And now for the destination of our trip, the redwood forest! On day three we made it safe and sound. :) I made a two day reservation at Jedediah Smith Campground. I didn't realize there would be no hook ups so we were roughing it, trailer style. ;)
The campground did not disappoint. Great stop.
At the moment that I took this picture I was feeling very thankful that the suburban hauled us all down here, heavy trailer included, in the heat! Despite the funky noises she started making she kept on truckin'. She did not disappoint either. ;)
Right when the kids hopped out they wanted me to take their pictures, over and over again while they climbed all over everything. They were very, very, very excited to finally be at the redwoods. We had been planning and saving (even they added money to our vacation change jar on a regular basis) and talking about this trip for over a year, so to say they were excited is an understatement.
She's climbing, ha ha!
They became even more excited when they saw their dad prepping for a fire, finally a campfire!!!
As soon as we were all settled in we went exploring and found this awesome spot to swim! It wasn't part of the main river so I didn't have to worry about the kids being swept away.
Ryder found a different rock in the main river to jump off of and he had a blast. :)
The boys saw him jumping and you know what happens next...
Ryder came to join the fun.
And direct, encourage, egg on and generally cause more mischief. ;)
Banden watched Ira a couple times and then he went for it. I thought it was pretty cool seeing him be a little daring, he's generally so cautious. But he also trusts his daddy, and he listened close to all his safety tips and knew that he would be there waiting. :)
She prefers to stay dry like me. ;)
And so does he. :)
Although he eventually tried a couple little jumps. It wasn't his favorite. He moved on to better things while his brothers continued to jump, over and over again.
Having fun. :)
Then dad jumped from really high… can you guess what happened next.
(It doesn't look like it but it was actually really deep there.)
Oh yes he did.
Banden was the first one to jump from that high, Which really shocked me because as I said he is generally pretty timid and laid back, not so much a risk taker like Ira. It was funny to watch Ira realize what Banden had done. He made a bee line for the high spot on the rock and jumped off too, not to be out done by his brother. ;)
After this first jump he requested that his dad not wait at the bottom for him. ;)
Even Leiella gave jumping in a try, ha ha! Ira is patiently waiting for them to move so he can jump in on his own.
I watched from the safety of the bank, apparently I'm not loco like the rest of my family. ;)
Okay, okay I'm definitely the crazy one, I just don't really like being wet, and there were tadpoles in the water, and the sun was starting to go down, and, and, and… I'm just no fun I guess. But I did have lots of fun watching. :)
This is how you dry off after swimming in the river. ;) Either that or they had thoroughly exhausted themselves and needed a break before walking back to camp. ;)
This seems like the right place to add in that I almost lost myself and the kids in the campground at night. We went for a walk with the dogs before bed and as it started to get dark I realized we had taken one to many turns and I didn't know the way back. I silently panicked a wee bit, I hate being lost! But we eventually figured out the LONG way back. Ryder was just a little upset and very worried. He was standing in the road in front of our campsite when we rounded the corner. Not sure where to head to look for his family. Ah well, alls well that ends well. I wish I could say this is the only time I get lost on the trip… but I can't. Sigh.
The next day we went to the Trees of Mystery. I went back and forth on whether I wanted to spend money on it or not. I'm glad we did. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
I can remember driving by this on some trip as a kid and wishing we could stop. So it was fun to be able to take my kids there. :)
Banden found his Sasquatch! ;)
There were of course lots of awesome trees. :)
This picture does not do this tree justice. It was HUGE!
Okay this is what we came for, the Sky Trail!
Daring Ira, ready to hop on first. Six was the limit so we got the whole thing to ourselves. :)
One perk of being a big family I suppose.
Up, up and away! Up into the tree tops we go! It was pretty exciting.
This gondola lift went way up into the trees and at times it went pretty fast. Then it would stop for a bit and you would just be dangling. I had to really take some deep breaths and not think about it too much. There was a lot of nervous laughing happening. ;)
We got out at the top and had a look around before heading back down.
The ride back down was even more exciting.
I apparently had something on my nose the whole time, but thankfully it just sort of blended in with all my freckles. ;)
There were lots of cool things to see on the walk up and back down.
I heard a lot of, "Mom take a picture of me!"
I actually got one with them all smiling!!!
Even the squirrels are huge in the redwoods. ;)
This is what I feel like when someone messes with my kids. ;)
Don't mess with the Mother Bear!
We love you Trees of Mystery!
On the way back to the campsite we decided to stop at a California beach, just to say we had. :)
Then after a super late lunch the boys headed back to the river for some more fun in the sun.
Leiella chose to stay with me while I washed dishes over a drain in the mud. Fun. ;) Actually she made it really fun. We sang, and she was a big help. She kept singing, "Under a shady tree, under a shady tree you and me." in her cute little voice, over and over again, and it was perfect. :) After we finished up we headed back to the river to hang out with our boys.
Notice the slingshot, the boys all got one at the gift shop that day. They had fun using them with their dad, shooting rocks into the river. Also notice the heart rock he found. :) He's so adorable. Right when I got down to the river he wanted to show it to me.
So the kids finally talked me into getting in the water. I was only going to go wading but they really, really, really wanted me to try jumping off the rock. I did it the wimpy way… from way down low.
Okay I didn't actually jump, I sort of just leaned into the water, ha ha! Great face I'm making too by the way. Oh man, all around awesome. ;)
At least my daughter told me she was proud of me. She's so sweet.
I actually ended up getting sick. I decided to float on my back in the water for a while, just relaxing. Having a good time. But when I decided to get out I got so dizzy! And nauseous! I seriously thought I was going to throw up and the world was just rocking. I had to sit/fall down and rest for a bit, I couldn't even safely walk. The whole rest of the evening I felt a bit dizzy and queasy. Teaches me for going swimming! ;)
The next day before we left we went on a nature hike/treasure hunt. The kids each had a map with clues to follow and at the end if they found the last clue they got to get a badge at the ranger station. It was a lot of fun. They found the last clue and because we forgot to bring a pencil they had to memorize it and not forget it on the walk back, (it was a date, 1964) and tell the ranger from memory. Even more impressive if you ask me. ;)
The day before they also finished up activities to become junior rangers and got a junior ranger pin.
Good keepsakes. :)
This was a Rivers family tree, it took all of use to get all the way around it. :)
A nature hike was exactly the best way to end our redwood forest adventure. :)
Goodbye California, hello Oregon coast!
More of our adventure to come!