So, it’s been quite a while! I meant to update and do a post about the wedding, but when we got back from the honeymoon life was in full swing again! Here’s just a little bit of an update:
- I finished my Clear Credential Program and am just waiting on the paperwork to process at the CTC.
- Joel started school for his HVAC-R Certification
- I finished my fifth year of teaching
Yup, that’s about it! It doesn’t seem like a lot in that list, but it sure felt like it!
As a few of our wedding gifts, we got camping gear (yay!). Joel and I both grew up camping and love it. He has only tent camped, while I’ve camped in a tent, fifth wheel, and RV. I like all of them for different reasons and different places. I probably would have liked the RV or fifth wheel better where we were, as it turns out.
If you remember, last June we went backpacking in the Emigrant Wilderness. We camped in a similar area, just on a different freeway. Last year I had NO worries about bears and this year, well, it was different. I attribute it to Luka being with us. It was Luka’s first time camping and he thoroughly enjoyed the new smells, sights, and relaxing in the dirt.
Our campsite was a walk-in and I loved it! It was so beautiful and right next to an almost-bursting stream with fast flowing snow run-off. We brought Tim, Joel’s dad, along and he had a great time!
Dinner the first night was great! Well, all the meals were great, thanks to Pinterest! I like food a LOT, so of course we had to eat in style. We had roasted veggies with sausage the first night, egg casserole foil packs (of which I forgot to snap a photo), Dutch Oven nachos, and then lunch both days was lunch meat, cheese, and veggies. We also had yummy snacks like freeze dried fruit, pistachios (one of the few kind of nut I can eat), and sweet potato chips. Joel was a HUGE fan of the foil packet meals since he does the dishes at home 😉
So, earlier I mentioned bears. NO, we didn’t see (or hear) any bears. The first night, right off the bat, I had a terrible and realistic nightmare about a bear trying (ha! Trying.. Bears would just swipe through) to swipe through the tent to get Luka. It was so realistic that when it woke me, I saw a shadow on the tent side and was convinced it was a bear with its muzzle to the corner of the tent. I scooted Luka and his bed closer to me and woke up Joel by hitting his face. I was aiming for his shoulder, but there’s only so much you can do half asleep, in the dark, and facing the other direction. I swear, I could even hear the bear sniffing. I told Joel there was a bear and he was shocked. I said, “I remember the ranger said to be loud to scare the bears away. Should we be loud?” Joel asked the question, “Did you actually see the bear?” This got me to bravely sneak to the edge of the tent where there was a ventilation flap and look out, fully expecting to see the brown fur of a bear right under my nose. To my relief, I just saw the string for the sun cover and tree. I collapsed shaking and crying with relief. Joel was also relieved, but a bit irritated since I woke him from a dead sleep with incredibly fearsome news. He comforted me and I fell back asleep.
I’m not sure how much later, I woke needing to go to the bathroom. I decided I’d go to the actual vault toilet and take the lantern with me. I wish I hadn’t! I started walking toward the bathroom and saw a huge mass in the campsite next to ours… I slowly and quietly backed to our tent and got in. For a second time, I woke Joel and told him there was a bear. Now he was irritated. He got out and went to look at the “bear”. Well… It turns out his dad got uncomfortable sleeping in the hammock and went to sleep on the table in the next campsite. PHEW! That was an emotional night, let me tell you! I didn’t think twice about bears when we were backpacking, so I can only guess that it was because we had sweet little Lu with us this time. Who knows, really. We weren’t nearly as far into the forest. Last time we hiked five miles in! This time we were right by the road, maybe 1/4 mile away.
The only full day we had at the campsite we went up to a hiking trail and this mountain that looks like a glacier when there’s ice on it. Joel was excited because he wanted to see Luka run in the wild and he and his dad also hiked there when Joel was younger.
Well, the path was flooded and would’ve required me (and Luka) getting ankle+ deep in stagnant water. I hate having wet socks, so Luka and I waited in the car. Not much longer later, the guys came back because the trail was closed by a huge felled tree and a rushing river of snow melt. Before we left the area, we had Tim take a “family” photo of us with Luka boy.
Overall, the trip was amazing! We loved being in the outdoors with each other as well as just relaxing. Even at home on the weekends, there isn’t much of a distraction free zone. We had no cell service, no computers, no homework, nothing. I do wish we had brought Rivals for Catan and Risk so we had SOMETHING to do. Joel played with the fire and I took naps! Ha! I’m so boring. You know it’s a good trip when the dog crashes HARD in the car. He slept so hard that his fur around his mouth was all discombobulated and sticking every which way.
We are now HOOKED on camping! If you have any favorite DOG-FRIENDLY camping places in Northern California, PLEASE comment below or email me! We’d love to hear about the place and check it out! I’d also love to hear your favorite recipes! Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with a few beautiful views (and one picture of us) from Donnell’s Lookout on the way home. It just absolutely blows my mind how beautiful God’s great earth is, and how lucky we are to live on it.