Catlin Camping

Some time has past and I’ve been so busy these last few weeks that I’ve had little time to catch up on anything I WANT to do.  I am getting the HAVE to’s done.  Writing this post has been on my WANT list since we came home.

Camping was beyond what I had hoped.  I absolutely loved it.  Every one else varied in their degree of happiness that week.  Here’s a break down of how every one fared.

1-I hate camping

10-let’s go again next weekend.

Audrey 9 1/2: This child was in heaven.  She LOVED it.  She loved her dirty toes, she loved playing outside, she loved being with her family, she loved sleeping in a tent and eating ice cream at the camp ground’s nightly ice cream social. She was made to camp. She didn’t like some of the food choices but ate them anyway, she didn’t like going to the bathroom when it was dark.

Gloria 4: The list of what Glo didn’t like is much easier than the list of what she did like…so I’ll start there. She didn’t like sleeping in a tent, she didn’t like sleeping in a sleeping bag, she didn’t like the rain, she didn’t like dirty clothes.  She didn’t like riding out there in a full van, she didn’t like eating outside, she didn’t like campfire smoke (but really who does?) she didn’t like sharing an air mattress with Audrey and she didn’t like thinking Audrey was going to suffocate by burying her self deep in the sleeping bag because it was 35 degrees out. She didn’t like washing dishes and all the work that was involved. She did like being together. She liked walking through Leadville, she like eating S’mores.

Emma 6 or maybe a 7: Emma was just OK, neither overly happy nor unhappy. She is kind of a go with the flow type person to begin with. She didn’t like not having a charged phone all the time, but she really enjoyed being together and she loved painting pottery. She liked hiking and building fires. I also think she enjoyed spending time with Madelyn.

Madelyn 7 or 8: She is also kind of go with the flow. Madelyn helped me set up the tent, which helped cause our early departure. Not because she helped, but probably because it was just the two of us. She liked going to town, she loved hiking and as usual enjoyed the eating.

Luke 1 at night 9 at day: Mr. Catlin was not a fan of sleeping on the ground. Turns out his side of the air mattress was significantly raised by a small, awkward bump in the ground with a pine cone in the middle. He kept me warm which kept him cold. He tossed and turned and when you don’t sleep it makes everything more difficult. But, during the day he built fires and played volleyball and badminton and this other toss the ball game with the girls. He went to the park and we all hiked together. He even painted pottery with us. He was completely happy until nightfall.

Me 9 1/2-10: Of course I love to stay in fancy hotels. I like to wear dresses and go to nice dinners. But, there was something about this camping trip that was so intimate that I felt all bubbly and joyful. Sure, there were a few times that I thought I was going to lose it. Like the time during quite hours that Madelyn burst into laughter that echoed through near by canyons. Or when the girls were fighting in the car and I proclaimed there “WILL BE NO MARSHMALLOWS.” This only brought bouts of laughter from the back of the van. I’m so believable. I liked not worrying about what to wear or where we had to be. I liked being restricted to conversation with those we were with. I liked the closeness of all sleeping in one tent. I liked the cool crisp air stinging my nose in the morning. I didn’t like my dirty toes or eating questionably clean food. But, it was pretty great.

We hiked, we shopped, we painted, we talked, we cooked, we laughed, we asked questions, and we learned a lot about each other. Maybe, we got a little closer. Maybe we made some memories. Maybe I’d do it all again. But the thing with that sort of stuff is, it will never be the same. It will never be “that” trip again. It will always be different. They will be older, they will change. I hope that they hold onto our time together as closely as I do. I know it will soon end like a camping trip where the zipper on your tent just absolutely breaks.  You zip it 10 times a day and you think it will always zip just the same, but then one time you go to zip it and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work at all. And you just know that it is over. Duck tape might work for a night. But, then it is time to move on and say goodbye to this trip.

 

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Buying all the gear was half the fun. Thanks to our “outfitter” we had quite the list. Our dining room was full. We were worried it wouldn’t fit but thanks to my mad Tetris skills, we fit it all in. We were even able to take all four kids.

 

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We stayed at Sugar Loafin’ campground in Leadville, CO. It was super clean. Every camp site had a fire ring, picnic table and water spigot.
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We had to tell her to stop climbing. I think she would have gone all the way to the top.

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There’s just something about seeing your man start a fire that makes you thankful you’re a woman.

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Shamelessly eating Fritos while swinging.
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Hiking Hiking and more Hiking. We hiked Turquoise Lake, Hagerman tunnel and the Crags.
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Sister Explorer Girls taking a rest.
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This tree has been twisted and moulded by the wind, Emma rightfully thought it was super cool.
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The girls survived a very terrifying drive on Hagerman pass. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had full confidence in or breaks. They started going out on the way to Leadville.
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Enjoying the view at the top but a little scared of falling. I’m so proud of this girl for taking one more step followed by one more step to reach this awesome destination, even if it was super high and gravely.

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Nice and cozy. Every night before bed I would ask the kids questions from a Chat Pack of conversation starters. It was one of my favorite times of the whole trip. Their answers were funny and insightful.
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I’m ready for bed in this pic, but I actually wore make up everyday. And guess what…I liked it. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a situation that calls for me to NOT wear make up.

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