Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Campouts with Kids

The boys and I enjoy the tradition of an annual father and son campout. We get together with other dads and sons from our church congregation for a fun night of campfires and sleeping out in commemoration of the restoration of the priesthood.

The place chosen this year was rather interesting to me - note the cooling towers in the background of the canoeing photo. It did remind me, however, of some of the high desert ponds near where I grew up. As we pulled off the highway to the campground, we rolled down the windows and heard the meadowlark's song multiple times before reaching the grassy area and pond. We played and shared food with friends until late and had a nice group breakfast before packing up in the morning.

Since the boys get their regular camping trip with dad, we started the tradition of an annual daddy-daughter campout a few years ago. This year we pulled a small group together and headed out to see some of the Sierra Nevada's notable sequoia trees. I prefer a bit of nature when camping, so we selected a pair of campsites where we walked in a couple-hundred yards from where we parked the car. One of the other dads and his adventurous daughter suggested a night hike. Although the moon was not shining, the stars practically lit our way. The girls got the courage to turn off their lights at one point and we looked gazed around at the bright stars revealing themselves between tall trees. We also found beetles, spiders, and a rubber boa on our hike.

The next day was very satisfying for me as we walked through a grove of sequoia trees. I had done this when I was the age of our oldest child. They are really awe-inspiring due to their size - some over 30 feet in diameter, their age - some are thousands of years old, their history - they have contributed to our identity as a nation, and the separate world of life they contain. In my opinion, they are one of God's most splendid creations.

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