The Best Mistake Ever!
After having to turn back a couple of times to fetch forgotten items and a few pit stops we were finally on the road for real. The only thing keeping us amused at this point was the underwear that Isaac insisted upon wearing on his head. Whizzing down the highway, homes and businesses disappearing in the background as we wound our way up into the canyon. Shedding ourselves from the stress as we soaked in the mountain fresh air and beautiful scenery. All of a sudden Cameron realizes that we should have reached the summit by now. We call the lodge and he then quickly realizes that in our mad dash out of town we went up the wrong canyon. It would take at least two hours to turn around, go back down the canyon and up the right one. What else could we do? Go home? Not if the boys had anything to do with it. So we turned around and began our trek back down the canyon. When luckily Cameron spotted an old small sign that said To Strawberry Reservoir. We took it. Hoping it would cut over and through the mountains rather than having to go back down and into town and around. Sure enough it did. So we went off roadin’. It was so bumpy we had to give the boys gum to cushion their teeth. It was breathtaking as we climbed all the way to the top of the mountain. We were literally on top of the world. Our vision skimmed across mountain tops and into the endless blue sky. Wildflowers of every heavenly color were rampant and ground squirrels were plentiful. Again the stress quickly disappeared as we absorbed nature’s beauty into our souls. Suddenly it didn’t matter what time we arrived, it was worth the stress and detour just to experience the higher road. Finally after bobbing up and down like apples we rounded a bend and saw the setting sun glistening on the dark blue lake just in time for dinner. It felt like coming home as we neared the lodge. And soon we found ourselves sitting down for some grub. We had made it, was the mutual sigh.
Now for the next chapter of our excursion, dinner. With three very tired and hungry kids who had been sitting in the car for the past several hours and who were anxious to ‘camp’, a newborn that was hungry and tired of sitting in his car seat as well, along with two grown ups who were a bit on the frazzled side as well it was bound to be an adventure in and of itself. It didn’t help that the waitress sat us front and center. I mean dead center for all to witness the chaos. I guess they had mistaken us for the entertainment that night. After quickly gulping down dinner as fast as we could we headed back to our campsite.
The boys quickly made themselves at home and spread out their sleeping bags on the floor. Then checked out their private porch that opened up into natures backyard along with the fireplace and all of the knobs, dials, switches and gizmos the room had to offer. Marshmallows didn’t follow far behind. It’s not a real campout without marshmallows. So the boys pretended to roast marshmallows by placing them up against the protective glass on the fake fireplace. Once that wasn’t exciting anymore, they became airborne and soon the marshmallows miraculously transformed into baseballs. While all of this was going on something caught my eye. Something outside up against the trees on the other side of the open field. Deer! Look guys! Deer! We all dropped marshmallows and ran outside onto the little porch. Sure enough there was a small family of deer. The boys thought that was soooo cool. This really was almost camping. By now the sun had pretty much set and the deer had meandered into the forest of thick aspens. So we herded our own little ones inside too. Funny, only Isaac slept on the floor in his sleeping bag. The others claimed their spots in the overstuffed log beds.
The next morning Cameron took the boys to the pool and had a massage lined up for me. After we were all relaxed and ready, we packed up camp and set out for the day. After a hearty breakfast we found a fun place to stop and throw rocks in the river while goofing around before heading home. It wasn’t long before we were back into complete civilization. Already missing what we left behind.
Needless to say one of my favorite parts of the trip ended up being the best mistake ever. And who says you need a tent to go camping?