From a helicopter to a small plane to a bus to a rental car, Mikey and I hit the highway ready for a road trip after our Grand Canyon rafting experience and many goodbyes.
Every year, my extended family goes camping for about 5 days at Loon Lake, a beautiful reservoir in deep granite valleys high above where we’d just come from deep in the center of the earth!
Although my family’s camped there for several summers, this was the first we could join and we were so glad we did. A week of lounging on granite rocks, hiking on granite slabs, jumping off rocks into water, kayaking, group dinners and s’mores… Count us in!
It sounds cliche, but the older I get, the more I realize the value of family. I love my family so much and seeing them a few times a year is tough – leaving is even tougher. But the times we do have mean so much. In our family, we talk – a lot. 😉 We sit with black coffee and talk from the time the sun’s up, sit on rocks and talk around the lake, talk while we’re swimming, talk at the lunch break and then during the cliff jumping, talk during dinner prep and as we eat s’mores.
This trip was especially amazing because we had a few great additions to our family recently – my cousin, Tim, is getting married to his beautiful fiancee, Tracie, in December. Mikey and I are crazy-bummed we can’t make the wedding (we’d already booked tickets two weeks later for Christmas before we knew the date) but getting to spend 5 days with Tim, Tracie, and Tracie (now Tim’s!) absolutely adorable kids (Christian and Rachel) was incredible. They are the most engaging, smart, fun kids I’ve ever met and I am so thrilled that they are now a part of Tim’s and our larger family!
(“Big Bonnie” – I’m “Little Bonnie” – my mom and Rachel)
A few fun highlights of the week include Mikey making a sail, lashing a double and two single kayaks together and my parents and us sailing (successfully!) down to the other end of Loon Lake! We weren’t able to sail back as successfully so we paddled back but had such a blast together! It was awesome. 🙂 Unfortunately, we lost our GoPro somewhere on the trip (we’re pretty sure it was stolen from our campsite which was near the road while we weren’t there) with the fun footage! Oh well – we have the memories.
I also loved connecting with my uncle Curt on a hike with Mikey. We had a rough map and an idea to climb Brown Mountain but weren’t sure exactly what we’d encounter. It ended up being a gorgeous, through-bushes, up slabs, in trees, over peeks kind of hike and it was such a great way to spend 8.5 miles.
Of course I also loved spending time with my like-a-sister-cousin, Becky. Although we missed time with her husband, Gerardo, who had to work, it was great to catch up with Beck. Can’t wait for more fun with her (and him) at Christmas!
All in all it was a great week. So thankful to my parents for the camp site, to the Gonzales for the tent and gear and to everyone for sharing food and company!
We left Friday and drove to Reno with my parents for our flight but stopped at the Patagonia factory store along the way. We even hit the store (which is already discounted) on a 40% off sale! Needless to say, we left with some much needed snow pants (Mikey’s had his for 15 years!), a shell for me, a down coat as a layer and two cute dresses (I don’t count those because they were SUPER cheap and “extras”). 😉 Very thankful for that provision and for gear that we will use for another 15+ years to come!
(my new blue soft shell and Peet’s Coffee in the airport – my FAVORITE!)
I’m grateful for this trip and looking forward to more time with everyone at Christmas. Family really is what matters most and I value our family that shares, communicates, encourages, laughs, and supports one another. Here’s to valuing the times we do have together!
Do you have any summer family traditions? Any fellow campers out there?
Back to the week at hand. Have a great rest of the day, you guys!