Monday, October 26, 2009

Too much fun is painful... Shawnee 2009

Very very painful... but we shall get to that later... I just like to throw titles like that out there... it makes me feel dangerous.

We (Kenneth, Micah, Angie, Bre and Brishaun) went camping in Shawnee National forest earlier this month. Like the tenth and eleventh... I think... anyway... daytime temps were in the 60s and night time... was freezing... seriously... like 30s and I am not exaggerating... I promise... you believe me, right? *innocent never exaggerates smile*

Anyway. We went camping. We packed up our
little cars (yes little cars... we should have taken a picture... it was amusing. Thankfully it is only a little over an hour's drive away or I think my body would have suffered permanent damage from being crammed in like that...) and we drove around Evansville awhile getting breakfast... then we headed to Shawnee.

We arrived about ten in the morning on Sunday at Pounds Hollow and proceeded to Pine Ridge Campground and picked out a cute little spot. Kenneth and I drove back to the beginnning place to secure it and pay for it and then we drove back. We unpacked our
little cars and began trying to set up the tent... without directions... hehe

Author's Note: Micah will be joining us later. She had a last minute Nutcracker rehearsal so Dad drove her up later Sunday evening.



We're good...



Very good...



Notice how I say "We" even though I'm really just standing back and watching them work and taking pictures...



Of their butts... am I allowed to say butts?



It's hard not to take pictures of their butts... but see only one in this pic... and it's a nice one too... sorry... I couldn't help it... I love you Kenneth!

Anyway...



Isn't it pretty?



At this point Bre goes "Hey, a little help here..." So I dutifully and regretfully lay aside my photography device and help with the construction of our temporary abode. I'm just noble like that.



Then I decide that temporary abode construction really isn't my thing... and I go back to taking pictures.



Pretty good for no instructions, eh? *proud smiley*



Our perfect little campsite had one problem... the thing wasn't level... seriously. The only level place was where the firepit was. So we set up the tent on the next levelest place... we thought "Oh it'll be okay... it'll be kinda like sleeping in those beds that have the head of the bed raised... no big deal. It'll actually be a good thing 'cause we're all sick and we'll be able to breathe better that way..." Feel free to laugh at us naive little campers. I'm laughing. Really. I am.



I love my mountain man...



I love my Bre-Bre... look at her beautiful hair... it's blue and purple and pink... well and black of course... so so pretty...



I love my afro boy... he looks so serious and professional...

I also love my Angie... but it seems I mostly took pictures of her butt... so yeah... she'd probably kill me if I posted a lot of butt pictures... hehe... sorry, Angie!



Then we arranged all our sleepy stuff in the tent... we laid down foamy mattress pads and big thick camping pads... we thought we were oh so clever and that we'd be sleeping comfortably and soundly atop our fluffy things... Laugh with me, people, laugh with me... *hysterical laughter*



Then I took a picture of our fire-ring... it was feeling neglected...

After comforting the neglected fire-ring we hiked down to Pounds Hollow Lake. It was very fun... and steep. But fun. I love hiking.



We met a friend at the bottom...



He had a funny hairdo... all spiky and emo... aint e cute?!



Our little friend shocked Bre... see, her hair's a little... yeah... love you Bre! Don't hit me... please!



Kenneth confiscated my camera... he takes better pictures anyway... see the pretty rock pile?



And the um... butts... again... okay, so Kenneth really isn't any better than me...



Poo... never mind... Kenneth is WAY better than me... *sigh*



Brishaun couldn't wait to go fishin'...



I don't know what he has in his mouth... I'm not sure I want to know...


I wanted to camp right here... but it's against the rules... stupid rules...



Angie and I were a bit tired... and the sun was perfect... and the light breeze coming off the water... sigh with me... *ahhhh* God is amazing. I love God... and Angie. Angie has been, with a lot of help from Kenneth, my sanity. Or the helper of my sanity. Angie has encouraged, strengthened, chastised, and walked with me on the road toward righteousness. It's been an interesting journey. Angie has become a crazy best friend to me. God is definitely good. It's funny the way he brings people into my life at the perfect time. Angie has been exactly what I needed when I needed it. She is precious.



Bre is one of the most beautiful people ever. She's stunning! Isn't she? And she is soooo artistic! She's one of those people with this natural affinity for all things art. Even though she's never taken a class, she's amazing at decorating cakes. She does really neat things with spray paint. Her sketches are too cool. She puts together awesome outfits. She LOVES music. Seriously, the woman and her ipod are inseperable. And the swing. She swings a lot. I would say she's a swinger but I've been told that has negative connotations. Please do not enlighten me... I enjoy my naive ignorance... Bre is amazing.



