We had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend camping at Olive Lake, a little known lake in the heart of the Blue Mountains near Sumpter, OR. It is one of our favorite places to camp. The last time we were there, Josiah was 3 years old, this time Hailey was three. What a fun age! It was very cold in the mornings and at night, but we had a great time despite that. Some friends of our joined us, which made it even more fun.The first thing we did was go cut some firewood. Hailey enjoyed getting it to the truck, while Josiah complained the whole time. I told him that if I had a $1 for every piece of firewood I stacked as a kid, I'd be a very rich woman. He found that intriguing.When we got back to camp the first day, Michael took us on a "mile long" hike that we now affectionately call a "Michael Mile". Meaning it was at least three miles around the lake. He had to pack Hailey at least 2/3 of the way around and Josiah complained that his feet hurt because his shoes were too tight. Despite that, it was beautiful and a perfect day for a hike.This is the kids and Michael rowing out to check the crawdad traps. The fishing stunk for the first three days we were there, but we caught a lot of crawdads.Josiah was a crawdad huntin' fool!Hailey is warming her toes by the fire where we also cooked our meal every night in a Dutch oven. Eventually, I really want to do some Dutch oven cooking posts with some of the recipes we used that weekend. We did homemade corned beef and cabbage, beef stroganoff and easy smoked sausage and cabbage that weekend. All very good, easy Dutch oven meals. To us, Dutch oven cooking is half the fun of camping!Here are our friends, fishing for crawdads. They caught a slug of them! Here are all of us going on another "Michael Mile" hike to see the wooden water pipe leading to the Fremont Power Station. It was actually about 6 miles all together. I'm not much of a hiker, so luckily Josiah and I headed back early because he forgot to wear socks in his cowboy boots. He walked barefooted the whole way back.After freezing our bums off that night, we all decided to go down in elevation to the Sumpter Flea Market to warm up. While we were there, we stopped off at the Sumpter Valley Dredge and learned how to mine gold by hand. Josiah was in heaven! He got 4 pieces of gold that he showed to everyone he walked past that day. Our friend (she's from the Philipines) gave it a whirl as well. It was great fun!Here is our friend, standing in front of the gold dredge. Fascinating history of this valley. I'm thinking a homeschool field trip to Sumpter might be really fun!We went home that night and made Dutch oven sausage and cabbage while our friends made crawdad curry. It was delicious! They just couldn't believe how many crawdads it took to produce one cup of meat, LOL. These lake crawdads are little.The last day we were there, we finally started catching fish and then we didn't want to leave. I had literally been praying, "God please help us catch some fish". He totally blessed us! We got a fish just a few minutes after that prayer, and then he blessed us with two others right after that. We cooked them over the fire for lunch. Hailey and Josiah both caught a fish but weren't able to get it all the way into the boat. Darn! Oh well, next time.
Was glad to get home and get warm and CLEAN that night, but we sure did have fun. Can't wait to do it again!