So we thought we wouldn't get to fit in a family camping trip this year which was a bummer since we skipped last year due to me being very prego and then having a newborn. But DH had an unexpected two days off due to no work (yah for his salaried position) and dd had a spring holiday on Friday!! So we threw together a camping trip in a matter of hours and off we went after school got out on thursday.
It was a new adventure for all of us, we usually camp in the Dairy or Double Springs camp grounds up in the Mormon Lake area just outside of Flagstaff. But wow, who wants to camp in snow country this time of year, NOT US :D. So this time we drove an hour south of us to Florence, AZ, and then drove 20 miles into the middle of the desert to find a spot on the Gila River. Gila is pronounced like Hee-Luh for those who dont know.
We camped up on a platform area above the river, it was just a quick trip down a small hill to the river and we had a wonderful view of it from our spot.
We spent our days exploring the area, found a spot that was shallow enough to wade into, thank goodness, because the kids were dying to play in it and the area accessible to vehicles has become to fast and to deep during the spring from the snow runoff. We had the whole place to ourselves the first day and that was so quiet and peacful.
We fished, we played on the sandy beach, we roasted marshmallows, drank hot chocolate, and told scarry stories by the campfire. We even did a good dead and spent over an hour one day picking up trash other had left and then hauled it out when we left.
And of course we forgot some important things, like cups and tongs and bowls. So we drank coffee out of tin cans after they were empty and the kids ate cereal out of a small frying pan and well we had to use fingers and a spatuals for tongs, ouch!!!
We didnt catch any fish, the river was awefully fast for much fishing with the bait we remembered to bring (forgot the worms at home in the fridge). But we brought some fish from home and had that one night. Cooked it up with butter and lemon in foil packets over the fire along with some zucchini, onions, tomatoes and garlic. So yummy!! And of course we had the traditional dutch oven potatoes, bacon and onions one night, I dont think I can even tell yah how good these are, until you have had dutch over potatoes, you have never turely appreicated the potato ;).
We had a scare on our last evening camping on the river. All my life camping it seems there is always some type of scare, bb's in eyes due to ricochet, heads cracked open from boys throwing rocks, and other various things growing up. This was one of those things you play over and over in your mind seemingly just to torture yourself though. And because Im a mother I also think of all the ways it could have been worse, Ive been waking up in the night thinking about it over and over since it happened......
We were down at the river, playing in a spot that had been dug out into a little island, a spot where it was shallow for several feet and had a trench the kids could play in "safely". We were talking to some people from the Florence area, all of our kids were playing, taking turns jumping to and from the little "island".
Im a very protective mother, sometime maybe over protective, but this day I thank god that I am and that I dont take my eyes off my children around water.
Gage, never taking us seriously at his age, was not careful enough when jumping to an from the island and fell when he jumped. He went head over heals into the river and began to panic. We were all right with him and he was pulled out immediatly but it was scarry none the less. Had we been less vigilant parents things could have turned out very badly. Since that evening Ive by watching my son secretly (cause he doesn't like to be stared at ;)), hugging him extra and just thanking God that we still have Gage with us. Treasure your loved ones, you never know when you might lose them.
Despite our scare, we had a great time and met some very nice people, and had a great family camping trip. Next month a whole week at Disneyland :D...