With Justin working 10+ hour shifts, he works longer days, but has more days off. We decided right away that one day would be dedicated to the Lord (Sabbath), one to work, and one to play. This was similar to the strategy employed by my parents: Saturday mornings were spent working so that Saturday afternoons could be spent on the lake or in the mountains.
Knowing the weather was going to be hot on our play day, we decided to head for the hills. Justin did a bit of searching and found a hike he thought we could all do.
Everyone had a backpack and carried their own lunch, water and swimming suit.
Knowing the ages of our hikers, we took a lot of breaks. Especially after we discovered that we accidentally added over two miles to our hike. Oops.
This little girl was the best. Out of everyone in the family, she was the most amazing. Justin and I ended up carrying the youngest for a good portion of the trek, but our six year old trudged along, uncomplaining. She even carried her own pack.
The forest was beautiful, but we did run into this creepy section. I'm pretty sure this is where Sleeping Beauty got lost--don't those trees look like they might attack?
Just when some of us were ready to give up, we spotted the lake.
"YES! We made it!"
And, just like we had hoped, it was worth it! What a breathtaking sight.
We each pulled up a rock and ate our squashed lunches.
But it didn't take long to start venturing into the cold water.
The cold, shimmering water was refreshing! Not all of us brought swimming suits, but that wasn't going to keep us from playing in the water.
After a while, Dad and I lay on the hot rocks to dry, but the kids decided it was time for a project.
They were going to build a raft.
They worked at it and worked at it, even using the long grasses to lash together the old fallen logs.
Incidentally, can you believe this water? It was outrageously clear. Even while we were playing in it, it shone like glass.
Looks so comfy!
Oh, my gosh! That emerald water! The water was deep enough that the boy couldn't reach out there, too.
Some of the other kids took a ride. They were thrilled with their accomplishment.
I couldn't get over this water. We've never been much for fishing, but this kind of serene location could have tempted me into it. We could see the fish!
"Wait for me!"
The kids played in the water for a couple of hours, then spread out on the rocks to dry before heading back down the hill.
What is it about going down? We ran much of the way--it was too irresistible!
Except when Mom demanded they stop so she could snap a picture.
The view on the way down. I love the pointy high alpine trees.
The older kids and our puppy lead the way through a rock slide.
It was a great day. All of the kids, save the youngest, hiked the nearly six mile hike without assistance or complaint. Patches had the time of his life, running and chasing the random scents left by the mountain wildlife. We were all exhausted by the time we crawled into our beds that night and I'm not too proud to admit that my body was a little sore!
Next time, we're bringing sleeping bags.