This is my 200th post! I know it's been awhile since my last post, but let's just say, we have been busy.
We just got home from our annual camping trip with the boys. This year we decided to go to Butt Lake. Mike camped there as a kid and has a love for this place. We set the date in June and the planning and preparation began! Mike and I had a list that we were working off of. I should take a picture and post it because it was seriously...long. We brought so much stuff!! We borrowed a truck from Mike's supervisor, there was no way we could of done it in our car. Here is the night before leaving, our kitchen was beginning to fill up with boxes and things we were taking with us. By the way, it feels like we took everything but the kitchen sink with us.
We did the drive in two days, stopping in Napa to eat and sleep basically. The drive to Napa was long, I think we made of total of 5 stops. We had the truck full as possible, with a tarp over the top with the bikes on top of the tarp. Let's just say we had a ton of people on the road staring. :) We were picking up an ice chest in Napa and had to pack that the night before and find a way to get it in the truck with all the other stuff. The next morning, we got up at 6am and got back in the car to make the last leg of our journey. We made pretty good time on this stretch of the trip and it was beautiful driving the Feather River. This was the same way Mike's Dad would take them on their family camping trips. There are several tunnels that you go through and we honked through every one of them. The boys thought that was really fun and had huge smiles in the back seat. Weston was a little upset towards the end and we ended up having to stop and feed him and the boys got to get out and stretch their legs.
We knew that we had quite the job ahead of us to set up our camp. We were meeting Mike's brother, Bobby and his friend James up there who had been up there a week already. They had saved us a camp site right next to them and we began setting up. Melissa, Stan and Nolan arrived a few hours later and together we set up camp.
The boys hopped on their bikes right away and Mike joined them for a ride after all the camp set up was complete. Bobby and James made us dinner that night. We had blue cheese burgers, chicken, beans, and corn. Yum!
Weston was a happy camper from the beginning and barely made a peep between his naps in the tent and our long walks through the camp ground.
That night we took a walk down by the lake. It was peaceful and pretty down there.
We were in awe of the beauty and so thankful to be together out in the woods. The boys were all happy and dirty.
The next day (Tuesday), we went fishing mid morning. It was our family plus Melissa, Stan and Nolan. It was really nice down there, warm and peaceful. No fish were caught that day.
The boys all had their bikes and they spend a ton of time riding around on them. Nolan got his first bike.Nolan and Austin were two peas in a pod. They are so similar in personality, they fought the most, but spent the most time together.
That evening, I made a big pot of chili and a salad early, because Bobby had the boat working and Mike was planning on taking the boys out on the boat. The boys were really excited to go out on the boat. Everyone else stayed back at the campsite. We took a walk along the shore after the boys took off on the boat.
To spare you the details, they got stranded out on the boat that evening and had only one oar in the boat to get them back to shore. Since Mike had forgotten the boys sweatshirts, I was not super happy when they came up to camp shivering and crying. Mike was exhausted from oaring. We bundled them all up and made them some hot chocolate to drink by the camp fire.
Kaden and Weston fell asleep during the drive home. Austin refused to sleep and was dancing around in the back seat.
I took a picture of this phone booth on the way home from Lassen. This is at a little store across the road from where we camped. Lake Almanor is in the background. This is the phone booth where Mike would call home when he camped there with his Dad during the summer.
Weston finally got some belly time in after a long day hiking at Lassen.
Despite being tired, the boys hopped on their bikes. We bbq'd a tri tip that evening.
Friday we spent by the lake chillin. Stan and Mike played beer pong that afternoon while the boys ran around the table. Bobby drove into Chester and picked up some pizza's.
That night we went fishing again with the boys.
Just when we thought we were gonna get skunked again, Mike caught a fish!!! That made his night and he spent the rest of the evening with a smile on his face. It was a catfish, so we let it go.
Saturday was officially our last full day there. Mike really wanted to fish some more, so he took the boys down to the "powerhouse". I stayed back at the camp with Weston. Melissa and Stan took Nolan into Chester for a milk shake and to get a cake for us to celebrate Nolan's birthday that evening.
Stan stayed at the campsite with the big boys and Melissa, Mike and I went fishing with Bobby and James. It was another pretty night at the lake. So sad to be going home the next day. I have never been so dirty in my life. I was SO ready for a shower!
Sunday was spent packing up our camp. It took us over 5 hours to break it all down and load up the truck. Mike and I were seriously tired and irritated by the end of that. We drove to Napa that night, got showered and rested.
Monday morning we woke up and went to breakfast with Grandma Dawn. It was so nice to see her. She gave Mike a precious gift. It is his Dad's fingerprint in silver with his name and year and date of his birth on the back.
This trip for Mike was very healing. He has a ton of memories of his Dad camping at the very same camp ground. Kaden was really sweet, while fishing at powerhouse with his Dad, he said "I love you Papa Lew". While packing up our site we listened to the playlist that Melissa had done for Lew's memorial. The first song on there is a Conway Twitty song and the song really reminded Mike of his Dad. I heard it and started to cry a little, a few minutes later Mike walked up to me and he was crying too. Mike needed that trip and I am so so happy that we did it. I am so proud of us for being able to give that experience to our boys.