Camping for a week, In Payson…

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We’ve been trying to make a habit of going to Payson for the week of July 4th. It’s not really camping, as the campground is right outside town (like, really, it’s across the highway from the Home Depot) but it’s cooler up there, and it’s a get away from nasty, ebil oppressive heat that I live in.

It was warmer this year, and because of fire danger we weren’t allowed to have campfires, but we still had a great time. It rained most afternoons, and cooled things off. The kids had a blast running around playing in the water and playing with their cousin.

Next year Hubster won’t be with us. At least not if things go as scheduled. We’ll see how things go, I’m able to take the trailer up, set it all up, take it down and bring it back, so we can still go… I’m also working on other plans through the next year…  We want to enjoy time with Hubster while we can.

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Another week in the mountains.

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And we are home. It was a good week, and we’re home again, I’ll type up more of a review once I’ve slept in my bed again… I’m tired.

Annual Camping Trip… Day seven.

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*this post written and saved while away from the internet, it was published once we arrived back home. Therefore dates and references are not accurate to the publish date.*

We’ve been here a week, and really enjoyed this trip. My dad came up and spent two and half days with us. I got to spend more time with him in that two and half days than I had spent in the last several years.

We’ve hunted wood, cut wood, burned wood. We’ve cooked on the fire, the kids especially love anything they can put on roasting forks and hold in the flames. The Little Smokies Beef sausages were a hit with everyone.

I’m the only person who hasn’t been to the lake fishing, and while I like to fish, I’m perfectly ok with not fishing too. I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent at camp getting things done, both camping stuff and writing stuff. So far (and I never opened the laptop the entire time my father was here,) I have added 13 pages, and finished rewrites on 3 chapters. The rest of the family has brought me trout, which I’ve prepared so we could cook and eat, or I’ve frozen to take home with us.

I like that the trailer only takes 20 minutes to clean… but I have decided that long term living in it would make me insane. Just too many people in such a small space. I could probably handle living in a trailer this size after the kids are grown, when it’s just Hubster and me. But now? No.

Anyway, we will pack up and clean up camp today and pull out early early tomorrow morning. We would like to make it home in time to clean up and to see the new Pirates movie tonight, and let Hubster have enough time to pack as he has to leave before eight on Sunday to go to BNOC

Annual camping trip, day 1… Arrival.

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*this post written and saved while away from the internet, it was published once we arrived back home. Therefore dates and references are not accurate to the publish date.*

We left home at 2am this morning. After 4 road / ramp closures and detours to get back on the right route, and stopping for lunch, we made what Google maps called a 8.5 hr trip in around 11 hrs. all and all, not to bad.

We like to camp in what is called ‘overflow’ camping, it’s in a campground. and there’s no reservations. First come first serve only, the only restrictions are that you can only stay for two weeks max, and you can’t build a fire if the forest you are in has fire restrictions. Hubster was worried about getting our spot. I listened to him worry about getting our preferred spot for 11 hrs. Not my idea of a fun drive. (Not to mention that somehow all ramp closures were some how, my fault.)

Anyway, we made it to the campground at about 1 this afternoon, and low and behold, our spot is available. YAY!! We backed the trailer in (yes, we camp with a trailer, don’t hate on me.) and got it leveled. I set to getting the trailer cleaned up and organized, beds made, food put away, so that we can live in here for the next week. Hubster rounded up the kids and set out gathering fire wood (yes, we gather and cut dead wood to burn, instead of buying firewood.)

After I have camp mostly set up (not totally, but  mostly, and Hubster has hauled in 3 large trees to be cut up and burned he sets about getting the fishing gear ready… Kid 1 opts out of first day fishing and chooses to stay at camp with me, but Kid 2 and Kid 3 are loaded up to go get water and go fishing.

Kid 1 and I finish setting up camp, setting up chairs and prepping for dinner. Once those chores are done we played a few games before she decided to take the hatchet out and chop the smaller branches off the trees they hauled in while I worked on writing some.

I have little doubts we will all sleep well tonight, my only question is did I get enough blankets on all the beds?

Camping… part 1

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We started this adventure in Casa Grande Saturday morning, we drove through Florence, then Superior, Globe, down and up Salt River Canyon, which Kid 1 (10yo) hated so much she cried, it scared her bad, I have to admit, it is not my favorite trip either. 

We drove through Showlow, and stopped in Pinetop looking for bricks to jack the trailer hitch up on, because the ones we had been using broke in Casa Grande. We ended up getting a bunch of culled lumber really cheap and by cutting and nailing it together we built a stable base to jack the trailer up on, we still needed a stone, to keep the hitch from digging into the wood, but it will do for now, we also got extra lumber, for setting the corner jacks on, and to use as ramps for the trailer to help level it.

We arrived at Big Lake late in the afternoon, and after a little hunting found a good site, one that didn’t cost $30 a night, and after much maneuvering, and bitching by Hubster, he realized that I hadn’t screwed up and bent one of the jacks (by directing him to back over a rock) and we got the trailer setup. Sent the kids hunting for firewood and Hubster was just so impatient to go fishing that he took all 3 kids out while I got the rest of camp set up, and the trailer all set up and organized (gas turned on and the fridge working, and loaded, etc.) and started dinner (yes, it was past dinner time by that time. and almost dark, dark isn’t happening here till about 8 or 8:30)

They came back from fishing after just about an hour or an hour and a half, with one little trout. Who caught it? Kid 3 (4yo). He had caught the first fish, and the only keeper, we are not yet sure how he managed it as wiggly and impatient as he is, but he did. We built a fire, ate dinner, and had s’mores. S’mores are a hit with Kid 1 and Kid 2 (8yo) but Kid 3 just doesn’t like marshmallows, in any incarnation, so he just pesters me for chocolate.

