A few weeks ago, we headed on our first camping trip of the season up to Lost Lake. The kids were stoked and ready to sleep in the tent. We found a beautiful site surrounded by huge cedars. Airlie immediately started climbing and exploring.
We set up our tent and just relaxed, taking in the solitude. I think the kiddos would have been happy just hanging at the campsite. They loved the hammock! They’d take turns hanging out or pushing each other, then snuggle in together.
In our campsite, there was a downed cedar that was at least 80 feet tall and over 5 feet off the ground. The kids would climb up and just walk all along the log. I hate to admit it, but they had a much easier time than me! I loved watching them both gain confidence with each step, as if they were overcoming their own fears right before my eyes. It was beautiful.
The lake is so beautiful. On our first day, we hiked some of the trail and explored, looking for newts.
My little mermaid…
After some daytime exploring, we just hung out at the campsite in the evening next to the fire. Brycen wanted to do everything that Jay did. He pretended to chop some wood and stoke the fire.
Even though the kiddos were exhausted, they resisted going to sleep (especially when the stars came out). But eventually, they settled in the tent and fell asleep. In the middle of night, Airlie woke up with a “It’s too dark in here!” alarm. But she settled down once she realized this was our bedroom for the night. And somehow, I ended up with a little Bear in my sleeping back, Airlie snuggled close and Kaya on my camping pad. Lucky mama.
Even though the prep for camping is a lot, it is so relaxing to just chill in the woods. The kids explore and we just get to watch them be kids. We rented a canoe and explored Lost Lake. Airlie loved paddling and helping us navigate around. They found their newts and Airlie must have caught at least 20 of them! I was so bummed that my camera card was full and it wouldn’t let me take any video! I wanted to capture her laugh more than anything. The excitement in her voice was a sound that I wanted to have on replay. In her search for newts, she jumped out the canoe and waded next to us, searching in and under the logs and vegetation. When she saw one, she’d giggle and then quickly get it in her hands. She’d give it to Brycen (who was waiting in the canoe with the same exciting giggles) and then quickly grab another one. She was our fearless newt catcher.
I can see Lost Lake being a place that will grow with our hearts as the kiddos grow. The views of Mt. Hood are beautiful and the kids are constantly exploring their surroundings. Their sense of adventure and wonder is at full peak. They are completely content with where they are, yet I watch them gain confidence as they climb trees they weren’t sure they could climb, catch newts in record time and paddle our canoe around the lake. I will always believe in them and seeing the innocence of a young child believing in their strength is amazing to witness. I am looking forward to this summer and all the adventures will be taking together.