My family and two other families at camp went to the Gila National Forest to camp for 5 days (well I guess technically 3 because a day of driving on both ends). The purpose of this trip was to do some research and development for a trip that Robert is going to do this summer with families as guests. We were making sure that it would work and figure out what we need to correct for the real thing with guests. This has been about 5 years of a process.
Saturday: The Long Drive
The drive up was long because not only did we have 10 kids ages 3 to 17 (and 6 adults), we had a blowout, we spent too long eating dinner (worth it for a sushi boat and great conversation- that’s not my husband in the pic with me haha), and then our friends’ brakes started over-heating on the way to our camping spot. We also hit lots of ice, snow, and sketchy low water crossings. Robert and I have made that drive 3 other times and it has never been that bad. The road was torn up from winter.
When we got there, we stepped out into a lot of snow. We had to pick a different part of the campsite than we were planning because it was dry compared to where we had landed initially. It took a bit to get tents set up because it was midnight when we started and we were freezing and exhausted. It was in the 20s by that point.
When I woke up on Sunday, I knew that the crazy drive was worth it. It was so beautiful. My favorite parts were the tall pine trees and the rushing creek right by our site.
After breakfast Sunday morning, the guys set up the kitchen tent. We did our cooking, eating, drinking coffee, and cleaning up from meals in this tent. We had some amazing food and coffee. I wish I had taken more pics.
Sunday afternoon we went on a hike. It was beautiful and challenging. We had to cross the rushing creek multiple times and had to work together to problem solve to get across. I absolutely loved this. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Towards the end, I went to jump from one rock to another, and I missed with my right foot and stepped right into the creek. It was cold (this is melted snow), but so funny!
Monday: Exploring the Gila Cliff Dwellings
Monday we went to the Gila Cliff Dwellings to see the cave homes that the Mogollon (Native American tribe) used in the 1270s. It was so cool and had a great view! It was only one total mile, but a lot of that was straight up.
Tuesday: Rock Climbing
Tuesday we went rock climbing! Ethan and Levi climbed a ton. I even climbed. I was planning to just take pics, but I got on the rock. They were easy climbs, but I’m proud of myself for doing it. I have said in the past that I greatly dislike climbing, but now I think I love it. Now if I can just get my toe to heal so I can wear climbing shoes (long story). It’s hard to climb in Hoka trail running shoes that are worn out and kept slipping. It was worth it though!
A Few More Things
I ended up making some decisions to help my mental health. I’m still processing and working through the details, but I think some peace is on the horizon.
We will see how it goes.
I spent so much time prayer journaling and writing scripture. I listened to some worship music. It was a beautiful time.
Levi and Ethan enjoyed making some new reptile friends. It reminded me of when they were small. I miss those days. The camp fire was amazing, and we spent so much time around it.
Things are a little up in the air, but I know that we will be making decisions moving forward that will be the best for my mental health which will be the best for our family all around. It’s not going to be easy. I’m nervous and excited all at the same time.
More about this to come!