Brishaun, fishing of course. This kid can fish. And hunt. And make weapons. And use those weapons and his crazy ninja skills. And he can dance. And teach himself to play pretty much any instrument. And he has awesome hair. And he's taller than my husband. He's a pretty awesome guy.



Isn't he cute? All camo-ish and such? I could seriously go on and on about how amazing and fantastic and awesome and fabulous my husband is... but I've already done that in my meet Kenneth post so... yeah, suffice it to say I really really really love my husband. In the past few weeks I've been pondering God's timing in general and the timing of our relationship in specific and I've come to realize that God had everything planned down to the last detail and I am so overwhelmed at his love and provision. Wow.



Kenneth's work boots... er... boot. This boot has stuck with Kenneth through thick and thin. Braving the weather bravely, protecting Kenneth's foot from poo, mud, water, snow, ice, tire dressing, and horse saliva... this boot is fantabulous.

Now that I've extolled the virtues of my companions... sorry about that... hehe... I must show you this next picture... it's life changing...



Bre's legs... on a stump... with torn jeans... can you feel your life changing? I thought so.



Bre, Angie and I reading about the history of Pound's Hollow...

After using the restroom we hiked back up that crazy hill... oh my word... the hill was crazy... I think we all nearly died... and we grabbed water... piled into the car... stopped again at a stinky restroom... and drove to...



Rim Rock. I love this place. Garden of the gods gets all the glory, but really Rim Rock is awesome. Aren't these rocks amazing? Isn't the way my arm just disappears for a second and reappears amazing? I'm like Bao Dur! Only without the glowing blue in between my arm segments... and the remote... and cranial horns...



We scaled rocks...



Squeezed through a tunnel thing and got wet... Would someone care to tell me why I post pictures of myself looking like I'd wet myself... explosively... online?!

Thanks... that's what I thought too...



We laughed...



We spelunked...



We contemplated our existence...



We hiked...



We rested...

Doesn't Bre look like a fairy?



We marveled at Creation...



We threw large sticks...

Rather,
Brishaun threw large sticks...



And we came across
this substance... we decided it was deer poop... in a tree... yeah... I don't know either...

After our excursions in Rim Rock we drove back to our campsite. Since we didn't have cell phone reception we had to stop just outside the Pounds Hollow entrance to make phone calls. We called and explained to Dad how to get to our site and then started getting ready to prepare dinner.



First we had to build a fire... Our fearless leader men got started immediately... which turned out to be a very good thing because it took them about two hours. In their defense everything was wet... that made life much more difficult...



Good thing we had a survival guide...



Bre got bored and started playing with the matches...



And I got bored and took pictures of the trees again...



Kenneth's *still* trying to get that fire going... ya gotta love his tenacity... I know I do... hehe



Success!

(Bre and I were actually the first ones to get something to light... we're just amazing like that... but then it went out and Kenneth and Brishaun took back over)



Our fire... See, we've got that log on top to dry it out... did you know that wet logs foam when they're burning?! It was crazy cool looking!

So after we finally got our fire going good... I kid you not it took two hours... Micah arrived and we started roasting our hot dogs... and I removed the wet log from the grill so we could heat water for hot chocolate...

We roasted hot dogs and ate s'mores and sang worship songs late into the night... and made several freezing trips to the bathroom... seriously... it was just above freezing that night... not cool.

We read Second Timothy and then called it a night. Micah, Kenneth and I shared a sleeping bag. Micah had her own but she was a little scared and there was plenty of room in our double bag for her. It took another hour or so of giggling in our tent before we managed to settle down enough to sleep. Or try to sleep. I know I didn't do much sleeping. Sleeping on the ground after a grueling day of strenuous exercise is not smart. Few times in my life have I hurt so bad.

For one thing. The pads offered very little comfort from the cold hard ground... yeah... call me a sissy... it HURT. I'm way too old for that sort of thing. Then... because we were sleeping on a hill... our sleeping bags wanted to take off on us leaving us shivering in the cold. Were also on a slope to the side ... Kenneth and Micah ended up on top of me. Apparently pulling the sleeping bag back up makes it unzip... my sleeping fellows squished me out the side... I landed on the cold hard ground. It's a cruel cruel world.

