We were invited on a work function with S this week.  It was an “alternate duty location,” in order to do some team-building for his work.  It is an annual event, and seemed to be a pretty big deal.  Each year, people go to a campground called “Farish,” and they get there in different ways–some drive, some bike, some ride their motorcycles, and some make the 7.5 mile hike to 9000 ft. elevation, through the mountains and canyons.  S, of course, doesn’t do anything the easy way, so he decided to go for the hike.  JR, however, refused to be left behind.  So, that morning, everyone met at the trail-head for the hike, and I was left home with the other 4 kiddos to pack the car and drive up, where we hoped to meet JR and S. 

7 Men, 2 Ladies, and 1 adorable little boy

It’s days like this when I love homeschooling!  Not only did JR get to spend the day with his daddy, but he also got a great education in nature.  Another man on the hike is a master gardener and plant expert, and most of the guys were active duty and had been through survival training.  JR learned a few things along the way.  For snacks, they tried wild strawberries, indian paintbrush, and juniper berries, plus a few other plants.  Of course, when they tired of eating nature, they thoroughly enjoyed mom’s homemade granola bars! 

Taking a break by a mountain reservoir.

Once they arrived, I found them in the conference center preparing for the first meeting of the afternoon. I took JR and the rest of the kids, and found our little cabin–a little one room structure with a set of bunk beds and a full-size bed. Seeing as how we had 7 people, I had to get a little creative.

JR and M on the top bunk, N and A on the bottom bunk, R on a pallet on the floor, and S and I on the full bed--at least that was the starting plan.

The view from our cabin was absolutely gorgeous!

View from the front porch.

Fortunately, it was a good view, as the rest of the trip was not quite as wonderful as I had hoped.  I wound having 4 coughing and sick kiddos, S wound up in meetings for the majority of both days, the clouds rolled in, it snowed, and the baby was freezing all night.  Between the coughing kids and crying baby, S and I got very little sleep, then, when it snowed the next morning, tired little N wound up incredibly cranky.  So, I left early and S caught a ride home.  Oh well.  It was a beautiful place to visit, and we hope to go back–when it’s a bit warmer and S is more available to help out.  After a good nap at home, we were much better by evening.  Best of all, JR, made some priceless memories with his Dad!