Our Independence Day was spent far away from everyone- aside from a few close friends. Well... not that far. We tried out our first backpacking trip with the baby. It worked out well since we took some friends who were also new at backpacking. Baby steps. We drove North East for about 2 hours (not counting the horrendous traffic getting into Payson because apparently lots and lots of people were thinking the same as us- "holiday?! Let's get outta this heat!!") We wandered around a dirt road which turned into a Private drive for a neighborhood. Once through the remote residence, only knowing the direction we wanted to go to check out different areas only studied via topo maps, we bush-whacked for about an hour up hills, across streams and through a wretched Cat's Claw ground cover. We would have gone farther but the last stream we crossed, John had much of his weight on a walking stick we found and it snapped, flinging him into the stream where he then found himself pinned down by his 80 pound backpack!!! That incident was responsible for pulling his hammy so once we all got across, we set up camp.
It was nice. Pretty secluded, right by the stream with plenty of shade to be claimed. Only thing is once we got up the hill from the stream, we found ourselves standing on a four-wheeler path. Bummer. We walked all that way, bush whacking to be right off a trail. Oh well. Hopefully it's not a busy trail.. And it wasn't. Although a 4-wheeler did come by while we were still setting up camp but he gave us insight on an apparent waterfall ahead and the trails destination.
Most of the day Saturday was spent relaxing. We read books, told stories and when we got hot, we'd go down to the stream to cool off.
A crawdad graveyard was scattered among the stepping stones across the river. Once we examined the stream itself, we noticed a plethora of live crayfish just beneath the surface!!! The next few hours were occupied with jumping around, damming the babbling brook to get better visuals in order to catch them!! We told ourselves we were catching dinner but after hours of keeping them in our pot we evaluated the true question... "Who was planning on eating them?" We caught 11 and there were 8 of us, but 3 of us were out from the culinary adventure. And to be honest... I would have had one.. but that's just it. ONE. So after debate, we decided to free our hostages!
Riley did well. He wasn't perfect but for what it was, it was good. The first night he slept all the way through and it seemed our make-shift crib made from PVC and fabric worked! He woke up an hour earlier than his usual 7-8am time. The following night was rough. He did not want to be in his crib and pitched a fit once he knew we were in the tent with him. Finally around 2, I took him out and he slept with me. The problem there is that I am so paranoid that I'm going to roll over on him that my sleep was quite light and broken. ~Sigh~ Oh well. It didn't go perfect but I at least am not discouraged to try again! Riley got to play in the dirt all weekend. And boy did he love it. It was impossible to keep him clean so I gave up. I love how Pioneer Woman put it... "Bathing is a healthy option" but certainly not a requirement.
This trip definitely made me miss Utah and our previous life of adventure. But I don't think we're starving too bad for adventure since we have had Riley. I guess we are the kind of parents who bring the baby everywhere and fit him into our life. Don't know what the "right" way is but this seems to be working for us!