Hailey and her cousin Lily playin' in the many mud puddles left from the heavy rain we had on the first day of camping.
We had a wonderful time camping at a private ranch outside of Heppner, OR that borders the Umatilla National Forest. There were lots of old logging roads to ride our ATVs on, fishing in the pond, catching crawdads and mussels in the creek were among many of the activities that naturally come in the great outdoors. Michael and I found it particularly relaxing as our kids are getting older and more independent. It rained the like crazy the first day we were there but then got nice warm after that. It gave us plenty of mud puddles to drive through on our ATVS, earning Josiah and his cousin Jessica the titles, "Mudder I and Mudder II". They would deliberately drive through every puddle they could.
Unfortunately this picture wasn't in focus, but I still posted it because I could just die for my nephew, Elijah's, smile. He was a campin' kid and got muddy right along with the rest of his cousins.
Josiah taught his cousins how to trap and eat crawfish. He was pretty much the only one who liked them, but at least the other kids did try it.
Josiah is showing his cousin Jess how to hold the crawdad without getting pinched. My step-mom gave mustaches to all the kids and they had a ball with them.
I gave my sis some pointers on things I've discovered about our cameras. We have the same one. I'll be doing another post later showing all the fun stuff we took pics of. No shortage of material on this ranch.
Josiah used the lid from my Dutch oven to pan for gold in the creek. They spent hours playing in that creek.
Lily and Hailey loved to go to the pond and look for dragon flies, frogs and all other manner of aquatic life. Never underestimate the fun of simply throwing rocks in the pond!
If only I had a video of this! You could hear Josiah from about a half mile away as they drove back from the big pond with this fish. They were so excited! You can see the pure joy and delight on their faces. Michael caught an albino trout but let it go and he didn't have his camera on him. He said it looked really cool. One night we saw and heard elk a few hundred yards from our camp whistling and bugling to each other. We actually had to put ear plugs in that night to go to sleep.
The memories we make each year we've been able to go to this ranch are priceless. Can't wait for next year!!!