Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Hills are Alive. . .

On Monday we had two time slots to fill with activities.  While we were in agreement on archery, for our next activity we split up.  The girls had put fishing at the top of their wish list for  things to do, but I myself had no desire to fish.  This is when you feel super lucky to have grandparents along - especially grandparents who A) love to spend time with their grandkids, and B) are amenable to fishing.  Dad and Terri took all four kids fishing while Brad, Amy, Jerry and I headed up into the mountains for a hike to a waterfall that was on the camp property.  The staff said it was about a 20 minute hike, and that if we wanted to head over to the chapel afterwards, that would take a total of about 40 minutes.  It was still a bit rainy, but no thunder, so we headed out with instructions to return immediately if we heard thunder. 

We were pretty quickly out of breath, both from our lack of physical activity and the altitude, but we kept on, and made it to the waterfall without too much trouble.  Our only difficulty came from a steep portion of the trail that was difficult for Brad to navigate due to the injuries to his legs in an auto accident, so he and Jerry came up the stream bed while Amy and I took the higher up trail.  We were glad that we all got to see the waterfall.  The pictures never seem to do it justice, so I also took a small video, just so I could listen to the waterfall whenever I want to. 

The hike to the waterfall had not been very long, and the rain had cleared out, so we decided to head over to the chapel.  We hiked through stands of aspen, pine trees with funny, spikey cones, and across meadows. 

We had been told that there was one point where we would come out of the treeline into a meadow that would make us want to break out into song a la sound of music, and they weren't kidding. 

We had been going for a while when we got to the meadow, and I was thinking we would be at the chapel soon, so I was a bit shocked to see how far away the chapel still was when we reached the vista.  It was definitely taking us longer than 40 minutes, as we needed to take portions of the trail slowly for Brad's sake, and the fact that we weren't exactly power hiking, but rather moseying along, enjoying the scenery. 

We did finally reach the chapel, and then headed in the direction of the lodge.  We were late for dinner, but we had a great time.  That night was supposed to be s'mores night, but due to the extreme drought and the potential for wildfires, the camp had to improvise.  They came up with foil-wrapped s'mores, heated in the oven.  They were quite tasty!

We also created our own "fireworks" launched by hand.  Two of the staff members would strike these heroic poses and hang on to a large slingshot contraption, and then everyone took turns launching water balloons at the bottom of the hill at our kids (who were loving it!)

 I didn't think too hard about the physics of the slingshot, and when it was my turn I just gave it my best pull and let 'er rip - only I didn't see if I even got close, because when I let go I fell over backwards!  Oh well, nothing bruised but my pride!

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