Family Camping Trip 2017

Every summer my mom, my uncle, my sister and her kids, and me and my kids all go on a joint “camping” trip. To date we’ve gone to a camp grounds RIGHT outside of a town, which lets us run in for groceries and whatever we need very easily. The advantages of it are that we’re spending time together, and it’s WAY cooler than at home (highs at 90 instead of 115 for me!)

We had a great time, the kids got to spend time with their cousins and I had a week away from the heat as well as time to unwind and let my brain relax.

But now I’m home and it’s time to get back to work. Time to finish Redeemed by Desire and get it off to my editor, time to format Revealed by Desire and get it uploaded for it’s release in a few weeks. Time to take kid 3 school uniform shopping, since he starts the new middle school in a couple weeks.

How has your summer been?

Home from Camping and Hard at Work

I managed to farm out 2 of my remaining kids (my niece is visiting her sister) for the next week and all I’m left with is the one that drives. This frees me up for a lot of work time. I can send her to the store and make her do most of my shopping.

The other plus side is, I don’t have to leave the house in the extreme heat we’re having! YAY! I am getting a bit of work done, not as much as I managed in  Vegas but a good deal.

I’m seriously considering doing Camp NaNo next month so I can finish this draft. I’m getting there, I’m roughly 3/4 finished… and I’d love to get it done by the time the niece gets home mid-July. Yes, I have something else in the works for once this gets done!

Annual camping trip, pt 1.

So we reached the camping area at about 5am on Friday morning. Hubby was disappointed to find that many of the campsites were taken, and the ones that weren’t were close to others. We finally found one that was moderately away from others and set up camp.. He left with the kids to go fishing at about nine. At which time I promptly laid on my bed, under the cover of two sleeping bags, and took a nap. I’d been up all night long without even a short nap and I was exhausted.

They come back from fishing at about two, and we started food and camp life, the whole time making a list of things that needed replacing or had been forgotten and Friday afternoon I made a trip into town with one child to get those things (one of the most important things was eggs. I have no clue how I managed to forget eggs, but living a week without them was out of the question for me)

Anyway, I made the trip with one of the kids (we only have 2 on this trip, left the two oldest with my mother so they could continue school work and not make the rest of us miserable. We got back after dark, at which time it was decided that we weren’t going to build a fire to cook dinner and instead made it inside.

Saturday, the old man took the kids fishing once again. Once they left I cleaned up and got some work done before my laptop battery died.. they came back, gathered firewood and we had dinner and smores before we came inside and played blackjack with the kids.

Sunday morning we got up to about six inches of snow on the ground. Since it was likely close to 100 degrees at home, this was a bit of a surprise for me… but the kids loved it. They bundled up and went out to play in it… ended up building a snow man that was taller than their father (he helped.) The battery on the trailer started getting low so I asked the old man to start the generator so we could charge it… and he comes back in. The spark plug wire on the generator broke. Not ideal. We talked about it a while, thought about it longer and in the end, he sent me into town to see about getting a new one. 

I made the trip, with snow falling most of the trip, and sometimes sticking even to the road. I got a new generator, and a few other things I had put together on a list, and came back. the trip back was a bit more harrowing. The snow had been falling the entire time and sticking for most of it… There were more than a few miles where I crept along at about 25 miles an hour using the delineator posts as a guide to stay on the road. Mind you, we don’t have 4 wheel drive or snow tires. I did make it back, thinking the whole time that I couldn’t turn around and go back to town, because I would be leaving a kid and the old man here with no power and no heat but a fire (There are plenty of blankets and sleeping bags in the trailer, they wouldn’t have frozen but I kind of felt like they would.)

Monday was a little better. The sun came out and melted off most of the snow. We’re still worried about getting the trailer out come Thursday, but we’re hoping there’s no more rain/snow and it dries up enough to get it out to the paved road (about 2 miles.) Once it’s on pavement it will be nothing huge, but until then, we’re iffy… There are some other fishermen and some hunters around (tail end of bear season as well as spring turkey) who have 4-wheel drive. We may end up befriending one of them and asking the to help get the trailer out. We’ll see what the next few days brings.

In the mean time, I’m still working my way through the Anne of Green Gables books as well as working on the next WMC book. It seems fitting to work on them while up here (very near to the setting of them…) though I can’t limit it to only when we’re here or each book would take years!  I’m also working on another story I have in progress. They are both going well so far.

What I’m up to.

I’ve spent the last three days franticly trying to get ready for a week long camping trip. I had nothing done when Hubby decided on Sunday night that we need to leave Thursday afternoon.

I’m mostly done now, with a list firmly completed for the things I’ve not yet managed to complete… In my free moments during the day I’ve been working on the final revision of Choosing Happiness (which is now available for Pre order, check your favorite retailer!) and in the evenings I’ve been slowly working my way through Anne of the Island. (I was driven to re-read them by word of the death of Jonathan Crombie, who played Gilbert in all the mini-series. He was my first real crush and I still love him in so many ways. Anyway, I started in the beginning with Anne of Green Gables on Friday, finished it the same day, read Anne of Avonlea on Saturday… then panic struck.) I’ll take the rest of them with me so I can finish them while we’re gone…  I’m also working a little at a time on my two projects… I’m really liking the stuck on one switch to the other method.

I’ll try to make a trip to town and update you all on how things are going… Meanwhile, what’s up in your world?

Annual camping trip, part three, Bonus! The trip home.

