Quasi-camping and hints of fall

With our new-found “freedom” after no longer being 24/7 caregivers for Mom, you’d think we’d be all over the place traveling and doing exotic things, but between my working, taking care of that wonderful little granddaughter several days a week, and David’s (and Chris and Louise’s) various medical issues… well, heck, we haven’t gone anywhere! Until last week that is, when we traveled an entire hour and fifteen minutes north of here to the Hyrum State Park.

Hyrum Lake

Hyrum Lake

As a bit of back-story, ever since we’ve been back in the states we’ve been talking with Chris and Louise about camping.  I grew up tent-camping and have fond memories. (Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not to be confused with “back-packing” and camping in itty-bitty tents eating dehydrated food. But I enjoy the challenge of cooking on a camp stove or other minimal equipment, and I like the “fresh air” and “back-to-nature” aspect of camping — as long as I can have some kind of potty for middle-of-the-night peeing, of course.  Let’s get real.)

Despite my enthusiasm, Chris and Louise have been a little bit on the “not so much” side of things, but Louise gave herself away when she would report an occasional DI (Deseret Industries, much like “Goodwill” elsewhere) find that she thought would be very appropriate for camping.  Camping, really?!?  So, we figured it was still an open subject.

Chris caught a nice pic in the morning light of our cabin

By pure happenstance we found the perfect “quasi-camping” option — just a bit northward of here is the Hyrum Reservoir and associated state park.  In addition to the normal campground, they’d recently built two lovely little cabins.  All-right!  Electricity, real beds (two queen-size bunk-beds, in fact), a microwave and mini-fridge. What more could one want?!?

I immediately went online and bought a “bedside commode” to use for midnight potty-ing (just email me if you want to hear the low-down about using kitty litter to make this a really excellent option!) and we set about planning out meals.  Chris, our resident grill-master, took on the task of grilling steaks our first night there, I made up some curried chicken and rice for our second night, and I made a breakfast casserole for one morning and stuffed french toast (easily cooked up in the cabin on the electric skillet I brought) another morning — along with the requisite bacon, of course!  During the days we wandered out and went birding, checked out some hot springs with the highest mineral content of any hot springs practically in the whole world, did a bit of “antiquing” (kinda scary when antique stores are filled with items familiar from your own youth!), enjoyed lunches out, and just had a wonderful time.

We’d wondered if we’d see any signs of leaf-turning and actually found that we did spot the occasional red/orange leaf. We’re plotting a true leaf-peeping excursion in another week or so, hoping to catch the peak up higher in the mountains.  After our spectacular trip in September last fall, we’d headed just a couple of weeks later back to the same area where we just “camped” and went to the famous Bear Lake, but discovered we were too late for the leaves.  So we’ll try to hit that sweet spot a couple of weeks earlier this year.  We enjoy the long sunny days of summer, but are all excited about the hints of fall.  Cooler nights — even just ten degrees make a huge difference! — that indescribable “something” that foretells of fall around the corner.

Goin' shopping!

Oh, and you’re wondering about Avila? Gee, we thought you’d never ask!  She continues to amaze us — the language explosion just kept going.  She talks pretty much constantly with such complexity that we are *constantly* remarking “how can she know that?!?” so she’s just a world of fun to be around. As she approaches two-and-a-half, we certainly see the *occasional* flare of the infamous “terrible twos” but we feel incredibly blessed that those flares truly are occasional and short-lived.  She really is just cheerful and happy most of the time.

Having fun on the pony!

And, given the language, are we really surprised when she *is* having challenges now and then, that she says things like “I’m a little bit sad!” or “I really, REALLY need [fill in the blank]??  Not to say that she *never* has melt-downs, but they are luckily not too often.  And just today when she was deciding (at a not-altogether-convenient time) that she wanted to change clothes, and when I first expressed some resistance, she started to cry.  I pointed out that she did NOT get what she wanted by crying for it, and she paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and said, “I’m okay!” and she was, indeed.  (And yes, she was allowed to change clothes after she stopped crying for it!)

Enough out of me!  Let me hear from YOU — comments are always appreciated and enjoyed.  And I hope that wherever you are YOU are experiencing that “indescribable something” that marks fall, whether fall is literally falling where you live or not.  There’s an “energy” to fall that can be captured no matter where you are, and we wish that for you!

Our love to all!!




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4 Responses to Quasi-camping and hints of fall

  1. Deanna Allen says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun was had and you have more in store!! News here if you don’t know John and Terry have sold their house and are moving to Florida the end of this month. Also Darryl and I are moving to Kingman, Arizona as soon as we can sell our little house that we currently live in. The other house is rented long term to a North American friend.

    Positive thoughts as we are being presented an offer on the house tomorrow………
    I spent 5 months in the States Mar – July Our daughter, Arlene, had back surgery so I spent 3 months in Colorado helping her and working. The rest of the time I was in Oregon.

    Darryl is having cataract surgery on 19th and 23rd of this month.
    guess that are the highlights right now just sorting, pitching and packing

    Our best to you guys, Deanna

    • arden says:

      Hi, Deanna,

      Yes, looks like things are finally “moving” for a lot of folks there — Tom and Susan finally sold their place, Mike and Earl, and Doug and Barb (all there in the San Ramon area) and now John and Terry and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you guys!! We did enjoy our years there but we are TOTALLY loving being back! Hope it’s able to happen for you before long.
      all the best,

  2. Over the last several months I’d mentioned to Gloria about Dave’s heart surgery, & the fall Chris took last year, but from the tone of your Blog all is well w’them. I was thinking about the big lugg often, wondering if his fall on the ice would incapacitate him for the long haul or what. I was thinking about all that weight & the steps, but again, all seems well according to you campers. We think about you often. It sounds like the 4 of you are happy w/the move, and that is a good thing.
    Gloria & I are doing well. We think we’ll be here for a long time, and plan on doing some traveling over the years as our financial situation improves. We’re earmarking the rest of Latin America & US parks for a month.
    Incidentally, we’ll be in Las Vegas for 4 days later this month at an IL conference, not speaking but helping our at a table, answering questions. We’re the examples of how to do it on less than $2000. Interestingly, 98% of the attendees have much much more $ than that.
    Glad to hear your ALL doing well.
    Paul& Gloria

    • arden says:

      Hi, Paul and Gloria,

      Great to hear from you! Yes, I should’ve given a bit more of a health update given the references to the troubles in the past, but yes, luckily, all is well. So far I’m the only one (knock on wood!) that has escaped any major health issues — Chris’s wound finally healed up after his fall, David’s valve is doing great, and Louise is feeling *almost* back-to-normal after shoulder rotator cuff surgery earlier in the summer! Great to hear that you’ll be in Las Vegas. Good for you guys! Yes, we’re all really just enjoying the heck out of being back. As you know, we truly enjoyed our time there, but for us the 5+ years was just the right amount of time. Long enough to feel like we really “lived there” and long enough to be able to genuinely appreciate being back. ;-) We miss you guys though!

      big hugs,

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