Monday, July 30, 2012

Camping we shall go

We've been wanting to go camping all together all summer - Steve and the girls got to go, but the four of us hadn't gone together. This weekend our sweet neighbors invited us up to a campsite they had found at a place called Hidden Lake, and we jumped at the chance to go.

 We spent plenty of time swimming in the lake itself - since their swim lessons the girls have gotten SO much more comfortable out in the water.

They made a new friend who was visiting at a nearby campsite - the girls had a good time playing and piling up together.
Of course, being together just as sisters was pretty sweet, too.
Steve grilled a pork tenderloin over the fire, and Christina made a cherry salsa to go with it.
Two girls who were very, very ready for food after their swimming and running about!

There was some great early evening light out in the little meadow near the campsite, so Christina got the girls to go tell her stories out there so she could take some pictures.  It was so amazing to see all of their different facial expressions, but we tried not to share them all here (this post will be long enough anyway!).

Our neighbors Linda and John were so amazingly gracious - their dog Caeli was a constant source of entertainment for the girls, too.
An inviting hammock for an after dinner swing...
And Linda and John's camper for many a fun card game!

As evening wore on we headed out in the canoe we'd brought to tour the lake.  The girls couldn't believe we were 'away from land!'

When we got back on land it was time for s'mores, and enjoyment of the sunset.
The next morning dawned so clear and beautiful.  We had hot chocolate, coffee, and zucchini bread lakeside.

And then Steve got out to do some fishing.

He didn't catch anything, except an Elena who wanted to have a try at going out fishing herself.
Then there was quite a bit more hammock time.

While Christina took her turn in the hammock she took some pictures of the main activity that occupied Clara and Elena during the weekend of camping - butterfly catching!  They spent hours and hours going through the woods trying (and often succeeding!) to catch butterflies.

We had meant to stay for only one day and night, but the girls had so much fun and asked us if we could stay longer.  There really wasn't any reason to say no (Steve has got us expertly packed now for camping so we had everything we needed, and the lake was so very beautiful...) so we stayed another day and night.  Eventually we did have to get home, though - Steve secured the canoe to the truck, and it was back to Missoula for us.

But the happy camping memories will be with us forever!

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