Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crater Lake '14

Seriously, I have no idea why the kids pick to go here every year. I mean, Crater Lake is beautiful, but there isn't a whole lot to do. We've hiked down to the water, up to Plaikni Falls, bought ice cream at the camp store, and a smattering of other things. For some reason the kids really like it and want to go every year.

You'd never have guessed it this year based on all the whining. It's a good thing they are so cute.

It's our first National Park experience as a party of 5! I was definitely a little nervous about camping with a baby. I mean, it's not like you have a great deal of privacy or soundproofing at your disposal if something goes awry. Luckily this kid is still pretty chill and was incredibly easy to maneuver.

He had lots of quality daddy-time.

Several times I found myself looking around camp and thinking "so this is what camping with kids looks like." We've done it so many times I shouldn't be surprised, but this year it really impacted me for some reason. Tate loved being in the playpen outside while I loved that I didn't have to try and keep him on a blanket in the fine volcanic ash soil that turns everything it touches a miserable shade of dark gray. There was always something interesting to look at and he stayed clean. Win/win.

Until bedtime that is...

He went to sleep really easily and all was well, until somewhere around 12:00 when he woke up with a scream. After a little hug he calmed down and went immediately back to sleep, only to wake up crying at 1:00ish because he was freezing and couldn't sleep. I had planned really well for all his camp needs except for adequate pajamas. Evidently in the wilderness it cools off at night. Who knew? So he slept the rest of the night in my sleeping bag while I attempted to stay warm, not squish him, and stop counting the moments until the sun rose. At least 4/5 of us got some sleep.

Ellie will not be fitting this chair very much longer. Aeryn has graduated to an adult chair, so now it seems we must convince Tate sometime in the next year or two that he is ok with purple flowers. This little giraffe is named "Oreo" and was won by Ellie in a duckling grab at the state fair. The girls went with a friend for her birthday and she's pretty pleased to have been the only one to get a large prize.

Somewhere behind the girls there is a lake... it just happens to be clouded by smoke from a few different forest fires. It was disappointing to miss the vivid blue we've come to expect, and a bit more so to realize that out of the four times we've visited only one was not in August (and therefore had a visible lake). Evidently we tend to be there smack in the middle of fire season.

The girls kept complaining about, well, pretty much everything. Whenever they whined about having nothing to do Jim told them to bike around the campground loop a certain number of times. They always responded with protest and disappointment, just to laugh and have fun as they rode around. Kids. What goes on in those little minds??

We didn't have a campfire because it was blazing hot already and we didn't want to further cook ourselves through, but that was a huge disappointment to the kids. This will probably be our last summer coming here, for a while at least. We have enjoyed it but it's time to mix up our routine a little.

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