Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kamping and Klimbing

Back in January, Birch and I decided that we wanted to take the kids camping at Leavenworth, WA. It really is a magical town with it's Bavarian feel but also is one of the top rock climbing places in the Northwest. As I've gotten more woosy (and honest) in my old age we decided to try "kamping" at the KOA so mommy could be happy too. I felt a bit like a city slicker but I'm not complaining I enjoyed my hot shower each day, sitting on a toilet that I couldn't see what my last friend left behind, and the kids loved the swimming pool.

Our first stop was the Peshastin Pinnacles just outside of Leavenworth. It's a state park made of sandstone type rocks and a popular spot for cragging (not sure what that is -- but I think it has something to do with rock climbing).

We hauled our lunch fixings up to a picnic table and cooked up chicken 'wichs lunch. After Birch, Alex, and Tyler headed up a trail to set up our course for us. While the boys were gone the rest of us had a reproduction lesson in the men's outhouse. Yes, a mommy mouse was in the process of giving birth (and probably having a heart attack) while the kids compulsively kept checking on the cute babies and mommy "with the babies falling out of her bum" -- as reported by Coop. Who needs 7th grade health class?Much to Birch's dismay, the course was just too difficult and to get to a better suited climb for our large group would require more effort then we were all willing to extend. Alex and Tyler were good hikers, though.

Next stop, Pine Village KOA in Leavenworth. It certainly isn't the cheapest place to camp but someone cleans the toilet for you, provides wood for your campfire, swimming pool, basketball courts, grassy field for games, a dog playground, and a super fun kid's playground.
The kids favorite spot at our camp spot was these two huge granite rocks. They had lots of fun climbing all over them.
I'm not sure our rag muffin, Chloe, could have been any happier -- a whole bag of circus cookies to be in charge of and lots of dirt to play in.Even though the pool water was a bit nippy the kids had a great time.
Chloe and her perma-smile.
Tyler and Alex - two peas in a podSo they provide the KOA provides the wood and a super dull axe to chop it up. We all thought our dad was super strong!!
Don't laugh -- our next meal was corn dogs. Hey, they travel great and you don't have to worry about smooshing your buns.
Chloe -- what a cutie!
I think Tyler would camp every weekend if he could -- he just loves being outdoors.
Coop gobbled up way too many s'mores.
Ditto kids on top of the mountain
Check out our outdoor dining room.
The next day we headed toward a more kid friendly spot for rock climbing. I caught this picture of our most of our kiddos while Birch and Alex were setting up the climb.
Birch throwing down the rope after hooking in to the top bolt.
Alex was pretty nervous to repel down the first time. He needed a repel to finish up his climbing merit badge and this proved to be the perfect motivation. Alex did great and ended up really enjoying repelling.
Next down -- Daddy O'.
Alysee was the first up to attempt the climb. She put up a valiant effort.
Nate was an animal!!! The climb proved to be quite difficult -- it was the first time for most of the kids to crack climb but this didn't hold Nate back. He made it to the top without too many boosts from belaying dad.
Chloe and Alysee spent most of their time waiting looking for bugs, sticks, and rocks.
Not sure where Chloe's shoes are but she didn't really dig this climb -- she much preferred eating all the treats I brought and cheering everyone on.
Tyler put up a good fight!
Birch cruised up that crack like it 'aight nobody's business.
I decided not to climb but to repel. I hadn't repelled for Y-E-A-R-S -- I kind of liked it.
Alex on top ready to repel down -- he's got the Ditto brother's pose down.
Coop sort of tried but mostly he just wanted to hang from the rope. We were reminded that it is hard to climb with only rope when there are so many of us -- lots of waiting and waiting. I think we will look into getting another rope since we have three belayers.
Back at camp, Coop became a pyromaniac. This scared his mommy.
The next morning Birch cooked up a mean batch of pancakes and sausages. Yum!
We've taught Chloe so well that we found her sitting on a rock reading her daddy's scriptures. Perhaps she will be translated : )
Then it was off to the town of Leavenworth. We just happened to be there for the International Dance Festival. The girls and I were loving it but the boys hummed and hawed. We enjoyed watching several different dance numbers.
The only store we attempted with all the kids was the old fashion candy shop. We gave each of the kids two dollars to pick out a treat. Oh my, this took FOREVER!
What a memorable trip! Everyone had a great time and we only came home with seven loads of dusty laundry. Loved spending time together!