We got them all in bed and crashed, we were tired.

The next morning, (Sunday) we all got up, I made breakfast and Hubster took all 3 kids fishing again. They came back with just one fish again, and Hubster still hadn’t had a chance to even get his poles into the water. He told me that from now on, when ever he takes all 3 kids, I have to go with him. By now we had a list of things we realized we had forgotten, or still needed to pick up, including propane, yeah, ditz that I sometimes am, I forgot to fill the propane tanks. So Hubster sent me and two kids down into town (about 30 minutes away) to pick up the stuff we still needed, while he and the other kid went fishing. We were gone just over 3 hrs, and unable to get propane, as there is no place open to pump propane on a weekend, we did have enough to last us a couple days though.

When we got back to pick up the Hubster and Kid 2, they had caught 2 fish, so we had a grand total of 4 fish in two days. Still not enough make a meal for us. So we built a fire and had corn on the cob and hot dogs for dinner… both cooked on the fire, both really yummy, and more s’mores.

On Monday morning Hubster got up early and went fishing alone, in about 2.5 hrs he had caught his limit, and brought them back to camp, where I fixed breakfast for everyone. He decided that at the rate they had been losing tackle, he had to go into town and get more (think about it… 3 kids with poles, constantly hitting snags, this equals a lot of lost hooks, weights, line and bait.) Plus, he was waiting for the offer of a promotion, so he had to get somewhere his cell phone would work so he could call in and see if the offer had been made yet so he could accept it. So down the hill we go again, this time all of us, we were able to fill a propane tank, it wasn’t as empty as I though, but better safe than sorry. He called in and accepted his promotion (yay, by the time we get back he will have only one more week on Graveyards before he goes to a straight days position, with weekends and holidays off!! I can’t wait, I have hated graves this time around.) We got more bait, more smores makings because I had underestimated the ability of my family to roast marshmallows… and we stopped and got the kids Ice Cream. After we got back to camp and dealt with all our purchases, got the gas tank hooked up to the system, we all went out to fish.

We park the truck.. hike a quarter mile to Hubster’s favorite fishing spot… only to discover 20 minutes later that he has forgotten something vital… and I get sent back to camp for it. Before I left, Kid 3 had hooked a fish, we didn’t realize he actually had a fish and wasn’t just playing with the pole until I saw the fish jump, then I helped him reel it in… it was too small, but he had caught the first fish of the outing again.

I get back to the fishing spot, after hiking out and back, to find that they had caught a keeper, and we had some fishing neighbors… the younger kids were getting bored by this time and playing in the rocks above where we are fishing, I sat down in my little beach chair in front of one of the kids poles and in less than 10 mins, it had a bite and I grabbed it and landed it. With the kids off playing I decided to do a little fishing, and so I  cast the line out again… had a couple bites and landed a baby  off that pole.. our fishing neighbors had already limited out (in this lake that is 6 a day per adult 3 per child) but were still enjoying fishing, just releasing what they were catching, when they found out that we hadn’t caught enough to eat yet they started giving us their keepers. We brought 11 fish back to camp that night. They were VERY tasty. Even though we couldn’t convince Kid 3 to even taste one.

Tuesday morning, Hubster got up and took Kid 1 out fishing with him, they didn’t catch their limits but they got close. While they were gone I had fed the younger two, and heated enough water and given them sponge baths. While Hubster got the fire burning and enough coals to make lunch, I helped Kid 1 bathe, and I bathed. We had more fish for lunch and Kid 1 had convinced Kid 3 to take a bite of fish. We told him he only had to have one, but he wasn’t getting anything else until he tasted the trout. He took his one bite, but refused anymore, even though he said it was good.

We had another, shorter, fishing session with everyone that evening then we came back to camp and had more fish for dinner, and Hubster fired up the generator to charge the batteries in the trailer, and as a treat for the kids he put a movie into his laptop and let them watch that while he and I played cards. Kid 3 fell asleep watching one of his favorite movies… Goonies but the other two managed to stay up till the end when we bundled them all into bed and crashed.

Wednesday morning Hubster got up and took Kid 2 fishing with him, they were gone several hours and only brought home 3 fish. Wednesday was my birthday, and only Kid 1 thought to tell me Happy Birthday. They gathered and cut more firewood, and we decided to take a day off of afternoon fishing, we played games, Hubster took the trailer to be dumped and filled with water, and he took my phone with him (our camp site doesn’t get cell or internet service, but the spot where the dump is does) so my email downloaded and I had a bunch of emails telling me Happy Birthday. We played games and spent a good afternoon together, and we ended up eating the steaks I had brought, for dinner, the kids, who mostly refuse to eat stake, had more hot dogs. Kid 3 was asking to watch a movie again, but while the older kids were making their s’mores, he went into the trailer and fell alseep.

After only 3 months….

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it is FINALLY in my yard.

camp trailer

We no longer have to spend a hundred dollars a night on a motel room to go visit my family, or his. We can go away for the weekend with out haveing to worry about where to come up with the money for a hotel room.  Camping with 3 kids has just been  made easy.

We have plenty of extra space for family to come visit us too!

I have already started shifting things that will stay out there. Bedding, extra board games we don’t use often, my cast iron cookware. And I have a list of things we need to pick up for it. I am gonna pick up some super cheap plastic dishes from the walmart summer stuff to stay in there, and I will have to pack food  and clothes every time we use it. But I am hoping to use it several times this summer, if only to escape the heat in the third circle of hell.