Vacation

Vacation was great.  2500 miles weren’t nearly as bad as anticipated.  A few factors made things easier: 
  • We put the six-foot tall teenager in the front seat, where he’d have lots of leg room.
  • I sat in the back seat between the seven year old and the ten year old.  It’s amazing how this eliminated all sorts of bickering, making for a more pleasant atmosphere for everyone else.
  • I purchased two new travel games:  Battleship, and Connect-Four.  This gave the kids something new and interesting to do.
  • With a large enough stack of books, I could ride just about anywhere.  My husband and older children, however, all get motion sickness if they try to read while we’re travelling. The two younger boys take after me (and made good use of their time).
  • At the last minute, I grabbed my knitting bag.  I now have a new pair of knee-highs — something to show for 54 hours in the car.
We started our trip by visiting friends in Oregon, then in California.  This was followed by attending a family reunion in northern California over the first weekend.  Is it a reunion if you’ve never met the people before?  My kids must’ve enjoyed it, because they’re already talking about getting to go back again next year.
Pinnacles Overlook, in Crater Lake National Park

Pinnacles Overlook, in Crater Lake National Park

Next stop was near Bend, Oregon.  Petersen Rock Garden is incredible, and I now know why my husband has been saying for years that he wanted to take the kids to Crater Lake.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

My dear husband tends to be overprotective at times, and wanted me to stay at the car with two of the kids while he took the others down into the crater.  After hearing so many people say that their family doesn’t understand RA and expects them to carry on just like before, I know I’m lucky.  But sometimes I want to live life like I used to (even if I pay for it later).  Finally I had to say, “We’ve spent years planning this trip and driven for days to get here.  I’m walking down to the water.”  The above photo doesn’t give the beautiful lake view (see yesterday’s post for one), but shows the steep bank we had to climb down.  At this point, a primitive switchback trail takes 1.1 miles to descend 700 feet.

The trip down was pretty hard on my knees.  The ascent was much easier.  At least that’s my opinion.  Not everyone would agree, since a sign at the top predicts that it will take most people 20-30 minutes to hike down, and 30-60 minutes to climb back up.  I took the full 30 minutes to descend, and only needed 35 minutes for the return trip.  My knees still hurt.

The second weekend we attended a different family reunion in Idaho.  In between the reunions, we visited family in Oregon.  My two younger sons (unbeknownst to me) had been entered in a kids’ rodeo.  My husband worked it out with his mom, and forgot to mention it to me.  Once we were there, I was hoping that the boys would get hurt just enough to discourage their continued participation (just a little, nothing too serious).  I’m glad that they didn’t get hurt, but not too happy that they found the experience exciting and worth repeating.  In the past whenever it’s been too quiet and I’ve wondered what they’re up to, there certain places to check first.  Now I need to add “are they in the pasture trying to rope one of the steers so they can try to ride?” to the list of possibilities.