OK – don’t freak out – when I say Part 1 it’s because we are planning 3 more trips this summer.
Some good friends of ours planned a group camping trip. Though I rarely accept group invitations b/c of the ages of my children, I agreed to go. I’m so glad we did – it was a wonderful weekend. We camped at Lake Cushman and hiked in Staircase National Park, as well as the Murhut Falls trail.
In an age when “parent” has become a verb and there are a million different opinions on the “best” way to raise children, it’s really rare for me to find a group of people who don’t leave me feeling inadequate as a parent after an afternoon….much less after a whole weekend.
Did I mention we wound up camping with two families we’d never met?
And it was awesome?
Claire didn’t sleep AT ALL on the first night, but by some miracle no one yelled at us. Every time I have traveled with the kids I’ve encountered the Unconsolable Child. Every time I’ve thanked my stars it wasn’t one of mine. Because I knew – eventually – it would be me. We travel enough that it was inevitable. Thankfully, people in the campground gave us the space to deal with it. Thank you, Universe, for sending us patient campers that night! The second night she slept like a champ and Tuesday morning we noticed a brand new tooth poking through. Teething bites.
We hiked. We played. We ate really well. We made new friends. Our camp mates were all bi- or tri-lingual, so I got to brush off some of my Sesame Street Spanish Skills (I’m really terrible, but I like to try). It’s such a beautiful language and I loved being immersed in it. It rained a bit and we got to experience Northwest Camping. Thanks to the invention of Via, we even had our Starbucks to brighten the rainy afternoon. I over packed and had more than enough Rainy Day Toys….but the kids were (of course) fine with sticks and rocks and logs.
One hike we finished had lots of wild rhododendrons blooming. While I could appreciate the beauty in that, I’m hopeful that we’ll get back to the peninsula later in the summer when the weather clears. Sometimes I forget that I actually get to live here – I still treat each trip like a vacation – there is so much to see and do! Some pictures below – – – I started the trip hung over (whoops) and didn’t sleep much (whoops), so most of these were on the auto setting. Bummer. Not that I can really capture the beauty of the Olympic National Forest, anyway. And yet I still try…..