July 3, 2012

Big Weekend! Camping and Fires, Beds and Boats

Well, we survived a week without Hannah Jane.  She was at horse camp for 5 nights in a tent in the woods and she loved every second of it!  We merely survived without her.  Actually, it was nice to have some one on one time with the boys, but I missed her like crazy.

Saturday morning we left the house at 6 am to drive out to Provo Canyon to get her.  When you pick up a camper, you go to the amphitheater where all of the campers from all of the different camps are singing loud,l loud camp songs.  It's so cute that a momma could cry!  As soon as we showed up, she spotted us and ran up with tackle-like hugs.  She wanted her picture taken with her favorite counselor, Rue (there were a lot of Hunger Games themed camp names this year) and then it was off to go camping as a family.

We headed through Sundance to an area called Aspen Grove to set up camp.  Just down the road a bit from Aspen Grove is the most beautiful little place on planet earth.  It's called Cascade Springs and it's a gem if a place that we happened upon last summer when we picked up our little camper.  It's got these terraced pools of crystal clear water just teeming with fish and plant life.  The pour into one another with little waterfalls from terrace to terrace.  No picture could ever do it justice.  But since Hannah Jane got a digital camera to take to camp, most of my pictures of her are of her taking pictures of the cascades.  We loved it so much we went in the evening for dinner and again the next morning before we headed home!

It was a lovely trip and on the way home we stopped into the Cabella's in Draper.  Holy smokes!  That Cabella's puts every other one to shame!  It's unbelievable!  It has an entire wilderness, compelte with an arctic section, a different museum room just for deer and elk, and then a separate aquarium!  Dad, you've got to see out Cabella's!  And we lucked out because they were serving a free picnic lunch in honor of the 4th of July while we were there!

Next it was off to IKEA to buy the boys some bunk beds and to let the kids play in their Smalland.  Joe and I walked the store and then had a little dessert date in their cafeteria before we went and got them.  This trip to IKEA posed a nice chance to discuss budgeting with the boys.  We had just seen a paddle boat that the  entire family could fit in while we were at Cabella's and Joe and the kids were all pretty sold on getting it.  But then there were the bunk beds that weren't actually a necessity.  I mean, their current beds work just fine, it's just that the drawers under them are falling apart and they leave no space for playing in their tiny bedroom.  Bunk beds would give them space to actually play in their room and it would also give them space from each other when they need it during fall asleep time.  As it stands, Hunter has trouble falling asleep and he doesn't want to be lonely, so he tries to keep Haven awake to play with him.  It's not the best arrangement.

Anyway, we held a family meeting right there in IKEA to discuss the fact that we couldn't afford both a boat and a new bed, so we'd have to make a decision.  Haven really wanted the bed and Hunter really wanted the boat.  Hannah Jane was content with whatever (bless her heart) and Joe and I just wanted to find what would make the most people the happiest.  So we asked Haven why he wanted the bed so much and it was clear that he wanted space from Hunter that was his own.  We asked Hunter why he wanted the boat and he said, "Because a bed can't go in water!"  I proposed putting a tent over Haven's bed so that he had his own space, but he wasn't happy with that.  He really wanted that bed.  But Hunter wasn't yielding on the boat either.  Joe said, What if we got the bed and a kayak?  The two together are about the price of the paddle boat.  We can't all go out together, but we can take turns and I can go out with the guys from work that way too."  Everyone was happy with that idea.  Hunter just wanted to be on the water and Haven really wanted his own private space.  Score!  We felt so good about the way everyone participated in the discussion that it felt like a real family victory!

On the way home, as we pulled out the mouth of Sardine to the point where you can see our entire valley in one glance, we noticed smoke coming from a canyon on the other side of the valley.  We thought it was Logan Canyon.  As we neared home, we decided no, it was Providence Canyon on fire.  When we pulled into the driveway and were looking right at the fire, there was no denying that it was Millville Canyon.  One wrong wind and that fire could easily be in our yard.  But thankfully it wasn't windy at all.  It was so fun to watch the helicopters fly over and dump on the flames.  It went on in to the night, when I took this really fuzzy video of the fire.  My camera stinks at night, but it was so cool how it looked like lava running down a volcano that I couldn't resist.  It was either that of wake the kids to come see it, so I went for video.

The next morning, there were still flames, but by the time we left for family swim night, there wasn't even smoke anymore. The news was still saying it was only 50% contained, but the helicopters stopped flying  and there was no smoke at all, so I'm pretty sure the news was lagging.  Last I heard, it took 120 acres, which is almost nothing compared to what it could have been.  There wasn't even a breeze the day it started, so it was easily contained.  Today it's really windy, so we're lucky it's out already.

That's our big weekend!  Today starts our official first day of the new school year.  I don't know why we always start new grades in July, buy it just happens that we're ready for a fresh start every year about this time.  That means a trip to the photo booth in the mall soon for new school pictures!


  1. I love, love, love Cascade Springs and Aspen Grove! I worked as a National Park Ranger in that area for 4 summers (and spent a lot of time in that little tiny entrance station). It gorgeous up there!

  2. It's my favorite place on the planet. Cascade Springs is pure magic.


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