Greetings friends and family,
After the sun went down Easton's camping dreams were finally fulfilled. Not sure where he saw camping = s'more, but that's what he expected. He asked about s'mores all day long
we cooked a bunch over the open fire. The boys were a sticky, chocolaty mess. The camping experience felt like a contest to see how dirty the boys could get. The s'mores helped every kid up their game in the contest.
As the night continued, the heat was sucked right out of the desert leaving us with a chill much colder than I expected. We were mostly prepared, but I felt sorry for some of the older boys who were running around in shorts and T-shirts. Comfort while camping is a lofty goal, but mostly achievable with enough planning.
The next morning Easton woke up at 5:45. Unbelievable. After a long, long day of excitement and late sleepy time his eyes popped open at the crack of dawn. I hear him loudly exclaim, "Is it time to get up, Dad?" In an attempt to catch a few more quiet minutes I told him to come cuddle with me in my sleeping bag. He climbed in and we talked for a minute about the noises he heard during the night. Then, without warning he puked a little on my sleeping bag and blanket. He said, "I feel good now, Dad. It's time to get up and go play!" Maybe the late-night S'mores wasn't such a good idea?
The boys ran around camp like a flock of birds following each other around. Easton eventually grew tired of the pace and asked if he could help. I gave him the shovel and told him to dig a race track for the ants.
He and Daniel raced some ants and then got side-tracked by water gun wars. Nothing like teaching gun safety, then letting them loose with these toys.
We drove down the road to an open cattle area. The pond was gross, but Easton got to see all kinds of cattle related scenery including salt blocks.
The boys gathered around a cow head from a young one that got stuck in a tree. They still don't get the idea behind death so this was just cool and exciting. Not one "awe... poor cow" was uttered. Pun intended.
It was quite a site to see the sad outcome. We joked with Brendon teasing him about how he must have planted the cow there as a hidden treasure for us to find. One of the most enjoyable adventures of the trip was wandering through the desert and observing the surroundings.
More guns and more boys. This time they were shooting BBs at bottles and other desert riffraff. Easton gained some confidence by running straight down the side of the dam. His feet barely kept up with the momentum, but he walked away unscathed because his balance is starting to catch up with his body.
Here he is with Daniel. Both of them with their hands on the lever to open and close the shoot where cattle walk through. I tried to explain the purpose and process, but without a real cow making its way through the enclosure I lost them after only a few seconds.
A huge pile of boulders near our camp site provided a good vantage point to show the boys the vastness of the desert.
Me and my Glock. Shooting was thrilling to say the least. The highlight of my trip was burning through 3 boxes of shells.
One of the hazards of desert camping is that unsuspecting cacti are everywhere. All it takes is a few steps without paying attention to your surroundings and BAM, the jumping cholla cactus defends itself the only way possible... Daniel was on the receiving end of that unfortunate incident.
The nutritional value of the camping experience was almost non-existent. We celebrated Ben's birthday with a round of homemade cupcakes. The wind was blowing so much that the candle on Ben's cupcake remained unlit, but the singing of the birthday song and consuming the cupcakes went very well.
We packed up camp without incident and headed home. Easton made it about 15 minutes before running out of batteries. He slept and I succeeded in staying awake... barely. Now that the twins moved into the big boy and big girl seats there is no ability to recline. Easton didn't seem to mind because he was so worn out that he would have fallen asleep hanging by his foot from a building.
Easton did so well in the unfamiliar environment. His risk-taking and confidence were both boosted to never-before-seen levels. Today when we were talking about some detail of the camping trip Easton said, "When we were camping I really missed Layla." So true...
I look forward to our vacation to Sacramento this summer because the 4 Webbs will all go camping with Ouma and Oupa. That'll be a whole new adventure with the girls.
Talk to you soon!