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Summer of Camping

In the thirteen years that my wife and I have been married, I haven’t camped as much time camping as I did this summer. Oh great, this is starting to sound like the typical back to school essay “How I Spent My Summer.” But deal with it.

Trip #1
The camping adventures started with a Memorial Day camp trip with my dad and his wife. It was fun. Hot, but fun. We ended up with camp site that had no shade. Seriously none. I guess that is what you get when you try and reserve a site online. I thought I knew the site quite well, but I was wrong.

The two best parts of this trip was geocaching (with my family, dad and step-mom included, and by myself), and the moose that came through our camp site. He just very quietly and unassumingly walked within about 30 feet of our tents. My wife made fun of the 20 some pictures that I took of the same moose.

Trip #2
The second camping adventure was our Ward’s Fathers and Sons Camp Out. It was a lot of fun, and we had a lot of men and their boys show up. Because I was in charge of the whole camp out, I set up a GPS-Hunt (geocache) for others to participate in. Everyone who did it enjoyed it.

Trip #3
The third camp was with our Ward’s Girls’ Camp. That was a blast. This was my daughter’s first year at girls camp and I really wanted to get involved in as many ways as possible. So, as soon as I knew the date I asked for vacation. While, I am sure that I embarrassed her, I don’t think that it was too bad. She hasn’t insisted that I not go next year.

This camp was also fun because there are a bunch of great young women in our Ward. They took the bull by the horns and made it a lot of fun for themselves and for us leaders. Apparently, this being my first girls’ camp ever, I broke several of the unwritten rules. Everyone told me that the men who go up just usually sit in the background and aren’t involved. Well, I can’t just sit in the back ground, I have a certain tendency to enjoy some limelight, in moderation of course. A lot of the young women commented that they really enjoyed how involved me and the other Brother who joined us were. It was his first girls’ camp too, and he told me that he didn’t want to sit in the background either. So, it truly became a great experience.

It also will become a camp to remember because, I was kicked out of camp. That’s right, they sent me home early. They also sent my daughter home. Oh, yeah, and the rest of the camp too. On our last full day their, while playing a game of charades with the girls, ash started to fall from the sky. At first it was just small occasional flakes about the size of a snow flake, but after several hours, the flakes turned into whole leaves, and the sky had slowly turned to an ominous red.

Shortly after that the camp director came by and told us that we need to start packing and go home. Their was a fire that was starting to get close and they were evacuating us as a safety precaution. We were able to pack everything up and get out of camp in less than an hour. The fire never came near the camp, but it was nice that we were able to protect ourselves from a possible problem.

Trip #4
The fourth camp trip was actually a party crashing at my Dad’s Ward Campout. As a kid, our ward always camped at a Church-owned plot of land near Scofield Reservoir. After our fun camp on Memorial day weekend, my dad suggested that we join him at this camp. So, we crashed the party, and I got to reunite with many of my old leaders as a youth and to meet some old friends as well.

Again the highlight for this camp was geocaching with my dad and my son, and a geocaching trip by myself early in the morning. The trip with my dad and my son took us to a Miner’s Graveyard. This trip took place about two weeks before the unfortunate incident near Huntington. And the news has really caused me to reflect on this trip and the ment who over a 100 years ago gave their lives so my grandparents could have a few luxuries. Another fun cache was to one placed by a good friend and fellow blog writer, Dennis Udink. Dennis sure knows how to make you work for your cache. But it was fun and a great view.

The next morning on this camp trip, I woke up early and I headed out to complete a few more counties in my attempt to find a geocaching in every county of Utah. Seeing that I was so close to Emery county, I figured I would take the short trip to Electric Lake and grab a cache or two. The strange now, as I look back upon it, is that this road took me right past the mine where the six men are trapped. I took note of that mine and the awesome ability of men to harness the great powers of the earth. Every time I see a flash of the outside of the mine, I just shiver to think that I was there just a few weeks before the accident.

Trip #5
The last camping trip was just this weekend. The most memorable part of the trip was a four o’clock in the morning geocaching trip because I couldn’t sleep. I woke up at two in the morning, and tried to fall a sleep, but after 2 hours, I gave up. I found a cache that is designed to be found in the dark, and I decided to go for it.

After getting about 500 feet into the search, I lost my way. I was in the middle of a dark forest with a head lamp and 99-cent flash light and I couldn’t find the trail that took me to the cache. I looked for several minutes to try and pick up the trail, but nothing. Finally, I read the past logs to find out that no one has found this cache since October of last year, and even then some of the trail markers were missing.

But that last log gave some glimmer of hope, so I took a shot in the dark and I started moving in the direction that I thought the cache was. Eventually, and somewhat miraculously, I found another trail marker. It had fallen down on the ground and was barely visible, but from their I was able to pick up on the other markers and eventually find it. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.

I had a lot of fun on these various camping trips, but honestly, I am glad that there won’t be any more. We had planned one for September when Coeby was off track. But now that she is at Summit Academy, she won’t be off track until October, and that is too cold for this soft skinned guy.

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