There’s a first for EVERYTHING…

I never thought it would happen.
I married a man who likes clean hands,
he brushes his teeth 4 times a day,
He likes to have a “clean” work-out, which means a shower before and after…
He is a man’s-man, but NOT an out-doors man…
He hates fishing.
He found some thermal scopes for good price but decided he didn’t want to go hunting in the end.

He tried to go on a father/son camp-out with the neighborhood guys last summer,
and he had to drive home twice to get things he’d forgotten for KJ
then they slept in his truck when it all came down to it.
The guys told me, Dusty said,
“I don’t work this freaking’ hard to sleep out here.”
“I want the Marriott…”

But, our kids have been begging Dusty to go camping this summer…

So, when Troy invited us, our family went camping for the FIRST time ever! We came to the conclusion that we all enjoyed this experience so much, to the point that were are even considering going on another camping trip in the Summer. It was something that we never thought of doing, but I’m glad we did. I think next time, we might rent a van and use that as our mode of transport. I know a friend of mine did this and found it to be easier than taking her car along. She mentioned that there are a number of factors I would need to consider when hiring a van, with the main point being that I make sure I insure the vehicle. As there are a number of policies that are offered, like Comprehensive van insurance, Third- Party Insurance and Theft, there would be a lot for me to think about before this trip goes ahead. I wouldn’t have known this otherwise. I cannot wait to start planning for future camping trips now!
of course, we’re talking HARD CORE camping –
not houseboats at Lake Powell!

Troy Blanchard wanted to celebrate his birthday, by going camping with family & friends at Maple Canyon. Not in a traditional reserved campsite, but in his “brother-in-law’s favorite spot,” on top of the mountain. The last 2 miles of the route are via an 8 ft. wide drop-off road; 4WD ONLY.

Please note the “Trailers not recommended” sign…
then also note: Hummer and 2 large diesel trucks pulling a trailer & pop-out camper…this was only half of our group, the other half also had vehicles/campers this large.

On our way UP the mountain Danny’s truck over-heated and we managed to scare all the kids while we waited out his truck being fixed on this narrow road. Most the kids believed we were going to all roll down the side of the mountain.

Day 1
We made it! We set-up camp in a beautiful grove of Aspens.

The kids started riding their 4-wheelers and motorcycles as soon as we opened the trailer and started unloading them. They road them up & down the beautiful road that got us to our camping spot over looking the valley.

Kiana & Eli
Myla
Myla & Boston

Taylor’s, Howell Boys, and Rhodes split up our meals.
This was our mess hall –
Shannon, Jane, & Madi
I decided that if I was going camping, I was going to try to dutch-oven something for the first time. I found a yummy apple crisp recipe online, and tried it out. The only bummer was I decided to use “dutch oven liners” to save on mess and it ruined the flavor a bit. They tasted a little metallic and so I don’t recommend using them if you haven’t before. I’ll just have to deal with the messy dutch oven next time. {if there is…}
I prepared tin-foil dinners before we came. We had orange roughey/green beans/carrots/mushrooms/black beans seasoned with butter fresh garlic & onions and some dill. The guys cooked them for us in the campfire, and they were tasty!!! Did I mention they also made the fire? Someone thankfully had a bushcraft axe with them to chop the firewood, but next time i’m debating making sure we bring one along too – just in case!

* I have to note that at the end of day 1, we were all putting kids to bed, in our tents, campers, etc. and a few adults were still around the campfire, and “some one’s” car alarm went off for about 3 minutes – what the heck?!?
Bears have been known to be thieves…

Rise ‘n Shine! The glorious benefit of camping, is you get to rise with the sun.

Day 2

All the kids were up playing catch while breakfast was being made.
We planned on having Danny’s famous waffles but we blew out the inverter/fuse on Dusty’s hummer trying to heat the waffle iron.

So, we had pancakes, and sausage, bacon, and eggs.

Then the games began.
Shannon had all the kids playing “apples to apples,” and they loved it.
We had a Women’s game of something.
It started out as Phase 10 with face cards
then turned into Rummy
That turned into the Nielsen’s version of Gin Rummy…I guess.

Whatever we played, it was fun!
In the midst of our game, Dusty came back with a little surprise in his hat, he tipped it out in the middle of our card game.

Tegan had found a horned frog (horny toad) while they were 4-wheeling about 30 minutes away, and Dusty put him in his hat for the ride back to camp.
Chaos struck all at once in the middle of day 2.
Lets see if I can remember it all…

Troy & Daphne were 4-wheeling with Ashlynn in front of them and a rock/boulder about 8 inches wide flew up and hit Ash in the stomach, knocking her breathless for a few moments. Tegan got burnt on a motorcycle. Danny H burnt his thumb. Boston was carving his name in a tree with his new pocket knife and cut his finger. {I believe they are still contemplating stitches.} Myla was walking around the campfire and picked up the grill laying on the ground next to the fire, that was still HOT, and burned about six of her fingers.

Here’s two of our injured.
Myla & Boston.

