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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Koocanusa Paradise

FYI none of the older kids wanted many pics taken, so that's why you see me and the little ones a lot ;-) Here's our campsite.....

embarking on a kayak adventure!

Every time we head out on a grand adventure, I find myself back at home with a mess of dishes, laundry and the like. Now to be fair, my kids DO do a lot of that work, however, there is still much to be done. Chronicling our adventures seems to be at the back of my mind. Then I want to see all the good pictures and I can't help but devote an overcast or otherwise rainy afternoon to telling our stories of high adventure........
Hence our fun began with talk of camping at Lake Koocanusa. That morning last Thursday, my husband said "you'd better make some ice". I wondered for the next hour what the plan was and busied myself with food preparation "just in case". By early afternoon we had formulated a plan for a 4 day trip!! I don't remember ever camping that long and I wasn't sure how to pack coolers for that many days. Soon I was hurriedly trying to come up with easy and fun camp meals. The Sock Fashion expert jumped right in and made a "campfire twiscuit" dough enough to share and also some of her FAMOUS home made Gram crackers. You haven't had real s'mores until you've tried some of them between some marshmallow, peanut butter and milk chocolate - oh baby!
It took the whole day to get ready, and when we left I felt near exhaustion and glad I'd be getting the full 4 days to rest! Thursday we hiked to and camped near a waterfall as our favorite spot was taken by a vicious gang of bikers!! Actually they were just maniac looking cyclists ;-) The creek was peaceful, though, and it was a fun start to our trip. The next day all the bikers hadn't yet left, so my husband scoped out another spot on the opposite side of the lake. It was off a dirt road leading to a remote bay that we had solely almost the entire rest of the time. We set up camp and the fun began!
Across our site and down was a beautiful little sandy cove full of drift wood. It was perfect for sunning and swimming. Beyond that was a vast open meadow along the lakeside that nobody could access except by water. Perfect! I loved laying in the sun and exploring our new place with the children. The kids said I made the "best camp food ever" even though it was allot of warmed up thrown together left overs ;-) That next morning we all headed out on an excruciating bike ride up a mountain in search of another, yet more remote, waterfall. After lunch, swimming and sun some of our friends showed up to join us! Just then the boys pulled the canoe in with whole big mess of fish big enough to feed the entire camp of us breakfast!
Saturday was tropical in weather and the girls and I started out in the sun by 11 or so. I ran in to get ice with Mist and encountered a grouchy store lady!! I will refrain myself from that story ;-) The day was incredibly heavenly! I could have stayed on that remote beach forever. After reading a few Voice of Victory articles to the girls, we had a delicious lunch of sauteed chicken and veggie tortillas. There we were all laid out in bikinis with the men off fishing and kids playing in the water. Matthew came back just as a helicopter flew over us. Then it flew over us again. Then it flew over AGAIN. We all started wondering what was up. Then it CIRCLED us!! "What do they want to look at us for?" Catman demanded to know. "They weren't looking at us, Buddy" Matthew told him." "Why would they want to look at girls in bikinis?" he asked skeptically. We all laughed....... Guess nothing is all that secluded ;-) We girls swam out to the edge of the bay several times and hit the cold and waves of the great lake beyond. It was like time stopped and we were caught in a supernatural plain of some kind of heavenly sphere. The warm winds, the sand and shore, the cold waters and the waves, the mammoth mountains and the great boulders reminded us that we were but tiny creations living in this Eden that God Himself created for his children to enjoy...... That evening a great storm came up from out of no place and all us women and kids huddled in our trailer telling silly stories as the rain and hails passed us by. In an hour or two it was calm again and the men emerged soaked and fishless for the most part.
After a lot of sun and laughing and good meals and fun, our friends headed out for home Sunday afternoon. I took the Kayak out once again. The first time I crossed the lake, I was fearful of the great winds and waves that met me. It was a calm day and I couldn't imagine what the great lakes full fury could do..... This time I crossed in another spot that I had found to be gentler, also travelling at a slant rather than straight across. That seemed to ride the waves in a better fashion. Something compelled me to keep going until I had gone several miles from our home site. Finally, as I rounded another big protrusion, I found our old favorite place. The beautiful bar and pools were flooded over but the secret cove remained. I walked through sands and dove in its warm depths. I walked up to the picnic area just to remember, as it was not a familiar favorite place. I wonder if I liked it so much because I liked the people so much that we'd enjoyed it with ;-) After fully experiencing that special spot once again, I returned in my Kayak to the lakes call once again. I emerged at our home site with a powerful appetite because not only had I been kayaking, but I had swam the perimeter of the bay before my trek..... The Archer returned back from fishing with wild tales of a naked couple in a speed boat destroying his wake zone laughing fiendishly as they played crazy music and intentionally scared away his fish hot rodding around him. Bizarre.
On the last morning, we sat around the campfire and enjoyed a morning of devotions. I went off to do dishes and bathe while the rest of the family packed up camp. It was bitter sweet. My husband sent The Archer Home with the children and our "Redneck Gypsy" bed - Matthew (Now renamed Kind Eyes due to a private joke) teased us about sleeping in the back of it - see pics below. My husband had other plans for us. We spent the day touring Eureka - dining, stores, looking at lands and lakes. My favorite, though, was the special evening spent on a blanket looking at Outlaw Lake before driving home......

Me and Miss Moona at the Waterfall...

the secluded lake meadow

Baby Blue Eyes (Mist and Fiery's Baby)

The kids were happy to see each other!

Grocery Sacks full of popcorn are GOLD STANDARD on every camping trip ;-) Sock Fashion Expert usually does a bag or two's worth of kettle corn. Mist and Elasta Woman some times sprinkle theirs with salt and brewers yeast. Its cheap and healthier than a lot of other stuff!

"Rabbit" hanging out ;-)

the only family pic!! waahh!! pout...groan ;-)


Hubby and I slept in the "Gypsy Redneck Bed"

But the kids napped in there on lazy afternoon ;-)

Art Dog

Super Cat Man!

The Romantic Date....


Heather said...

I know I've said it before. . .but you guys have so much fun! :)

Mamma has spoken said...

I'm not much for camping but this does look like a nice time for all.
Love the picture of the naked baby, way too cute!

Amber said...

Love the Gypsy Red Neck Bed!
Sounds like a great time!
A romantic date while camping, Nice!
I can rarely get a date with my hubby and you get one with your hubby while camping, I'm so jealous!

Becky said...

What a beautiful trip you all had! Great pics! Thanks so much for sharing.

blessedmom's simple home said...

Great photos! Why is it that kids reach a certain age and don't want their pictures taken? Mine are the same way. Well, except for my oldest son, who is a total ham :)

I know what you mean about the work when you come home. Camping and vacations of any kind were much easier when I was a kid :)
P.S. My girls are back from their mission trip. They loved it!