, he came as well.  So it was mom, dad, Jake, me and our five dogs.  My brother started his new job here at the hospital this last week so Dad and I took the tent trailer up to Anthony Friday morning to get a good camping spot before everyone started coming in for the three day weekend then Jake and mom came up later when Jake got off work at 3:30pm.

So dad and I headed up in the morning and had a beautiful drive up there.  The weather was supposed to be nice all weekend.  We got up there and were able to get one of our favorite camping spots so we were quite happy.  We got the trailer backed in and firstly got the dogs out and set up the kennel so they'd be out of the way and not running all over the place.

(Buddy and my baby girl Morgan snuggled up together in the kennel)

(Dad setting up our new tent trailer)

After dad got the tent trailer set up, he decided to go down to the host and get some firewood while I stayed at the camp with the dogs.  I sat there by myself for a short while just listening to the sounds of the forest and feeling the warmth of the sun on my back.  It felt so good to be out of the house and outside for a change.  Unfortunately my shoulder was hurting so bad so I took some pain pills and laid down in the trailer for a bit.  Soon dad was back with some wood. While I continued to lay down and rest my shoulder he started setting up the camp more setting up the canopy and getting things out of the trailer.  

(Our campsite)

(Our campsite - the fire pit area)

(Dad chopping up some firewood to make kindling)

Soon enough Jake and mom arrived.  We unloaded some more things from Jake's truck and started a fire to get ready to roast hot dogs for dinner.  

(Roasting hot dogs for Friday night dinner)

After dinner my brother taught us a card game called euchre.  It was incredibly fun. It takes four people to play and you play in teams of two.  It's a little bit like pinochle but a bit different.  So since my parents and Jake have played pinochle before it was easier for them to learn it but I've never played pinochle so it took me a few trials and games before I started to really get it.  It's an awesome game.

Soon it was dark and we decided to stop cards and just sit around the campfire, chat and look at the stars.  That's my favorite part, sitting around the campfire.  Eventually we all retired to sleep our first night in the tent trailer.  And we slept great.  It was really quite comfortable.  And cozy!  The first night, though, my Morgan got us up cause she had to potty so we all ended up getting up and taking the dogs out to potty and potty ourselves.  But we resettled in and slept in till about 7 AM.  

Saturday morning we got up and got a fire going and the coffee started right away.  Having coffee by the fire in the morning is also a favorite part of camping of mine.  For breakfast we had pumpkin rolls that we pre-made at home and fried up sausages and hashbrown patties.  It was a pretty good breakfast!  After we cleaned up after breakfast we started in on euchre again and played a few hands.  Dad and I were on a team and were unbeatable!  Jake and mom couldn't beat us!  It was great fun.

(Playing euchre Saturday morning)

After we played a few rounds of the card game, Jake and I decided to go on the hike to Hoffer Lake.  Jake has hiked it several times but I never have.  It's not a very long hike but it's a very difficult hike.  Most of the hike is very, VERY steep.  I wasn't sure if I would go cause I have my shoulder that starts to hurt really bad when exerted (even when resting) plus I have a very weak right leg from when they did the free flap surgery on my leg for my neck release.  Not to mention I'm not in the best shape right now.  But I wanted to go do something with my dear big brother so I decided I'd try.  Jake was very sweet and said any time I wanted to stop and go back we could.  There was no problem with that.  It was up to me how I felt.  So we put on our matching bandannas and headed out.


 (A little stream followed along most of the trail)

 (Towards the top the stream opens up into a little pond)

 (Hard to tell from this picture just how steep this is, but this is what most of the trail looked like)

 (Hoffer Lake, elevation - 7472ft)

 (Hoffer Lake)

(I made it!!!)

The hike was incredibly difficult for me but I didn't want to give up and turn back so I slowly but surely made my way to the top with the sweet help of my big brother.  I did it!!!  I was so proud of myself.  And it was fun spending some time alone with Jakey.  We had a lot of fun doing that together. 

We got back around dinner time.  I was exhausted.  My legs felt like jelly and my shoulder was hurtin' for certain.  For dinner Saturday night, dad and Jake had stew while mom and I had turkey chili.  It tasted pretty good.  After dinner we played some more euchre then ended up by the campfire again when it got dark, looking up at the stars in the big night sky.

 (Everyone looking at the stars.  I love this picture)

 (Roasting twinkies over the camp fire)

Sunday was our last day of all of us camping together cause Jake had to work Monday.  So we got up a little earlier than Saturday and had some coffee by the camp fire again.  Dad wanted to try doing some fishing so he went down that morning to see if he could catch anything.  Jake met up with him after a cup of coffee.  So mom and I hung out around the campfire while they were down fishing.  We timed it so we would have breakfast about the time they said they'd be back.  

 (Mom cooking some bacon over the outside grill)

(Mom cooking scrambled eggs)

Dad came back with one fish.  Not much was biting.  After breakfast we played another couple rounds of euchre only this time dad and I's winning streak ended and Jake and mom won both games.  After those two games, Jake needed to pack up and head home.  It was sad that he had to leave.  After he left in the early afternoon, dad decided to go back down and try to fish again so mom and I stayed and read outside while he was gone.  After a couple hours he came back with one more fish.  Again, not a lot of bites.  So he cleaned up the fish and fried 'em up for an afternoon snack.

(Dad and his fish)

Before dinner, we decided to take a little walk down by the lake.  I took Morgan, mom took Opal and Pearl, and dad took Buddy.  It was an overcast day but still beautiful.  

 (Anthony Lakes)

 (Gunsight Mountain)

 (Mom and I out by the lake)

(Dad, me and mom at the lake)

Later, once again, only without Jake, we were gathered around the campfire.  Our last night.  It was an incredible weekend.  It felt so good to get out of the house and do some camping.  It was like I got to take a few days off from my struggles and worries.