Lots of creatures were being caught, Myla found two caterpillars –

More riding of 4-wheelers & motorcycles….
Kiana, Ethan, & Madi – heading out for the ride…

and coming back…
Myla & Boston
Hayes & Sela {pretending to ride was good enough for these two!}
Myla
Sela loved getting rides with her big sis Kiana
Kiana & Sela, Ethan
Kiana, on the road back into camp
We found a natural spring about 75 feet from our camp and the kids would walk there to clean up. Kiana washed her hair, and Shannon braided it for her.
Dusty & Sela
Dusty, trying to get his feet clean.
this is our little kids, HARD-CORE camping. hehe. KJ, Olivia, & Hayes were hanging out in the Taylors trailor watching movies on the i-pod’s for a little down time.
Shannon made dinner our 2nd night, Hamburgers & Hot dogs. She made “banana boats,” for dessert. You take a banana, slice it open on one side, fill the banana with chocolate chips & marshmellows, wrap it in foil, and warm it up in the campfire. They were delicious!
Kiana was a big “banana boat” fan
We had lots of watermelon during the 3 days, KJ was very happy with this big slice.

Day 3

We woke up, very happy to have had NO sightings of bears. I’m sure everyone in our area is aware of last summers bear attacks, I was FREAKED prior to the trip about all the possibilities of things that COULD happen.

We had cold cereal for breakfast, packed up, and returned home. We did stop and eat with the Taylor’s & Howell’s at Cracker Barrel en route home. We kept with the theme for the weekend, I guess. Actually, it was what pregnant Momma Shannon was craving. 🙂

I have to say, I can’t believe how clean the kids look in most of the pictures. Sela, especially, was a walking dirty, snotty nosed toddler the entire time we were there. I used about 4 packages of wipee’s & 2 boxes of Kleenex to keep everyone clean, and it felt like as soon as I cleaned one child, one minute later, they were covered again.

As far as this being our FIRST hard-core camping trip ever, I think it’s undecided if we would go again. We now own a tent & 5 sleeping bags, so we could go… We have wonderful memories of the weekend. But, I won’t miss the outdoor bathroom, mosquito’s, trying to sleep, allergies, worries about what MIGHT happen to my kids, garbage, etc. etc. Maybe we’ll try camping in a campground the next time…

happy birthday, Troy!
Thank you for inviting our family to join you for your weekend.
We love you, xoxo

14 responses to “There’s a first for EVERYTHING…

  1. Now that were home, i totally LOVED it! I love that the kids had such a Great time!
    Great Pictures too! I didn’t know Dusty was that Funny about it! No wonder he kept encouraging Myla that they needed to get home. Hehe

    Great Memories!

  2. What great memories Jane! I had no idea that Dusty was like that. Too funny. I was laughing at that you used so many wipees and kleenex! Camping will always be such a great memory for your kids. I have some great dutch oven recipes if you want them. Did you know that you can dutch oven in the comfort of your own kitchen too? Also, if you ever go camping again-I have some fun goodie ideas like the banana boats ( I love those), to share with you and your friends. Looks like the best time ever, and I am so proud of you that you went.
    PS-my sisters daughter went to girls camp in Idaho this past weekend and had to come home because they had 4 bears come into their camp. Luckily noone was hurt, but there were 2 tents demolished.

  3. THANK YOU FOR COMING! I/we had a blast! I read through your SWEET blog entry and looked at your pictures and just think of what a perfect memory I have of my big 36 b-day! We are so glad you guys brought the motorcycles – MJ Bree and Beth all learned to ride this weekend. Crazy how many things can go wrong yet we all still managed to have a lot of fun! Once you guys all pulled out on Sunday my kids had a meltdown as their friends drove off! Thanks for making it a fun b-day- we are so glad you guys came-
    TZB

  4. Way cool! My family used to camp all the time but now I’m not so interested. I don’t think anyone else really is either. But it’s something that is fun to do.

  5. I enjoyed your camp experience sooo much! It sounds like you did go hard core for your first camp experience. We’ve camped a lot over the years and it was probably more work getting ready to go than any trip we’ve ever gone on, but the greatest thing about camping is the memories. There are always great memories because things always go wrong, and at the time they are a pain, but I can tell you as the years go by, those are the stories that get told over and over and over and everyone loves having a great laugh about them later. Thanks for sharing your memories!! (By the way, coming from Nevada I have to say that was not a frog. They are better known as “horny toads”. I don’t know if someone has come up with a better name for them because I grew up with a lot of jokes about horny toads, so maybe they are politely being called frogs now,….I don’t know!)

  6. You guys definitely have some amazing memories now, it sounds like it was a blast-minus the injuries, that is never fun!! I am not a camper, myself, but going with friends would definitely make it worth it!! And the kids must have been in heaven!!

  7. ah….camping. Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, and more dirt! Dirt in places that you never knew could have dirt. And then some more dirt. 🙂 Good times. Looks like you had a blast.

  8. The first paragraph could have been describing MY husband! We are not campers but if we go, we’re going with you! You are like Martha Stewart goes camping!

  9. I found your blog through Nate and Jackie’s…looks like quite the trip! I do have to say I am with Dusty…I much prefer the Marriott!

  10. Good for you! Camping is so bitter/sweet. The kids really do LOVE it, but it is such work. And in hindsight, I always remember it being much funner than it probably really is, so we always go again! Hopefully you will too.

  11. Camping is fun for a day or two, then it’s totally bliss to be back in the comfort of your own home! Looks like you guys had a blast.

  12. WOW! I never thought I’d see the day! So glad you had a fun time, despite the injuries/accidents/mishaps, etc!

    Camping is always sooo much work… makes me tired just thinking about it… but it’s true that the kids always LOVE it, which makes it worth the effort! Give yorself a few months or a year before you consider it again, and I bet you’ll go again! 🙂

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