Friday, September 29, 2017

Last Minute Camping and the Start of Fall

This will be my last Garden Valley post... at least for today, haha.

A couple weeks ago, Matt, the boys, and I decided to go on a last minute camping trip. We LOVE that our property is close enough to just go up spur of the moment. Since it was just one night, we took a tent, but then also hauled up the Razor. We found a couple of beautiful trails. Our favorite took us to the top of a mountain that had the best views.

And of course, every time we go up, we work on at least one project. Matt has been busy cutting trees both big and small (again, stinkin' beaver!) into smaller sections. The boys and I decided to use some of these to make steps down to the creek.

We also went up again yesterday for Bradley's birthday. We only had a couple hours in the mountains, but we made the most of it by working more on our fort. The leaves are starting to change and the fall light is just so beautiful. I wish I could capture the beauty in a picture.

The Creek

The creek was the selling point of our property, and has easily been the kids' favorite place to hang out. It is nice and shallow (at least at this point in the year) and it's nice to not have to worry about the kids getting swept downstream if they were to fall. They can play in the water on their own (with adult supervision of course) for hours.

Bradley's favorite activity is throwing rocks in the creek. He could probably just sit and do that all day!

Tyler loves floating little plastic boats down the creek... we just have to make sure someone is at the other end to catch them! I bought a bunch at the dollar store - such a great find!

Kylee likes to look for and catch little minnows and frogs.

And I enjoy just sitting in the shade, listening to the sound of the running water and my children laughing and playing. I'm sure Matt would enjoy this too, but he is usually off doing some project while I am watching the kids!

Total Eclipse

There was a lot of hype leading up to the total solar eclipse this year. Our family was pretty excited and joined in that hype by planning a little eclipse-viewing party up in Garden Valley :-) Garden Valley was in the path of totality, and it was the perfect excuse for our first camping trip on our land. We had quite the crew - Matt's parents, Natalie and her kiddos, Spencer, Beki's family, and our friends the Salisburys. Our family was lucky enough to be able to borrow my mom and dad's new trailer!

Notice that all the weeds are gone on our lot (thanks Matt!) and also notice our beautiful driveway. That was another project that Matt and I worked on... it might not look like it, but it was a lot of work. It involved tons of rototilling, rock removal, and raking.

Anyway, back to the eclipse! It really was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my entire life. I thought it was going to be cool, but I severely underestimated just HOW cool it was going to be. We all had our certified eclipse glasses to watch as the moon started to move in front of the sun.

Mike had also created this cool contraption that showed the crescent shape of the sun.

As the eclipse progressed, you could see crescent-shapes on the ground and on the tents.

Finally, as the eclipse moved into totality, it got really cold and dark! I was told that it also got super quiet, but I wouldn't know because all the kids were so excited and screaming their heads off, haha.

It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity (unless I want to travel to see future eclipses), and it is something I will always remember. What a special thing to be able to witness from our new little piece of heaven.

Burnt Post Trail

The "jungle" part of our property is pretty thick in places. The kids and I went for a hike one morning and it took us a long time to push our way through the vines to the forest. I decided to clear a small trail - it's amazing how much faster we can now walk through that part of the property! I'm sure we will continue to improve this trail over the years, but it's a start for now!

The Fort

You can't have a mountain property without fort building, right?! On one of our adventures, the boys and I discovered the PERFECT place for a fort - amidst thorny service berry plants. The plants naturally grew up and formed little "rooms". We have started clearing it out a bit... it's not perfect yet, but I just know our kids (and probably us adults too) will have so much fun playing in this fort over the years.