Saturday, June 29, 2013

Get Out of the City

I saw a saying once that said everyone should meditate 20 minutes a day, unless you don't have time for it, then you need to meditate an hour a day.  Reading that sure made me think.  I fall in the second category.  I have a great life, but I definitely need more down time with nothing planned, where I can turn off noise, and sit and gather my thoughts.  Most times when I have me time, I end up making a grocery list, cleaning the house, going through all my notes that pile up, or doing something that needs done.  I have a hard time having me time when there is so much that can and should be done.

My husband and I try to get out camping as often as possible, but usually we end up only getting once a month due to our schedules.  We either have large family get together,  BBQ's at our house or friends, birthday parties, or kid events to attend.  The last few years when the soccer notes come home, I throw them away.  I have been selfish and have not wanted to encourage my kids to play, because it eats up every Saturday for a few months.  This is not relaxing to me.  I have done it, and until they are asking and begging, I will ignore the notes.  They do plenty during the school year to make up for it.  

Sometimes I drive though smaller towns, such as Parowan when we go camping up Yankee, and think about how we should move there.  Beautiful weather in the summers, not a single traffic light that I know of, only a couple gas stations, one grocery store, that I know of.  Simple life sounds so nice sometimes.  Here in the big city I live in, I always feel rushed to hurry somewhere, so I can hurry somewhere else.  Always on the go. 

Camping to me is good down time, where  I get to sit and enjoy the scenery, go on walks or runs, and reconnect with our kids, and the earth.  Nowhere to go, nothing needing to be done, just relax.  We love our times away, and I will use it as my meditation time, even though I need to find more time at home.  I'll work on it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kanaraville Falls

In the little town of Kanaraville Utah lies one of the most beautiful hikes.  After walking for an hour back and forth through the stream, in and out of the suns view, you will find pure beauty of a waterfall surrounded by lush green trees, and red rock.  The first water fall you come to has a very short rock slide that dumps you into a pool of water.  The water is cold, but very refreshing after a long hike.  You might even find a few cell phones in the bottom of this pond.  My friend jumped in without thinking about the phone, and I'm sure he's not the only one.

We did not go to the upper waterfall, my kids were too tired and were completely satisfied with all the fun they were having at the lower falls.  We hiked up with our backpacks full of water and delicious sandwiches, and had a little picnic at the top.  This was a very memorable hike.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Camp Neighbors

I love camping for many reasons, one being the peace and quiet it brings.  I love the sounds of the stream, wind in the trees, and the calmness.  This is where I recharge, and create non electronic quality time with my family.

We camp at Enterprise Reservoir a couple times a year.  Enterprise is a good place to go for one of the first camping places of the season.  It is not as cold there, and the days are beautiful.

Last year after spending a few nights at Enterprise Reservoir, we were prematurely woken up by some extremely loud music.  This music was not only loud, but hearing the F bombs from Eminem so early in the morning, before the sun was up, was NOT appreciated by me or my husband.   After listening to it for a few minutes and wondering what they were thinking so early, my husband convinced me to go talk to them.  He was too mad to deal with it nicely.

I Walked over to the campsite right next to ours, but since the boulders are so high, we could not see them and they could not see us.  These camps are very close, but they feel secluded.

After walking up on their site  and standing there in my PJs, and waiting for them to look at me, it seemed like a few minutes, and finally the wife or girl friend came over and gave me an irritated look.  I asked if they could pleae turn the music down, and that we were still trying to sleep.

After a few choice words from the guy, and some erratic behavior, he reluctantly turned it down a little.  "f***, I come to the mountains to listen to my music and do what I want, and you're telling me to turn it down...we just got off our grave yard shift and came here to listen to our music...".  I went back to bed.

The next day we were packing up camp to go home.  I always send my kids around the site with a grocery bag to pick up all trash that did not grow there.  Our site was pretty clean to begin with, so I said I didn't care where they went to get it, but they needed to find 20 pieces each.  While they were on trash duty, the "no etiquette" neighbors saw them and must have felt bad.  They gave each kid $5 and said thanks for picking up trash.  Obviously the kids were elated to be rewarded for trash duty.  Then surprisingly the neighbors came over and apologized for their music the night before.

I would hope that everyone would respect their neighbors and have some etiquette when they are camping.  If you want to blast your music and stay up all night being loud and obnoxious, then don't go to a campground or next to other campers.   Have some respect.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Barker Camping

Last year we camped up Escalate Mountain for a week.  We enjoyed fishing at their close lakes.  I heard there was another one that had a lot more fish that you have to hike about an hour to, but we only fished the two that we could drive to.  My favorite thing to do is sit in my lounge chair and read a book or magazine, while the family fishes.

