Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kents Lake, Utah

For our family vacation this year, we wanted to go camping! After having several different plans, we finally decided to camp in my Dad's old stomping grounds in the mountains above Beaver, Utah. The first thing we did when we got to Beaver was stop at the pawn shop for Dave and my Dad to get Utah fishing licences. Brighton had fun getting out of his car seat and looking out the window!
After the fishing licences were acquired and a few forgotten items were purchased at the little grocery store (how could I forget the all-important hot dogs!?!) we headed up the canyon. It took us only about 30 minutes to reach Kents Lake. As soon as we arrived, the kids went exploring. Elijah came back after a few minutes already covered in mud! :)

We got The Best camping spot EVER! The campground was a mix of camping spots; a few out in the open, a bunch in the trees. Our spot felt like we were in the mountains, on the lake all by ourselves! To the left was this HUGE open meadow where the little girls had fun walking around a bit in while the 3 older kids went a bit further.

Right in front of us was the lake!! There were several little trails down to it and the grasses growing all over were so green and lush!
Behind us was more meadow and trees...it was just perfect!

Here is a view of our set-up from the bathroom area. Isn't perfect!?! We had a HUGE tent, my parents a smaller one and then we eventually set up 2 more tents as play tents for the kids.
As soon as the tents were set up, Dave helped the kids to start fishing. Technically, the older 3 had already caught a fish or two in a stream they found behind the meadow by our camping spot. They used a net to catch the fish, however, which we found out the next day, is a very big no-no. Those fish they caught the first night, though, tasted the best (or so I hear...)

Sweet Fiona enjoying some fishing time!

Our set-up inside the tent was perfect! I had packed all of our clothes into plastic storage drawers so it would be easier to find everyone's clothes and keep them organized (a packing strategy I observed in the back of someones van years ago while in a Wal-Mart parking lot). The folding table worked GREAT for holding the drawers and left plenty of room underneath for bags of dirty clothes (which filled very quickly!) The door to the tent was a swinging door! Made camping in a tent so much nicer!!

Dave and I bought an inflatable bed on legs for this camping trip. It was so great to be up off the floor, but the bed was sooooooooooo noisy!! Every time you move even the tinest bit, it sounds like you are walking and rolling over a zillion noisy, squeaky balloons! And I HATED my sleeping bag! It zips up the middle, not the side and it made it VERY hard to stay zipped up with the baby in there with me! (The pack-n-play was for naps.) The little girls slept on that air mattress at the foot of our bed and the 3 oldest kids slept on camping mats on the other side of that little dividing curtain next to the pack-n-play. We had so much space!! I really dislike tent camping (there were several times when I thought for sure a bear was in our camp and was going to rip into our tent at any moment, not to mention how hard it is to sleep when the slightest breeze through your tent sounds like Gail force winds!) and we were hoping to purchase a used pop-up before this trip, but if you have to tent camp, this is the tent to do it in! The ceiling as a domed ceiling with a built-in light that reached 8 feet high!

Every time I glanced at the lake, there was some amazingly beautiful sky going on! There were lots of clouds and little storms passing here and there that just made for gorgeous skies!
My Dad fly fished every spare moment he got...which added up to a LOT of moments. :) I tried to get lots of good shots of him, but think the above picture is my favorite!

Here's Fiona bringing back a "legal" fish they caught on the stream. I never went over to the stream, but apparently it was teaming with fish!
Here is a fish Sebastian caught from the kayak. After the first night of fish eating, no one was as enthusiastic about eating the little guys. They still tried all the fish, but they didn't really get eaten up.
The guys out kayaking. There is one kayak to each side of the tree. We just found another used, tandem Old Town kayak right before our trip which bumped us up to 3 tandem kayaks -probably all the kayaks we will ever need. Kayaking is SO MUCH FUN!

Here are Scarlett and Haven on one of the trails to the bathroom (which was actually a pretty nice bathroom as far as vault toilets go!) They were such cute, sweet little campers and had so much fun!

Here's a picture that Scarlett took of my Mom, me and Haven. :)

The last morning we were there, Sebastian caught just one more fish!

For our last night, my sister drove down with her kids to camp with us. I am so glad they did! We had a lot of fun sitting around the fire and chatting. The next morning I was able to squeeze a few more pictures out of my dead-battery camera as everyone was sitting around the morning fire waiting for our big breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon to finish cooking.
After breakfast, I took my sister and mom and all the girls out kayaking! It was so great! I wish my camera hadn't died so I could get a picture of sweety pie Brighton in his cute life vest and sitting in his booster seat in front of me in the kayak! He wasn't sure how fun it was to not be able to crawl around, but liked having water patted on his arm. :)
The guys stayed behind while we kayaked and started to break down camp and take down tents and stuff. Then we switched and the guys got one last kayaking trip around the lake in while the ladies stayed behind and packed stuff up. It took us almost 5 hours to finally finish packing up everything and loading the kayaks back on top of the Suburban and everything. UGH! That is my least favorite part of camping! And what I look forward to most about some day owning a pop-up or trailer.
Our camping trip was so much fun! We stayed for 4 days and 3 nights and very thoroughly smelled of camp fire for days! We were all so happy to get back to my sister's house (almost a 3 hour drive) and take showers!

Poor, neglected blog!

Wow... I have really neglected Ye Ol' Blog lately! We have been a bit busy since Dave got back from China (almost the same day as my last post), so I guess I will use that as an excuse! We gave Dave a few days to readjust to the time change (like 18 hours) and then we were off to Utah to visit family and go camping in the mountains above Beaver, Utah. While in Utah, we got to see some family we haven't seen in too long awhile. We visited Dave's Grandpa and the kids got to meet him and hang out. Fiona, above climbing a tree, is forever climbing anything and everything she can! There were lots of fun things to climb at the park in front of Great Grandpa's house!
Sebastian, the only one of our kids who had met their Great Grandpa before (when he was 1) was very grateful and happy to see him. He gave him lots of hugs. :) He is a sweet boy.

Great Grandpa, the smart guy he is, had snacks ready and waiting for our busy crew! Everyone took a break from playing for a few minutes to enjoy them (well, Fiona climbed while enjoying them...)
We also got to see Aunt Shan and her sweet kids, but I forgot to take any pictures!!! :(
One of our favorite things to do in Utah Valley is to go to Thanksgiving Point and their dino museum...it is one of the best we have ever been to! Here is Dave and the oldest 5, almost being eaten by an ancient shark. Close call!

Here is Dave and the 5 oldest running, very wisely, from a t-rex! I'm so happy we escaped in one piece! :)
I love visiting Utah. We have some great family there, and that is always fun, but I also just have really fond memories there. My sister has lived in that area since I was about 10 and I visited her and her growing family quite often. The mountains there are really stunning, they have a Sizzler (my fav. place to eat out!), lots of places with scones and special sauce (no, not to eat together...), a chapel and a Temple almost every direction you look and I just like being there. :)