For those of you wondering, yes, I did go fishing… but I didn’t do the whole get up at the crack of dawn and sit there for hours waiting for a bite thing. The old man got up and took the younger two out, I dropped them off, then went to the ONE small spot around the lake that gets cell and internet signal, I spent about 45 minutes checking messages and dealing with business before going back to camp where Kid 1 was still asleep. At noon, the kid and I went back to where the family was fishing.. I took my kindle. I sat down, Hubster handed me a pole and within 20 minutes I’d landed 5 trout. We limited out  (24 for our family) in 2 hrs. That was my fishing. I was done.

Back at camp, Hubster cleaned the fish while I got stuff ready to make dinner and do a little bathing (sponge baths are bathing while camping.) over all, we had a good day.

Then there was the trip home.

It started out all right,  and we were about half way home when another driver took advantage of a passing lane to let us know we had a problem. We pulled off at first opportunity and found that the fresh water tank that we’d had remounted under the trailer in March had fallen out, it was scraping the ground under the trailer and the strap that had been holding it up was dragging and throwing sparks. Hubster crawled under the trailer and determined we couldn’t get the tank all the way out, so we wove a rope (the one we’d used to tie up the dog) across the frame to hold it up, we cut the strap loose so it wouldn’t be scraping anymore, but we also discovered that the flapping strap had cut two tires, one pretty badly so we had to put the spare on that one.

We eased it the last 20 miles to the next town where we stopped and got bungie cords to help tie up the water tank and headed home. It was a long trip, that ended up taking only 30 minutes less than the trip up (which is big, anyone who does much mountain driving will tell you down is always faster than up.)

In the end, I was glad to get home, glad to get a shower, but I miss the cool weather. I don’t think we had a day that got over 75 and the 100+ here are not fun.

Annual Camping Trip, part two.

This post was written on 5/15 and posted after I returned.

We’ve been up here for about five days now, honestly, I’m losing count. The only way I’m able to keep track of the days and the date is my laptop, which I’m charging in the truck each night so I have the battery to write with the next day. Speaking of writing, I’m doing well, closing in on the end of this tale!

The weather has been nice, at least I think so, mostly temps in the mid-60’s though yesterday it clouded over and rained a bit. Hubster complained about the rain, I thought it was nice. I’m reminded how much I’d like to live up here. Maybe in town (Springerville,) or outside it, where I would have power and internet service, not up here at the lake where I have neither.

While the fishing hasn’t been great, they did catch enough to have for dinner last night. No, I haven’t been fishing yet, and I may not go this trip. It’s not that I don’t like fishing, but that I detest the 40 mile hike out to Hubster’s favorite fishing spot. Okay, so it’s probably closer to half a mile, but it’s over rough ground that turns my ankle, besides I’m having a hard time breathing in the elevation this trip, I don’t want to risk it. If were going to be here longer I’d get used it better, but as it stands I’m content to stay at camp and do things here.

Nothing hugely thrilling over the last few days, we’ve been able to have a camp fire each night and cook dinner over it and the kids are loving s’mores and roasting marshmallows. We’ll be here until either Saturday or Sunday, so that means either three or four more days. I’ll enjoy them, but I’ll also be glad to get home, not the heat (it was 106 there yesterday!) but my bed and my shower, those I’ve missed. And my email, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s missed me having regular access to my email.

Annual Camping trip, The beginning.

This post was written on 5/12 and posted after I returned from the trip

We didn’t get out until 10:30pm on Friday evening. That’s really not too bad considering Kidlets had school and Hubster worked until 5 that day. We finished packing up the trailer and pulled out, Yes, I know camping with a trailer is not truly camping, but I like having a bed, and a bathroom doesn’t hurt either.

We could have waited until the next morning, but it’s a long drive and we like to drive at night. Other than giving us a head start on the trip, it also lets us avoid high traffic times as we go through Phoenix. The kids slept off and on for most of the trip, until we pulled into Show Low at about 4:30 and stopped to eat. (Another advantage to the trailer, we can put the dog in there while we eat / shop and he curls up on the sofa and is content, as well as protecting it from anyone who might want to break in, as long as the weather isn’t too hot that is.) We finished our grocery shopping (I always do this, get most of the food and water up here so we’re not hauling it so far,) and made the last hour and a half up the mountain to the lake. I won’t tell you the exact lake we go to, we like to keep it a secret, I’ll just say it’s in the White Mountains of Arizona (yes, near where the White Mountain Chanat series is set, where do you think I got the inspiration for it?)

We don’t camp in the Forest Service campgrounds around our favorite lake, instead we head to what locals call the Overflow Camping. We like having fewer people around, the downside is once the Forest Service limits fires, we can’t have one. We got there early enough this year it wasn’t an issue.

Anyway. We spent most of Saturday getting camp all set up, the trailer leveled, the generator set out, unload the trailer (since EVERYTHING is packed in it. We had to clean out the fire pit and get it ready for our own fires. We strung a rope through camp and hooked the tie cable for the dog to it, so it would slide the length of the rope this meant he had access to almost all our camp, but couldn’t wander off and disturb neighbors or get into the road. Hubster and the kids played a little softball, and we had a small fire to burn all the burnable trash we’d gathered (both from unpacking and what the previous campers had left behind.) It took us most of the day to get everything set up, and by 5pm we were exhausted. I fixed us a quick dinner and we were all in bed by the time it was dark.

Sunday morning Hubster got up and got his fishing stuff ready, and took kid 3, aka The Boy, out fishing. The girls and I cleaned up the trailer from breakfast and they went out to play with the dog. they quickly discovered that if they would put pine cones on the t-ball tee that we brought for the boy, and hit them toward the dog, he would chase them. The dog loves this game. He chases the pine cones and as soon as the girl hitting them has put a new one on the tee, he’s back to her, barking and jumping for her to hit another one. They played at this game for at least an hour, until everyone involved was exhausted.