Have We Lost Our Minds?
Pregnant with our fourth child, my husband has a moment of inspiration and suggests a cross-country family trip during maternity leave.
I didn't sleep much. Unsure if it was all the baby or my uneasiness disrupted the baby. Girls got up with George and left me sleeping until 9:00. Glorious.
Learned the girls have been playing bare foot all morning and are covered in dirt. They have huge smiles across their faces. I love it.
In the process of breaking camp, I ended up braiding their hair to keep food out of it. Showers unavailable for E. coli in the water. Hard pass on that.
Sugary cereal eaten steadly throughout the morning. Listening ears forgotten. Baby and carrier ended up face down in the dirt. George washed baby off. I wiped down girls and buckled them in the car seats.
Drove up to the camp store. Got video of rushing streams and decide I could move to this spot. Not the rest of the town or valley. But this spot. Elevation 8,200. Crystal clear cold rushing water.
Temperature rising exponentially during the descent. Change my mind about the move.
Picked up coffees in town and headed to a park so the girls could burn off energy while adults checked out the map. Biscuit apologized on her own for knocking the baby and all the girls were back to their sweet personalities.
Watching Tiny lay down to feel the stream, I think this is not what Lilly Pulitzer had in mind for her dress. Two days in it and covered in grime. George finds another fireman for shop talk. Tom helped us formulate the plan for the next day and half. Bill, our campground host from the previous night, told us about a lake near Yosemite. It is his favorite place to camp. We are staying there and driving through Yosemite making sure to see Half Dome.
Heated up leftovers for lunch and the girls covered themselves in dirt again. Reinforced the decision not to bathe them today. Brogden enjoyed a nap and stretch in the shade with a warm breeze. Watching them wade in a park creek. All dirty and grimy with braided hair. They are summertime.
Full bellies for children and loaded up to find food for the adults. Found a taco truck in the next town. I was looking forward to it. Closed. Sad face. Settled with a burger, chicken strips, and fries from a travel center. Not many options out here.
Saw a meat smokehouse. Stopped to get ingredients to complete a gumbo mix we picked up in Louisiana. George came out with that and much more. $75 worth of beef jerky and smoked meat for gumbo! It was delicious and a stark contrast from the $10 bag in Santa Fe. George and his meat candy. He will be savoring this batch for a few days since they are all made with teriyaki.
Found Lundy Campground and selected our spot for the night. Pretty chilly and breezy at 6:22 pm. It is a treat to travel with George and set up a tent with the sun still up. I think tonight will be the night to break out the warmer clothes I brought. While George scouts the place to erect the tent, Tiny plays with the US map. I have been making a permanent line to show the girls where we have been. It says the states' names if you touch them and Bubble and Biscuit are learning quite a few.
Story time while I nursed and George made dinner. Camping on Federal lands means no potable water, flushing toilets, or showers. A hotel might be in order for tomorrow night to stay civilized.
Tormenting and harassing of siblings followed. Bubble had a ripped toenail and George jokingly offered her Jack Daniels for the pain. She refused indignantly. Time outs for the girls and once glow sticks were in hand, attitudes changed. All girls in bed by 9:07 pm. Record time for us.
Standing in the middle of no where and seeing everything by moonlight has a way of removing the stresses of the day. And the animal sounds have a way of freaking me out.
PS- Gumbo mix was horrible.
PSS- Feeling slightly defeated.
Steps taken: 8,706
Miles driven: 156.9
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Mother of four children living up the maternity leave from the job of an agriculture teacher.