Barker reservoir fishing with the family.  The weather was beautiful during the day, and need for a sweat shirt in the evenings.

We camped during a dry season, when there were fires happening throughout Utah, so Barker had a no fire restriction.  All of our cooking had to be in our trailer.  No campfires, or hot coals.  Luckily we have a stove top and a BBQ grill.  We did cook outside on
 our grill.  What is camping without burgers, hot dogs, and Smores.

Camping among the Aspen's away from the busy life in town, helps me reconnect with life.  This is my recharging time.

My family enjoys getting away as well.  This is some of our quality family time.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yankee Meadow Campground

Yankee Meadows is located up Parowan Canyon, and is purely beautiful.  We have camped in the actual camp ground 3 times.  The campground goes in a circle like most campgrounds.  They seemed to me to be spread out enough that you did not feel like your'e privacy was being infringed upon, and we could not hear our neighbors during the day or at night.  We kinda felt alone, and that's how I like it.

The first time we went up there, my youngest had just learned to ride her bike, so we packed the bikes.  It was so nice to know she could ride in the circle and I felt like she and her sister were safe.  They rode around the circle for 3 days straight, some times with me running behind them, or just walking and they would turn around and come back and get me.  The distance was not bad, it was about a 10 minute walk around.

They have an ATV parking at the entrance, which is nice to not hear the bikes and have the dust stirred up constantly.  This limits the traffic a lot, and cuts down on the irritating noises.  Up the road is the lake for fishing.  We usually drive to the lake with all our chairs and gear.

All three times we stayed in the campground we could not believe how clean, and fresh the BIFFYs were.  BIFFY is a girl scout term, Bathroom In Forest For You.  I have called those outhouses that since child hood.  I think it's a cleaner name, and doesn't make you think of stink and bugs.  Anyhow, I think  I commented daily to my husband on how clean they bathrooms were and they did not smell.

We saw the Camp Host come around 3 times a day to mop and do whatever he did.  He was very nice and said he did it all summer.  He seemed to be alone, and maybe that was why he was so thorough with his cleanliness.  I liked him, we had good conversations.  I know he was there last year, but this year, 2013, I noticed a different host trailer.  I hope he can meet the bar that the other host has set.

There are NO reservations at Yankee, it is on first come basis, and I think it's only $10 a night...not sure on that, since it has been a year or so since we stayed in their grounds.  They do have water, but not at each site.  You can fill your trailers when you get there, at least we did, and then you don't have to haul your water up.

I have rights to all my pictures and words, they can't be duplicated by anyone with out my permission.
Our Yankee Campsite in the Aspens

All photos and words are mine and can't be duplicated or copied without my consent.
A fun hut the girls found

Friday, June 14, 2013

Camp Food Favoirites

Camp Coffee
Camp coffee is a must for us.  I call this our Cowboy Coffee since it has some grains in it and is done without a coffee maker.
I have learned to NOT fill the water past the bottom hole because when it peculates, it bubbles over.  Not a fun mess to clean up.

Early in the mornings I like to sit in my lounge chair in the sun outside, and enjoy the scenery with my coffee while the kids sleep or play games in the camper.  The quiet moments in the mountains are heaven to me.  It is my time to read or gather my thoughts.
Eggs with Sausage

We make eggs and sausage pretty much every camp trip at least once.  It is a favorite of all ours.  I always use the original flavor of sausage with eggs.

 Waffles are always a request, and I have found this to be super easy and fluffy.  I follow the directions on the Bisquick for waffles and add some yogurt.  This one was a strawberry flavor, since plain small ones are hard to find.  The yogurt makes the waffles fluffy and light.  We learned this trick from another camper, and do it at home as well.

This would be hard to do without a generator.

T-bone Steak
 I love T-bone steaks.  They are so easy to grill up on the grill and they melt in your mouth.  I remove them from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before grilling.  I salt and pepper them on both sides and rub it in.  Then when they are about room temperature, we grill them up.  The kids love them as                    much as we do.
Blueberry Muffin Pancakes

This was so easy and did not need any syrup.
Muffin mix grilled on the skillet made up some yummy breakfast.  A little milk or juice and it was perfect.

The mix called for an egg and milk.  Simple food is my kind of camping.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

DOT Yellow and Whistles

A few years ago when we were camping at Navajo Lake, I bought these DOT yellow sweatshirts as a souvenir for the girls.  I figured they would be our camping sweatshirts.  After every camp trip I wash them and then they go back into our camp box for our next trip.  I love the DOT color, because it stands out.  I can always find my kids when they are playing in the trees.  

