Aug 23, 2012

Bear Lake

The last shenanigan of our summer break was our first ever American camping excursion, and it was wonderful. My parents decided to take Marissa out camping for her Birthday on the 16th, and Sander and I were invited to come along. Our friend Elaine graciously offered to babysit our kids. Can you possibly imagine a better camping trip than one where you don't have to worry about the preparation, or look after any kids? I certainly can't. Mom and dad picked me up at noon on Thursday and, after a quick lunch at Denny's, we were off on course to the great wild called Sunrise Campgrounds by Bear Lake. A breathtaking drive ensued, which was mostly lost on mom who insisted on being stuffed in the back of the truck's cab ('No really, once I'm settled I'll be so comfortable!'). She didn't complain once either. The only hiccup we encountered in the directions was where it read 'at mile post 405 turn South. After 2 hours of driving we were at mile post 485, and the numbers were only going up, providing us with an interesting puzzle. Luckily the campground was impossible to miss, and before we knew it we were setting up camp and waiting for Marissa and Andrew and baby Karsten to arrive around dinner time. 
We had another 'small' hiccup while setting up the tents when we found out that one of the tents had no poles. Erh, yeah, poles are kinda essential so this was a problem. But fear not, dad said, we can just get the extra tent I brought! You mean the one you forgot to bring dad? Luckily Marissa & Andrew hadn't passed Logan yet so they made a quick stop at Walmart to purchase an extra tent. They too arrived safe and sound in time for a wonderful dinner of steak, potatoes and onions, and roasted corn on the cob. Of course I, the near-vegetarian, was put in charge of cooking the meat because, for reasons unknown, I have meat intution. Oh yes, bet you didn't see that one coming. After the meal we had a little celebration for Marissa and had the most amazing Snickers Cake (way to go on picking that one, dad!). Marissa got some small presents (a bag from mom and some crocheted coasters from me) and the promise of her real present, namely an afternoon of shopping with us, our treat. In between all that fun, Karsten's parents made the grave mistake of letting me hold him for a few minutes. Haven't they learned by now that children like to poop their pants when I cuddle them? It's because I'm so relaxing. I kid you not, the poop went from his neck, down to his toes. 
That night Andrew, Marissa and I drove the 2 minutes up to the lookout point to see the actual lake, and met a crazy person. A woman came walking up to us and out of her mouth came the following string of words: 'Hi my boyfriend left me here and the cops are coming because I had the kids all day and spent my last money on them and now I need 25 cents to be able to buy some coffee so I dont fall asleep on the way home but the cops are going to be here any second all because I am the Queen of Codependence and he's a great guy really but he left me here and so can you please spare 25 cents?'. You can imagine our confusion, and amazement that anyone can produce a story that incoherent. Naturally we gave her the 25 cents after which she graced us with another incomprehensible waterfall of speech: 'Thanks you guys, I'm a writer you know you may have actually heard of me because I've been in Ogden so you might know the Robinsons because I write books so don't be surprised if you read about all of this someday cause I am trying to do good you know every since I came from California and converted to the LDS church and now I just need to get some coffee in me cause the cops will be here any minute.'..... Amazing.
We saw our share of exciting wildlife. Just take a look at that flock of wild turkey kindly pointed out to us by the campers 'next door'. Or how about that Chipmunk! Did you know that squirrels are incredibly loud and like to spend their nights dropping stuff on your tent from high up in the trees? Sleep tight. So after that first night we had a yummy pancake breakfast, played some games, and head to the lake for a swim. The lake made me feel at home with its genuine little beach and wonderfully cool water. You can bet that I will be taking the kids camping by Bear Lake in the future... they would love that beach. After our refreshing dip, we drove back towards the camp and made a stop in Garden City for one of their famous raspberry shakes. Only we didn't get it at the place with the famous shakes, we got it next door, at Merlin's. Which is a better place to eat a shake for all the obvious reasons?
The shakes were yummmmy (thanks dad!) and we felt satisfied and ready to return to the camp and do some more, uhm, camping. This meant Andrew climbing back into the trunk of the car - the beach charged $5 per car and we'd rather sacrifice Andrew's comfort than pay double. We saw some interesting things on the way back and also made a quick stop to buy Marissa dental floss and give her some much needed relief from last night's steak. Dinner that night was tin foil packets of potatoes, chicken, carrots, zucchini and onion and it was all sweetened by the anticipation of the arrival of Sander. Well, it was for me anyway. We decided, since he has very limited vacation days, we had better not use one on this trip, so he drove up right after work on Friday afternoon. That night we played games, ate s'mores, and went for a dark and scary walk on the Limber Pine Trail. We actually thought we lost our way at the halfway point because of a dodgy cell phone picture one of us took of the trail map. 
That Friday night wasn't a good night for sleeping if your name was Karsten, Andrew, Marissa or Diane. Poor little Karsten was congested and kept waking himself and aforementioned adults up with his coughing fits. Apparently mom even cried with worry that we were going to have to take him to the hospital - but that says more about mom than about Karsten's coughing (love you mom!). I was first out of our tent, and found a worn out looking Andrew sitting in the bowl chair in front of the fire with Karsten on his lap, fast asleep. Despite that minor setback, we still had a really fun morning to end our camping adventure. We had a quick breakfast of cereal, got dressed, hung Karsten in the baby carrier and took mom along with us this time on attempt #2 of the Limber Pine Trail. This time there were no frights and the path was perfectly lit, and we had a lot of fun (except when Andrew tried to murder an innocent squirrel). We made it back in time for Andrew and Marissa to get their stuff packed up and they left us at 11am to go relieve the babysitters. The rest of us packed up the rest of the camp at our leisure (I may have even taken a nap while Dad and Sander were working on the tents) and left for Garden City at 12.30pm, for one final delectable shake. This time we went to the Famous Raspberry Shakes place and got.... a chocolate and a blueberry shake. Still famously wonderful. Also a real treat to watch a collection of bikers out and about in full gear and attractiveness. We nearly photobombed their group picture, which they found so funny that we were asked to get in it. And so, somewhere in the world, in a black leather photo album, there is a photo of mom and I looking very square and very uncomfortable, squished between hairy men in chaps and bandanas. After that last adventure mom and dad left for home, and Sander and I went for one last look at the lake before we too started the drive back. We were getting into some seriously drowsy driving when we saw a mountain stream alongside the road, so we made a quick stop for a refreshing dip. Just the ticket. We made it back home a little before 5pm and found a surprisingly chipper looking Elaine with 5 healthy, happy children (her 12yo niece had come along).
And now? Now we're back in normal life. School has started, Sander is back at work and I? I try not to let Max drive me straight into the tempting peace and quiet of an asylum. I have also started reading Into the Wild to keep my camping nostalgia satisfied. I'm thinking: next summer, 2 full weeks, Sander can take a few long weekends to join us. But first we're going to try Moab in September with the girls! I hope you all had a wonderful summer!


su-tang 3000 said...

Your dad's Doel Bereikt t-shirt has brought me endless joy.

su-tang 3000 said...

Your dad's Doel Bereikt t-shirt just made my day.

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