We spent the past week off the grid, with no cell service or internet connection. Happy belated 4th of July everyone! I have mixed feelings about being offline. On one hand, it’s nice to take a break from cell phones and computers, and on the other hand, I enjoy how technology can connect us across the miles!
Our home church in Paradise, CA is affiliated with Leoni Meadows Camp, a summer camp and retreat center located in Grizzly Flats, CA. After the Camp Fire (11/08/18) these kind folks offered all Camp Fire survivors a week at “Family Camp”. Yay! I’ve always wanted to go to “Family Camp”! A huge “Thank You!” to the Leoni Meadows Camp director, pastor Craig and all the wonderful Leoni Meadows staff members for making this such a special week for us.
Oh wow! What a week! There was so much to do we could hardly keep up! We did so much in one week I’m going to split this into
two three posts. RV living has slowed down our pace of life. A lot. I didn’t realize how much slower our pace of life had become until we reentered society last week. RV living forces us to slow down, it takes longer for us to do almost everything. Except shower, we take much faster showers. Laundry takes longer, cooking and doing dishes takes longer, and grocery shopping takes longer. It takes longer to drive anywhere. It took us almost 2.5 hours to drive 55 miles this past Sunday. We are slow. We are slow and we like it! I just have to remember that we can’t keep up with everyone like we used to.
In addition to an excess of fun activities, we ate 3 hot, yummy meals each day in the cafeteria, enjoyed morning worship (Camp Counsil) after breakfast each morning, and evening worship (Campfire) after supper each night. We saw friends from Paradise, CA that we haven’t seen in 7 months. We really enjoyed reconnecting with each of them. We love you Paradise friends! You are each amazing examples of survival and of thriving in the wake of catastrophe. You are an inspiration and a blessing to our family.
E did a great job fitting our rig into a tight squeeze between ponderosa pines. No charge for the accidental tree pruning we did while we were parking. lol!
After reviewing the extensive schedule of events and activities we decided to start with a train ride, of course! You can never go on enough train rides! We enjoyed beautiful views of the meadow full of wild lupines.
Next up, go-carts! Unfortunately. S wasn’t tall enough to drive. Fortunately, E didn’t mind giving S and B back-to-back rides. The go-cart staff was so accommodating and kind! We ❤️ Leoni Meadows staff! Meanwhile, I drove and K rode with me. I appreciated that my sweet girl didn’t complain once about getting lapped or coming in last every time with mama!
Archery was right next to go-carts, so we hopped on over for a quick lesson on a new favorite sport. Add “archery range” to the things we want to have at our next “normal” house.
After racing around the go-cart track we felt like we needed more racing, so we hit the BMX track. Again, the staff and other campers were great about accommodating our little ones. Everyone in our family fell on the BMX track, and they each got up and kept right on riding. Mama skipped this one and just played photographer/band-aid applier.
We opted to begin our day with a gold panning trip. We boarded a retired school bus with manual transmission and mud tires for a trip to the creek. This gold panning excursion was no joke! We were forewarned that the road was steep, and narrow, and twisty.
Allow me to veer a bit off course here for a moment. Truth be told, the gold panning road wasn’t nearly as bad as the wrong turn we made getting from Carson City, NV to Leoni Meadows, CA. If you’re driving a rig in the area we would strongly recommend not taking “Cedar Ravine Road“. I didn’t stop praying the entire time we were on it. Granted, I don’t know why anyone driving a 35 ft Winnebago would turn onto any road with the word “ravine” in it. We’re still new at this. At any rate, we were blessed with God’s protection and made it to the right road eventually. I’m sure some guardian angels must have lifted some of those low hanging electrical wires. I might’ve gotten a few more grey hairs in the process.
Now, back to gold panning at the creek. The creek was rather deep and the water was rather freezing. My feet were numb in less than a minute. I don’t know how people were wading around in it.
Sweet K asked her daddy to help her across the creek to the other side. Could any daddy resist? They were such a cute photo standing on that rock. And then B wanted to go too. And so E started back to get him. And then E lost his footing. And he slipped. And he fell. And he swam. And I kept right on taking photos… lol 😂 And after E got B to the rock on the other side, K said, “daddy, I want to go back now, there’s too many bugs on this side.” And after we were back at camp I gave E a big hug and kiss and the “Father of the Year” award. And no, we didn’t find any gold in the creek, but the photos below are priceless!
E, deserved an afternoon off to recover from the shock of submerging in that icy water. So while E tuned up his bike, the kiddos and I played with giant bubbles. Who doesn’t love giant bubbles?
The giant bubbles were so much fun and super-soapy! They reminded us that we needed to do some laundry before supper.
To be continued…