These are the beautiful Aspen trees I speak so highly of.  I believe the elevation for Aspens to grow in this area is 8,000 feet above sea level.    These trees are also really moist trees, and if you know how to make a whistle, then this is the tree to use.  I watched my dad year after year make me and my siblings whistles while we were camping.  It looked so easy.  My daughter asks me every camp trip to make her a whistle.  I have attempted it 3 times and after sitting with it for hours, I can't figure it out.  Most of the time I  can't get the skin off the tree.  I try sucking on it to get it wet, but I tend to rip the skins after awhile.  Even after it rips a little, I figure we can just hold it on tight, so I continue to whittle away at the branch until it looks like my dad's.  I think I need a sharper pocket knife, because it just hasn't worked for me.  I have even You Tubed it, and I am doing everything right, but can't seem to get it to actually make a whistle sound.  Someday I will attempt it again, and my girls will love it just as I did as a kid.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Love Memory Foam

Apparently trailers don't come with comfortable mattresses.  After having our 5th wheel for 2 years, every time we would take our trailer out, we would both complain about the thin, spring mattress.  We could feel the springs, and when we would roll over, I am sure we would hit the foundation that held our mattress.  Not a good sleep ever.

Finally after contemplating switching our mattress with the kids mattress, my sweet husband got on Amazon and found us a queen 6" thick memory foam mattress for only $99.00.  For that price, it was worth a shot.  I don't think I would go any thinner though.  I guess they come in many different thicknesses.  Just think if it were even thicker, it would be like that bed John Denver sings about..."nine feet high and 6 feet wide, soft as a downy duck".

Ahhh, now that's heaven.  We have now slept on that beauty for 5 nights and every morning we wake up saying what a difference it makes.  I can't believe it took us so long to do something about our discomfort.  

This queen size mattress does stick off our bed by about 5 inches, and we debated cutting it, but after camping with it we found it doesn't faze us one bit.  It's not like we walk that close to the bed anyhow, plus I gained length for my toes. 

I must sleep low, because in the past my toes would hang off the mattress when I stretched out.  My husband said he never had that problem, and we are the same height.  Go figure.  Now we both sleep soundly, and no more back aches.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Learning to Shoot Early

Sometimes when we camp, my husband sets up targets for the kids to shoot.  My sweet kids are becoming quite good shooters.  This BB gun is clearly too long for my baby, but she still hit the target the very first time, and almost every time after.
My girls are discovering that the more times you pump the gun, the more powerful the shot.  With four pumps the BB would bounce off our soda cans, but with 5 it would go inside and stop.
They could pump the gun to about 5 and then Dad would have to help out.  They love time with their dad getting his one on one attention.
I love that he is teaching them gun safety at the same time.
*After you shoot, aim the gun down.
*Don't put your finger on the trigger until you have found your target and are ready to shoot.
*Shoot on your exhale, not inhale when  breathing.
*Never shoot if someone is in front of you.  I walked over by the 4-wheelers and he had them put aim the gun down until I was done.  I didn't feel like I was in front of them, but he did.  I was to the side.  But it's the principle of it.  He is teaching them young.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Yankee Meadows in June

My dear husband always finds amazing camp sites.  Every time we camp I feel like we have found the best site.  I love being in the trees.  This camp site was mostly Pine trees, but our view was lots and lots of Aspens.  Aspens are my favorite.  They seem to have a lot of memories of my dad in them.  We camped a lot growing up, and my dad would always make us a whistle out of a pine branch.  We always wanted the leaves left on so we could walk around camp blowing a branch.  We were cool, even if we  were the only ones that thought it.   I love the white and black, tall trees, they are pure beauty.

Our family went on a long 4-wheeler ride and found some beautiful finds.  I love this rock wall.

It's nice to take day trips away from camp.  The only bad thing, was how dusty and dirty we got.

I let my little girl drive me on the 4-wheeler, and when I would tell her to slow down and not follow so close, she would stop....and a billow of dust would encompass us.  We definitely needed a shower after this 3 hour adventure.

There are many little streams all over, and our kids enjoyed racing their empty chip bags, and little sticks.  We followed the stream al the way to the road, and watched the bags go through the tunnel under the road.

When we were done, we made sure to NOT litter and took our trash back to camp with us, and enjoyed our walk back to camp in the nice, crisp, fresh air.
This is one of my favorite parts of camping.  Lounging with a book and either my coffee, or drink.  I love the sound of the stream, and wind in the trees.  This is the best way to re ground myself after busy city life.