Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Return to Uvas Canyon

If you managed to read through my giant, long post from May, the one called "Quick Fix", you may remember that we went camping at Uvas Canyon County Park right after Easter this year. It was fun, but ultimately kinda ill-fated as camping goes. That's generally how we roll with Spring Break camping. I'm anxious to get out. The weather isn't anxious to cooperate.

So, when my "coffee buddies" and I decided it'd be fun to take all of our kids...all 11 of them...on a weekend camping trip this July, Uvas Canyon seemed like a great choice. It's just an hour's drive, it's got a shady campground, waterfalls, creeks, some wildlife.
You almost wouldn't know from this picture that the four of us had been wrangling 12 children (one of them invited a guest) for a couple of days straight.

The best part about going places with these ladies is that we've all known each other since our 10-year-olds were tiny babies. We were all around for the births of our second set of kids...and in a couple cases, the third set. It's great to be around people who know about your kids, are comfortable playing with them and reprimanding them if necessary.
I love that.

And our kids aren't all that familiar with each other anymore. None of them go to school together. But they're familiar enough that they know each other's names and they can get back into the swing of things pretty quickly. In the case of certain monkeys, pretty darned fast, actually.
My kids were in camp in downtown San Jose on Friday...Mam training goats at Happy Hollow and Smunch playing baseball at the San Jose Giants' stadium. No point in going home, so I picked them up and we drove straight to the campground, where we arrived at least an hour before everyone else, took our pick of camping spots and were all set up and having some snacks before the rest of the crew showed up.

Dinner was late in coming with everyone arriving after work and getting themselves set up. So s'mores were postponed 'til Saturday. There were still marshmallows to roast though.

Saturday,we herded all the kids together for a hike around the waterfalls. They all got to see a tiny little rattlesnake who seemed patently unimpressed with the attention.
Plenty of banana slugs for entertainment too.
There was a little whining and complaining as we walked uphill, but once they discovered things like making facepaint by rubbing creek rocks together, things improved markedly.
After lunch at the campsite, we took the kids on a fun creekwalk. When you have 12 kids with you, they get pretty spread out, but somehow they all seemed to have at least one of us looking out for them.
This particular walk ended in a surprise waterfall, which was a great addition to the trip.
There were hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner and s'mores for dessert. It's hard to imagine a bunch of happier kids.
Before leaving on Sunday, we all headed back down the creek from a different direction and went back to the waterfall to let the kids play. Somehow, it didn't surprise me that my two were some of the only kids to get right under the waterfall. There is almost nothing epitomizes them more than this.

I don't think this trip could have gone any better. Sure there were plenty of sibling squabbles, kids being reprimanded for various things, a little blood, a few tears and a lot of wet clothes. We're already talking about planning another trip next summer.

Can't wait! We're off on a single-family camping trip to Sequoia National Park this weekend. Somehow, I'm not sure the kids will have nearly as much fun!

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