To avoid giving everyone a laundry list of our daily activities during the camping trip, I thought I’d condense it in one blog post. Our first day was marked by river play without the tikis, although Ron and Joe took a short 45 minute run. That first night was a bit uncomfortable since most of Oregon was in the throes of a dreadful heat wave. The weather cooled a bit as our trip progressed and we were all sleeping like logs by the last night.
One highlight of the trip was floating on the Rogue in inflatable tikis. I was feeling a bit gimpy with a sore shoulder and a little nervous about handling even minor rapids, so I did the first couple of runs solo. Elli didn’t seem to mind as she wanted to float with her grandparents and Lindsay much more than me! She screamed in fear for the beginning of the first rapid with Mimi, but those shrieks quickly turned joyous. The rapids raised my heart rate to a comfortable flutter and I built my confidence enough to take Jonah for the last two floats we did. Thankfully, I kept Jonah afloat after he and Ron had a somewhat traumatic dumping at the Galice Chute Riffle, the most difficult rapid on that section of the Rogue. Jonah was a trooper, though, and got right back in the boat (as Ron told me since I wasn’t with them). Ron said they were both pretty tense for the next rapid, but they had no further mishaps. The closest I came to a wipeout was watching Connor take a header out of Shelley’s tiki. Before I even had time to get ready to scoop Connor (and possibly Shelley) out of the water, Shelley had managed to pull him back in and steady the tiki. Connor was a bit wide-eyed for the rest of the float, but he bounced back well enough to float again the next day. The freeze frame image of a spread-eagle Connor in mid-air is permanently seared on my brain. Given the outcome of his spill, it’s an image that brings a smile to my face.
Another highlight was watching all the kids play together. Jonah, Connor, Gage, and Liam rode their bikes through the campground for hours on end and had a grand time roasting marshmallows and just horsing around. Elli got in on the fun a lot, too, but she also spent a lot of time drawing and playing with Lindsay (aka, Ste-paunt). I think all the grown-ups also enjoyed our time hanging out and relaxing together at the campground and at the swimming hole at Grave Creek.
I’m sure there are more stories I should share, but I feel like I’ve already written a short novel. I’ll end this post with the anecdote that is destined to become a staple of Miles’ family folklore. No camping trip is complete without s’mores, so Fred’s parents contributed a couple of graham cracker packages. The second night we were making s’mores, Fred pulls out the package and decides to sample one of the crackers, just in case. He didn’t know how old they were, so testing edibility seemed the prudent course of action. At least until he took that first bite. He immediately groaned and said “Oh, that’s awful! Mimi, try this.” Mimi, being a dutiful wife, takes a bite and starts to gag, declaring the cracker to be the worst thing she’s ever tasted and that it must be a cross between play-do and motor oil. She’s also a bit amazed that Fred actually suggested she sample the cracker. Of course, Gage and Connor pipe up, “Let me try it! Let me try it!” And, just as predictably, they spit the crackers out almost as soon as they’ve passed their lips. The rest of us took their word for it that the crackers were awful and abstained. I don’t need a memory of how play-do and motor oil taste together.