Nonetheless, here we were. The rest of the family (minus my sister) was already a day into their camping trip, having left on Thursday. I honestly didn't really do much other than relax and catch up on some sleep.
After working in Oakland for the last year, plus a short stint in San Francisco, I was surprised at how quiet it could be. You get used to the constant hustle and bustle, the blowing of horns, the wail of sirens, the people all around you. Here, all of that was gone. Things were slow and peaceful. You could hear the breeze blowing through the trees, smell the dirt and the plants. The people who passed the campsite all went out of their way to wave and greet you. Not a one of them even asked for loose change. Everyone was smiling.
As we settled down for bed on Saturday night, I could almost imagine the sounds of the Native Americans, their drums throbbing softly under their chanting as they danced around the campfires... Only I wasn't imaging them. I was really hearing them.
I remembered seeing a couple of signs on my way into the park that simply read "Elders" with an arrow pointing the way ahead. "The Mormons must be having some kind of retreat," I'd though to myself and put it out of my mind. Those weren't Mormons camped further up the mountain. I'm pretty sure of it.
Laying there I couldn't help but let my thoughts wander as I listened to the chanting. I was intrigued. What were they saying? What did it mean? Suddenly I was able to imagine being with the early pioneers, making our way across the uncharted country, risking it all in hopes of a better future. Hearing those drums and that chanting coming down the valley, over the plains. No wonder why they were intimidated by these new, unknown people. It was an ominous sound.
Pictures: My plans for the weekend were simple. Do as little as possible, relax and enjoy just hanging out with the family. Mission accomplished. The pictures, the few that I took, prove it. There aren't many and there's not much action in them.
Hanging out, eating snacks in my new chair that Aunt Jami got for me.
Playing with Grandpa's jeep.
Look how tall I am Daddy! (Now get me down, I'm stuck up here!)
Campfires at night. The perfect way to relax.
I was so warm and snuggly in my sleeping bag with Mommy next to me.
I was warm and snuggly in Aunt Jami's sleeping bag too. She wasn't too willing to share. Neither was I.
This is my current favorite picture of Nick. He was sitting on his stump watching the birdies. It only lasted a second before he wanted down so he could chase them, but it was precious. I want to be able to provide this for him: knowing that the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life isn't all that there is. There's a much larger world out there that has a billion exciting things so see and learn from, if only you take the time to stop, listen and watch.