We finally got settled, around two in the morning I'm guessing. Kenneth slept in Micah's sleeping bag which was actually Kenneth's sleeping bag because Kenneth and I had planned to sleep in Mom and Dad's double sleeping bag... make sense?

I finally gave up on sleeping the second light began appearing and left the warm comfort of my sleeping bag to get a start on the fire. Kenneth, Brishaun, and Angie all got up then too. Apparently Micah and Bre were the only ones not in too much pain to sleep.

Getting the fire started took another two hours and looked pretty much the same as it did before so I'll spare you the photo montage.



We had hot dogs and Donut Bank donuts (purchased the day before, unfortunately Shawnee doesn't have a Donut Bank) for breakfast. And Teecino. I later slapped myself really hard for forgoing traditional caffeine filled coffee...



Poor Bre... the smoke seemed to follow her no matter where she sat...



Micah... playing with fire. Notice she is wearing only a t-shirt while the rest of us are bundled up like Eskimos... yeah...



Look at the height difference... I can't believe they're twins...



Gwen's Campfire Friends...



Micah's camera shy...

hehe

I'm just kidding... the kid is a total ham... she's just warding off the tear inducing smoke... we'd thought we were so smart bringing dried onion tops to use as kindling... haha... it just made the smoke that much meaner...



The best thing about our campsite was the giant grapevines hanging over a ravine. Okay, so it was a big ditch... ravine sounds cooler...

Brishaun looking oh so cool and composed. Cool as a cucumber...



Bre... demonstrating the cling with your thighs approach...



I have no idea what is going on... I just like what Brishaun's hair is doing...



Micah demonstrating the difficult one handed swing...



And Kenneth... pictures like these make me want to find that boy and kiss the heck out of him. Sorry! I can't help it! Stop giving me that evil look, Bre!



I have no idea...

Oh, before I forget... the mens found two hibernating snakes... do snakes hibernate? I'm gonna say they do... 'cause these guys were sleepy... pretty cool.



Brishaun demonstrating the pull back as far as you can, jump as high as you can, and hold on for dear life approach to vine swinging...

After the vine swinging exhibition, we cleaned up breakfast and drove back to Rim Rock to do the other trail.



Beautiful... I couldn't get over all the ferns!



And the massive rocks that made Angie Brishaun and whoever that is look like play people...



Oh, that was Bre I suppose. She was the one wearing the blindingly yellow shirt... and Brishaun's funny face is priceless...



One of several amazing waterfalls...



Mushrooms... too cute!



Micah and Brishaun... I love pictures of them together... they make me feel all warm and fuzzy... her protector... and tormentor... funny how the two go hand in hand... hehe...

We then went back, packed camp, and stopped at Garden of the gods to play before we left.



There are several places that form perfect little seats. I love coming here just before nightfall to watch the sunset. Unfortunately we were all (except Micah, of course) too tired to stick around until then.



I'm not sure why it looks so dark, it was a lovely day, but I love this picture... it's moody... like me...



Bre... too cute for words in her purple sweatshirt that matches her hair...



Brishaun and I... Hi Kenneth...



Micah... being Micah... my stars that girl is lovely... even when she's giving you that what the heck are you doing look...



So I thought... Oh what a lovely picture... and then I noticed the upper right corner... my butt with a strategically placed leaf... lovely... that last lovely was sarcastic... just so there is no confusion...



It's like a playground for grownups... and nearly grownups... and almost nearly grownups...



Nuhnuh nuhnuh nuh nuh nuhnuh Bat Girl! Woo I'm scary looking...



There are an inordinate amount of pictures of me... let this be a lesson to you all... do not give your husband control of the camera... unless you are photogenic... at least this one has Micah in it. I think we were waiting for Bre to make it through the tunnel.



God so made all this for us to play on. I hope heaven has big rocks.





Brishaun turned out to be quite the climber. Travis would have been proud.



The only thing that made the day less than perfect... other than being completely sore and Bre having a hurt knee... were all the other people in the park... the stupid people... the people trying to kill themselves... like this girl... do you see her? No? Let's zoom in...



She wants to die.

Now we climb on rocks... and we do difficult things... and if we fell it would hurt... but we're not stupid. We don't do things we aren't sure we can do. We don't try to get on the camel head knowing a person dies attempting that pretty much every year... We don't let our small reckless children stand on the edge...

Sorry about the rant.



It just bugs me, you know? I don't want to watch someone die!



Like this crazy kid! What was he thinking? Now the vultures are going to eat him and his mom is going to cry.

I'm just kidding... Brishaun's not dead... he's just pretending...



You hope...

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